13th ranked Lady ‘Bows sweep UC-Riverside, remain unbeaten in BWC

NCAA Women's Volleyball_ UC Riverside Highlanders vs Hawaii Rainbow Wahine_178061

Hawaii’s Opposite Nikki Taylor (14) and Middle Hitter Annie Mitchem (8) go up for a block during the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Match between the UC Riverside Highlanders and the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine on Sunday, Oct. 2nd, 2016 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, HI. (Photo by Andrew Lee / HMSWIRE)

The No. 13 University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team (11-4, 4-0 Big West) earned its second sweep of the weekend with a straight-set win over UC Riverside, 25-15, 25-6, 25-17. For the second straight match, the Rainbow Wahine had no one with double-digits in kills, instead the attacks were spread around with six different hitters recording kills on Sunday night in the Stan Sheriff Center.

Senior opposite Nikki Taylor buried eight kills and tallied a season-high eight blocks in the win. Her eight kills ties her for No. 15 in the UH career record book with Kenyatta Lovelace (1990-93) with 1,189 career kills. For the match, Taylor also had six digs and an assist.

Middle hitter Emily Maglio led all players with nine kills. She hit .438 with just two errors on 16 swings. Maglio also was in on five blocks and recorded three digs in the match.

Norene Iosia and Tayler Higgins split the setting duties in the match. Iosia, the reigning Big West Freshman of the Week, had 21 assists with a service ace, three digs and a block. Higgins had 11 assists with two digs.

Savanah Kahakai notched her 12th double-digit dig match of the season. She posted a match-high 14 digs and had three assists.

The first set was close early on with four ties and a lead change. The last tie came at 11-11. Then UH closed the set out on a 14-to-4 run to take the first frame, 25-15. Both Iosia and McKenna Granato had long serving runs down the stretch to propel the ‘Bows past the Highlanders.

In the second set UH had an early 5-4 lead but then totally ran away with to win the set, 25-6. It marked the third time this season that the ‘Bows held their opponents to single digit points in a set (Pepperdine and Utah Valley). It is the lowest score by an opponent since last year’s match at UC Riverside when UH defeated the Highlanders, 25-5 in the third set. Both Kalei Greeley and Gianna Guinasso had serving runs of seven and six as the ‘Bows scored 15 of the last 16 points in the set.

In the third set, the ‘Bows took an early lead and never looked back, pulling away to win 25-17.

As a team, the ‘Bows tied their season high with 14.0 blocks and for the second straight match, UH held their opponents to a negative hitting percentage (-.083).  For the second straight-match, all 17 Raibnow Wahine played in the match (both Faith Ma’afala and Rika Okino are redshirting this season). It was the ‘Bows’ eighth three-set sweep of the season and it marked Hawai’i’s 25th-straight Big West win.

UC Riverside (5-9, 0-2 BWC) was led by Mickayla Sherman and Meg Graham who both recorded five kills apiece. Cristina Maietta had 10 digs and three blocks to lead UCR.

Hawai’i now heads to California for a tough roadtrip. The Rainbow Wahine will first take on CSUN (6-10, 2-2 BWC) at the Matadome on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 4:00 p.m. (HST). The ‘Bows will then battle Long Beach State (10-7, 4-0 BWC) at the Walter Pyramid on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 5:00 p.m. (HST).

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