Taylor paces #18 Rainbow Wahine past Shockers

Nikki Taylor / Hawai'i Athletics

HONOLULU—The No. 18 University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team (2-0 0-0 big West) came from a set down to defeat Wichita State (1-1, 0-0 MVC) in four, 24-26, 25-20, 25-20, 25-19 in front of 6,718 fans on Saturday night in the Stan Sheriff Center. Junior outside hitterNikki Taylor buried a career-high 25 kills and recorded her first double-double of the year with 11 digs as well.  Senior middle hitter Olivia Magill finished the night with 17 kills—just one kill shy of tying her career-high.

The first set was a back-and-forth affair with 16 ties and seven lead changes with the Shockers edging out the ‘Bows to take a 1-0 lead. Hawai’i tied it at 24-24, but Wichita State closed out the set with two quick points to win 26-24. Tai Manu-Olevao led UH with six kills and two aces.

The ‘Bows evened the match at a set apiece with a 25-20 win in the second set. After six ties early on, the Shockers went on a four-point run to take their biggest lead up until that point at 11-7. UH would keep battling until they finally caught Wichita State at 15-15 then took the lead and held off WSU and closed the set by winning six of the last eight points. Taylor boosted the team with 12 kills in 10 attempts with two errors for a .500 hitting percentage in the second set alone.

In the third set, Hawai’i led through much of the early going, but could never get separation by more than three points. The scrappy Shockers kept things close and tied the set at 16-16 and five more times after that before UH was able to close out the set scoring the final five points with Clare-Marie Anderson serving four of them. Taylor capped the set with back-to-back kills to give the ‘Bows a 2-1 lead.

The Rainbow Wahine then got off to a hot start in the fourth and final set, pulling away to as big a lead as seven points at 17-10. UH cruised to a 25-19 set win to end the match. Magill closed out strong ending with five kills in six attempts in the final set. As a team, the ‘Bows hit .343 in the final set to raise their overall game percentage to .296.

In just her second career start, sophomore middle hitter Maglio finished with six kills, five block assists and one block solo—all career highs. Tayler Higgins paced the ‘Bows with 51 assists and a team-high 16 digs, while Anderson was solid behind the service line and in the back row with a team-high 20 serves.

Wichita State was led by Abbie Lehman who tallied 17 kills with two solo blocks and six block assists—all team-highs. Dani Mostrom had a match-high 23 digs.

The tournament concludes on Sunday, August 30 with Idaho taking on Wichita State at 2:30 p.m. and Hawai’i battling Oregon State in the finale at 5:00 p.m.


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