HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – The No. 3 University of Hawaii sand volleyball team won its final three dual matches of the regular-season at the Big West Challenge in a performance that put UH in position for its first-ever team appearance into the AVCA National Championship. The Rainbow Wahine blanked Irvine Valley College and Cal Poly, while picking up a key win over No. 5 Long Beach State Friday in Huntington Beach.
With an 18-3 overall record—and its only losses to the top two teams in the nation in USC and Pepperdine—UH is poised to gain an invitation to the third annual AVCA Sand Volleyball National Championship to be held May 2-4 in Gulf Shores, Ala. The official announcement for the six- team field will be made on Monday. The field will be made up of the top two teams from each the West and Southeast regions, the Atlantic Sun champion and an at-large selection for which UH would likely qualify.
The Rainbow Wahine were its usual dominant self with a pair of 5-0 wins over Cal Poly and IVC and a 4-1 win over Long Beach State. UH won in straight sets in 14 of the 15 matchups during the day. In the most critical match of the day, UH rose to the challenge, taking down a 49er squad also vying for a spot in the nationals as the defending champions. It marked UH’s second win over LBSU this year after also defeating the 49ers, 3-2, in Honolulu on March 7, the opening day of the season.
The Big West Challenge will continue tomorrow with pairs competition as tandems will be broken up into three separate single-elimination brackets.
#3 Hawai’i def. Irvine Valley College, 5-0
1. Brittany Tiegs/Karissa Cook (UH) def. Marisa Doran/Kobi Pekich (IVC) 21-12, 21-11
2. Katie Spieler/Nikki Taylor (UH) def. Becky Moody/Annie Mitchem (IVC) 21-9, 21-10
3. Ali Longo/Ginger Long (UH) def. Katherine Kolodziej/Alexis Radecki (IVC) 21-12, 21-13
4. Karlee Riggs/Mikayla Tucker def. Hailey Jones/Shaelyn Perez (IVC) 21-5, 21-10
5. London Chow/Olivia Urban (UH) def. Emily Daily/Erica Tsujimoto (IVC) 21-5, 21-7
#3 Hawai’i def. #5 Long Beach State, 4-1
1. Brittany Tiegs/Karissa Cook (UH) def. Tyler Jackson/Janisa Johnson (LBSU) 22-20, 21-11
2. D. Aigner-Swesey/ Bojana Todorovic (LBSU) def. Katie Spieler/Nikki Taylor (UH) 21-18, 18-21, 15-11
3. Ali Longo/Ginger Long (UH) def. Chelsea Cabrajack/Bre Mackie (LBSU) 21-16, 21-16
4. London Chow/Olivia Urban (UH) def. Alex Reid/Jenelle Hudson (LBSU), 21-17, 21-16
5. Karlee Riggs/Mikayla Tucker def. Ciana Wagner/Morea Wagner (LBSU) 21-17, 21-17
#3 Hawai’i def. Cal Poly, 5-0
1. Brittany Tiegs/Karissa Cook (UH) def. Jennifer Keddy/Katie Conroy (CP) 21-13, 21-4
2. Katie Spieler/Nikki Taylor (UH) def. Megan Groess/Nicole Kessler (CP) 21-13, 21-11
3. Ali Longo/Ginger Long (UH) def. Hannah Schleis/Kate Walters (CP) 21-15, 21-10
4. London Chow/Olivia Urban (UH) def. Taylor Gruenewald/Shannon Fouts (CP) 21-10, 21-9
5. Hannah Rooks/Tayler Higgins (UH) def. Anna Gorman/Lexi Reddick (CP) 21-13, 21-16
*Courtesy of Hawai’i Athletics*