The No. 5 University of Hawai’i women’s beach volleyball team split a pair of matches on the second and final day of the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Beach Classic at Queen’s Beach. The Rainbow Wahine fell to No. 3 LSU, 4-1, in the semifinals, before sweeping No. 19 Stanford, 5-0, to claim third place in the tournament.
The Tigers (3-2) went on to upset top-ranked UCLA (5-1) by a 3-2 count to claim the tournament title.
Less than 24 hours after UH took down the third-ranked Tigers, 3-2, to cap Saturday’s round-robin action, LSU turned around to exact revenge in the tourney semis. Though three courts went the distance, LSU ultimately took all but one court. UH’s lone point came on the No. 5 court where Hanna Hellvig and Ilihia Huddleston out-lasted Allison Coens and Hunter Domanski 21-14, 19-21, 15-11.
UH bounced back in the third-place match by blanking Stanford (0-5) for the second straight day. The SandBows won in straight sets on four of five courts to improve to a perfect 8-0 all-time against the Cardinal. UC Irvine transfer Harlee Kekauoha made her beach volleyball debut for UH by pairing with Norene Iosia for a 21-17, 24-22 win over Natalie Berty and Chelsea Mohl at the No. 5 court.
The No. 2 pairing of Maia Hannemann and Julia Scoles also were victorious versus Stanford with a three-set win over Maddie Kriz and Tori Ashkinos. It capped a stellar weekend for the duo who won four of its five matches, including wins against No. 1 UCLA and No. 3 LSU. Hannemann was tabbed as the tournament’s Best Defender.
The Rainbow Wahine next head to the Bay Area Classic for its first road trip of the year, from Feb. 29-March 1. It is there where they will face Saint Mary’s, Arizona State, Utah, and host Stanford.