Rainbow Wahine open series against 12th ranked Oregon on Thursday


The University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team (4-3, 0-0 Big West) takes on No. 12 Oregon in their final week before the Big West Conference season commences. The two teams will square off on Thursday, September 13th and Friday, September 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the Stan Sheriff Center. Prior to Friday’s match against the Ducks, Hawai’i will host their annual Alumnae Game in which around 30 Rainbow Wahine alums will participate beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Last week, the Rainbow Wahine recorded a 2-1 record and captured second place in the Outrigger Volleyball Challenge. The ‘Bows notched wins over Idaho and San Diego State while falling to Portland in the four-day tournament.

For her efforts this past week, senior transfer libero  Reyn “Tita” Akiu earned her first career Big West Defensive Player of the Week honor after tallying 70 digs in three matches en route to being voted to the Outrigger Volleyball Challenge all-tournament team. Akiu, a senior transfer, came home to play her final season for the Rainbow Wahine after spending her first three collegiate seasons at Texas Tech. Akiu averaged 5.38 digs per set to help the ‘Bows finish second in this past weekend’s tournament with a 2-1 record. She was voted to the all-tournament team after the 5-foot-3 libero recorded a UH career-high 22 digs against Idaho. She then upped her career-best to 26 scoops one night later versus Portland. Akiu finished the tournament with 22 more digs against the Aztecs. She also added seven assists and two service aces in the tournament.

Junior Natasha Burns emerged as a force in the middle. She finished the week strong, pummelling a career-high 15 kills with a team-high five blocks in the tourney finale against San Diego State. In the three games, Burns posted 34  total kills and 12 total blocks in the tournament.

Junior setter/outside hitter Norene Iosia contined her double-duty play on the court. She has recorded at-least a double-double in every match thus far this season as she’s getting the job done both offensively and defensively. She recorded her  first triple-double of her career on Friday night against Portland when she recorded a career-high 15 kills with 24 assists and 13 digs.

About the No. 12 Oregon Ducks…
The  12th-ranked Oregon Ducks come into Honolulu after splitting their matches last week. They knocked off No. 1 Minnesota, 3-1 but then fell to No. 5 Penn State, 0-3 in the Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Challenge hosted by Stanford. Oregon leads the Pac-12 in kills per set (15.23), assists per set (14.35) and aces per set (2.00), boasting a balanced attack with four players averaging more than 2.00 kills per set. The Ducks’ offense is led by the dynamic duo of Willow Johnson and Ronika Stone who have recorded 86 and 83 kills respectively. Stone also leads UO with 29 total blocks (1.12 p/set)

Matches 8 & 9 Information
TEAMS: HAWAI’I vs. No. 12 Oregon
DATE: Thursday, Sept. 13 and Friday, Sept. 14
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
SITE: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, HI
PROMOTIONS:  H-Zone is the sponsor on Thursday and will award great prizes throughout the night. Fans can register to participate at the sports marketing table located at Gate A.  UH season-ticket holders in all UH sports will receive 50% off select adult tickets (maximum of eight) to Thursday’s match. A valid identification card is required when purchasing tickets at the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office. Tickets are in special sections and supplies are limited. Other restrictions may apply. Coca-Cola is the sponsor on Friday night and will distribute cell phone accessories along with awarding Powerade prize packs to four (4) lucky fans. Fans can register to participate at the sports marketing table located at Gate A. Following the match on Friday, stick around for an autograph session at Gate B.
TELEVISION: Spectrum Sports will televise both of UH’s matches this week with Kanoa Leahey handling the play-by-play and Chris McLachlin doing the color commentary. The pregame/post-game show will feature Scott Robbs, Lisa Strand-Ma’a and Ryan Tsuji. Fans in Hawai’i can watch on Spectrum channels 16 and 1016 (HD).
STREAMING VIDEO: UH’s matches will be streamed live locally to Spectrum customers only. Streaming video of the matches will be available for mainland fans for all home matches. Go to BigWest.tv for video stream.
RADIO: ESPN 1420 am will air both of UH’s matches this week with Tiff Wells handling the play-by-play.
AUDIO WEBCAST: Listen live online at www.espn1420am.com or through the “Sideline Hawaii” app
LIVE STATS: Livestats for all of the tournament matches will be available at HawaiiAthlectics.com
TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased at Stan Sheriff Center Box Office, online at ETicketHawaii.com, or by phone at (808) 944-2697 (BOWS).

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