The University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team was stunned by No. 23 UCLA, falling 20-25, 25-13, 23-25, 25-23, 15-9 in front of a season-crowd of 5,416 on Sunday evening at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.
Sunday’s contest was the de facto championship match of the Outrigger Volleyball Challenge, which the Rainbow Wahine came excruciatingly close to winning but was instead won by the Bruins.
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After going winless last weekend at the Texas A&M Invitational, the Rainbow Wahine went 2-1 at home and exits the weekend 2-4. Meanwhile, the Bruins exit the islands 4-1.
In the first set, junior Braelyn Akana led the way with a match-high four kills for the Rainbow Wahine.
UCLA cruised to a victory in Set 2, jumping out to a 10-1 start.
In the third set, star player Amber Igiede took over for UH with four kills and three blocks in a narrow set victory for the Rainbow Wahine.
Just when it appeared the Wahine would win in four, the Bruins closed out the set with a stunning 4-0 run to force a fifth and final set in which it never trailed. The Rainbow Wahine were also up by as much as seven in the fourth set.
True freshman Caylen Alexander had a match-high 18 kills and 11 digs for the Rianbow Wahine, good for a double-double. Igiede also had a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs, while Akana finished with 11 kills.
UCLA’s elan McCall had a double-double of 16 kills and 13 digs and was named tournament MVP.
Up next for the Rainbow Wahine is a pair of home matches against No. 25 USC, beginning on Friday at 7 p.m.