5th-ranked Beach ‘Bows welcome Saint Mary’s for Easter Classic this weekend

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Ari Homayun & Carly Kan_205884

The No. 5 University of Hawai’i beach volleyball will play its final home event of the 2017 season when it hosts Saint Mary’s in the First Foundation Bank Easter Classic on Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15.

The teams will face off in dual match action, first at 2 p.m. on Friday at the Clarence T.C. Ching Complex, followed by a rematch at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the Queen’s Beach Sandbox. Admission is free.

Saint Mary’s, out of the West Coast Conference, is an up-and-coming program in collegiate beach volleyball. The Gaels, who currently stand at 16-6 overall, are ranked 15 in the DiG Volleyball Magazine Top 20 Poll, and are the top team in the receiving votes category of the AVCA Coaches Poll. This past weekend, SMC’s top pair of Lindsey Knudsen and Payton Rund pulled off a monumental win at the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge, upsetting Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes of top-ranked USC, ending the Trojan duo’s 103-match win streak.

UH comes in with momentum of its own after going 3-1 this past weekend, highlighted by a resounding 4-1 home win over No. 2 Pepperdine. UH handed the Waves just their second loss in 20 matches this year, while UH won its school-record 21st dual match of the year. As a result of its impressive win, the SandBows moved back into the top five of the AVCA poll.

The duo of Ari Houmayn and Carly Kan went a perfect 4-0 at the No. 4 flight over the weekend to extend their win streak to eight straight matches. With the four wins, the duo set a new school single-season record for wins by a pair with 23 on the year, a mark they currently share with Emily Maglio and Laurel Weaver (23-3). Meanwhile, Nikki Taylor, one of four seniors, picked up three wins over the weekend and is one win shy of becoming just the second Rainbow Wahine ever to tally 100 overall career wins.First Foundation Bank Easter Classic

Who: No. 5 Hawai’i (21-5) vs. Saint Mary’s (16-6)

When: Friday, April 14, 2 p.m. / Saturday, April 15, 9 a.m.

Where: Ching Complex (April 14) / Queen’s Beach (April 15)

Admission: FreeLive Scoring:Statbroadcast.com

Promotions: First Foundation Bank will distribute t-shirts throughout the Classic. Fans are encouraged to visit the First Foundation tent for fantastic prize giveaways and enter to win a drawing for a $100 gift card.

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