HONOLULU – The No. 2 University of Hawai’i women’s sand volleyball team won eight of 10 flights en route to a second place finish on Saturday in the duals competition of the inaugural Aloha Invitational held at the Queens Beach Sandbox in Waikiki.
The ‘Bows beat No. 8 UCLA 4-1 in the semifinals and won four of the five flights versus No. 6 Long Beach State in the final. The 49ers claimed the title, however, on the heels of their win at the No. 1 flight which was weighted with five points toward the total team score. The ‘Bows won at the two, three, four, and five flights but UH’s No. 1 of Brittany Tiegs and Nikki Taylor fell 21-18, 22-20 to Delainey Aigner-Swesy and Chelsea Cabrajac in the feature match of the tournament.
UH’s only other loss on the day was at the No. 2 flight of its semifinal win over the Bruins. Against UCLA in the semifinal, Tiegs and Taylor rallied for a 15-21, 21-16, 15-13 win over Kamila Tan and Zoe Nightingale at the one with the UH pair of Mikayla Tucker and Ka’iwi Schucht doing the same with a 16-21, 21-16, 15-10 result at the four flight.
Olivia Urban and Katie Spieler responded against the Beach in the final and earned a hard-fought 21-13, 19-21, 17-15 victory at the two. The ‘Bows won the next three matches via sweeps including a 31-29 epic first set win by Tucker and Schucht.
Hawai’i now looks ahead to a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama and the AVCA National Championships. The ‘Bows will play a familiar foe in Long Beach State to open the duals portion of the tournament. The competition begins on Friday, May 1.