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Wahine hold off Long Beach State in four-set affair

HONOLULU—The University of Hawai'i women's volleyball team held off Long Beach State to win in four sets, 25-22, 25-19, 23-25, 25-20 on Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. Hawai'i's Norene Iosiaand Angel Gaskin led the 'Bows offense with 12 kills apiece while Natasha Burns led the UH's block with five. Hawai'i improved to 10-6 overall and 6-1 in the Big West, while LBSU fell to 11-9 overall and 3-4 in conference.
Iosia recorded her fourth triple-double of the season, notching 12 kills, 26 assists and 11 digs. She also was in on two blocks. Iosia hit .250 for the match with five errors in 28 attacks.
Gaskin hit .333 for the night, posting her 12 kills with only three errors in 27 attempts. She added three digs on defense.
Sarah Liva added 11 kills and hit a team-high .381 with three errors on 21 swings. She also had one block. After not putting down double-digit kills in the first 13 matches, Liva has tallied at least 11 kills in the last three-straight matches.
Faith Ma'afala and Iosia were tied with 26 assists each, while Tita Akiu recorded a team-high 16 digs for her 15th double-digit dig match of the season.
Long Beach State jumped out to an early, 6-1 lead in the first set. Hawai'i was finally able to catch the 49ers at 9-9 on a solo block by McKenna Granato. UH would tie the set up seven more times before they were able to actually take the lead on a Ma'afala service ace that put UH up, 21-20. LBSU followed with an attack error that gave UH a two-point lead at 22-20. From there, UH and LBSU traded sideouts to end the set as the 'Bows took the first frame, 25-22.
Set 2 saw the score tied five times early, the last at 5-5. From there, Hawai'i methodically started to pull away to take the second set, 25-19.
In Set 3, UH held the early lead by as much as five points at 10-5. But LBSU rallied for a 7-to-0 run behind the serving of Hailey Harward to take a 15-12 lead. Hawai'i would rally right back to tie it at 15-15. UH and LBSU would tie the setup again at 17, 18, 19, 21, and 22. But the 49ers won three of the last four points to escape with a 25-23 win to force a fourth set. In the set, UH committed eight hitting errors and five serving errors.
Set 4 saw UH flip the tables, jumping out to a 6-1 lead like the Beach did in the first set. But the Beach answered right back, scoring four-straight points to trail 6-5. LBSU was able to tie the set at 8-8. In all there were 12 ties and six lead changes in the fourth set. A critical juncture came with UH leading 22-20. Originally, a long rally ended with the Beach getting a kill down inside the backline. But coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos' eagle eye saw a LBSU blocker go into the net on a Burns attack earlier in the play. She challenged the point and the call was reversed, giving UH a 23-20 lead. After that, Granato dealt a service ace and Castillo ended the match with a kill of a Ma'afala assist.
The Beach's Tyler Sprigs led Long Beach State with a match-high 17 kills. Carly Aigner-Swesey had a match-high 33 assists and Harward had a match-high 20 digs.
Long Beach State out-blocked Hawai'i, 11.0-to-7.0, but UH out-high the Beach .242-to-.215 and edged LBSU in kills 56-to-54.
Hawai'i returns to the court to face CSUN on Saturday, October 13 at 7:05 p.m. It's "Dig Pink" night in recognition of breast cancer awareness. Free pink t-shirts will be given out to the first 500 fans upon entry from game sponsor, Hawai'i Pacific Health.

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