HONOULU—The No. 15 University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team (3-3, 0-0 Big West) fell to No. 8 UCLA in straight sets in the championship match of the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic on Saturday night, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22. Nikki Taylor pounded a match-high 17 kills while Emily Maglio had a team-high four blocks and Savanah Kahakai recorded a match-high 19 digs in front of a season-high crowd of 8,503 in the Stan Sheriff Center.
Taylor also had a match-high three aces and just missed her third-straight double-double with nine digs. She hit .054 with 17 kills on 56 attacks with 14 errors.
Maglio tallied a tournament-high total of 17 blocks in the three matches this week. She was the only other Rainbow Wahine in double-digits with 12 kills with just two errors on 30 attempts for a .333 hitting percentage.
In the first set, the early going saw both teams trading points until Hawai’i went on a 7-0 run with Clare-Marie Anderson serving for six of the points. UH took a 12-7 lead, but UCLA came right back reeling off five-straight to erase their deficit to just one point at 12-11. The Rainbow Wahine however went back ahead to lead by as many as four at 19-15 before the Bruins capitalized on four straight UH hitting errors that allowed UCLA to creep back. In the end, UCLA pulled away to end the set on a 5-to-1 run, getting the 25th point on a UH service error.
Hawai’i trailed early in the second set, but UH battled back to take the lead at 6-5 on a string of Anderson serves. The set would be tied seven more times (a total of nine ties in the set) before the Bruins started to inch-worm away from the ‘Bows to go up 2-0 with a 25-22 win in Set 2.
The third set was a tight affair as well with seven ties and four lead changes. The score was knotted at 17-17 when UCLA’s Reily Buechler went to work. She started things with a kill off a Ryann Chandler set and then ripped back-to-back aces to go up 20-17. After a Hawai’i timeout, UH committed its 25th hitting error of the night to fall behind by four, at 21-17. UH tried to comeback but was unable to make up the difference as both teams traded sideouts the rest of the way as the Bruins won the set, 25-22.
UCLA’s Buechler had a double-double to lead the Bruins with 14 kills and 11 digs. She also added two service aces and three blocks. Jordan Anderson added 11 kills and Jennie Frager rejected a match-high six blocks.
Hawai’i will host its final non-conference tournament this coming week with the Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge (Sept. 8-11) Utah Valley, Northern Illinois and No. 5 Washington will all be coming to Honolulu for the tournament.
2016 Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic
Lily Johnson, Missouri State
Lexi Elman, Pacific
Jordan Anderson, UCLA
Emily Maglio, Hawai’i
Norene Iosia, Hawai’i
Jennie Frager, UCLA
Most Outstanding Player – Nikki Taylor, Hawai’i