The University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team was swept 25-17, 29-27, 28-26 by UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.
Hawaii fell to 17-8 overall and 10-4 in Big West Conference play, while UCSB improved to 23-3 overall and 14-1 in conference games, strengthening its lead atop the league standings.
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Prior to Saturday, Hawaii had never lost consecutive Big West matches at home. The program has been a member since the 2012 season.
A damper was put on Saturday’s match on Friday, as a loss to Cal Poly thwarted a potential battle for first place for UH.
After UCSB breezed through the first set, the Gauchos had a 20-17 lead in the second set. Hawaii responded with a 6-0 run, only to see the conference leaders take the set in deuces to deflate the home crowd.
Despite the deficit, Hawaii had a spirited 8-0 run in the third set that tied things at 22, but UC Santa Barbara was again able to pull away.
Briana McKnight had a double-double of a match-high 14 kills and 10 digs for the Gauchos, while All-Conference libero Macall Peed had a match-high 21 digs.
Kennedi Evans had a team-high 10 kills and five digs for Hawaii.
Next up for UH is another Big West road trip, beginning with UC Irvine on Friday at 4 p.m. HST.