The No. 17 University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team fell to No. 25 UCLA in a four set thriller, 25-16, 25-27, 25-17, 28-26 in front of a season-high crowd of 8,667 in the Stan Sheriff Center. The Bruins captured their 10th Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Challenge title and improved to 4-1 while UH suffered its first loss of the season to fall to 5-1. Hawai’i was led by Nikki Taylor, who buried a team-high16 kills while Emily Maglio tied her career-high with six blocks.
Taylor also led UH with 15 digs in the match to go with five blocks—including one solo. She finished the tourney with a team-high 53 kills and was voted to the all-tournament team for the second straight week. Maglio, a sophomore middle hitter, also added three kills while playing in three sets. Olivia Magill led UH with a .375 hitting percentage. She had nine kills with three errors in 16 attempts while adding five blocks from the middle.
In the first set, the Bruins jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but the ‘Bows battled right back on Taylor’s serve to knot the score at 4-4. But it was UCLA who kept the pressure on as they cruised to a 25-16 win in the first set. Taylor led UH with four kills in the first frame.
Hawai’i came out firing in the second set, taking as big as an eight point lead at 10-2. But UCLA kept chipping away and finally caught the ‘Bows at 24-24 after a 7-to-2 run. UCLA had set point at 25-24, but a Bruins’ hitting error tied the score again at 25-25. UH then got kills from Kalei Greeley and Taylor to close out the second set, 27-25.
The third set was close in the early going with five ties. But eventually the Bruins took care of business and pulled away as they coasted to a 25-16 win to go up 2-1. As a team, UH hit just .098, while UCLA hit .306 in the third.
Then in the fourth set, it was the Bruins who once again raced out to a quick early lead going up by as many as seven points twice at 9-2 and 14-7. Hawai’i, however, never gave up and kept fighting. Megan Huff gave the ‘Bows a boost, notching four kills in the set with no errors in 11 attempts for a .364 hitting average. UCLA eventually led by four at match point, 24-20. But UH scored five straight points—four while Tayler Higgins’ was serving—to send the crowd into a frenzy as UH took a 25-24 lead. But UCLA’s Jordan Anderson answered with a kill to tie the set at 25-25. Huff countered with a kill of her own to give UH a 26-25 lead, but three-straight Bruin blocks snuffed out Hawai’i’s rally to win the fourth set and the tournament title, 28-26.
As a team, UH hit a season-low .119 with UCLA hitting .242 for the match. The Bruins edged out Hawai’i in blocks, 13-to-12.
The Rainbow Wahine will host its final pre-season tournament of the season, the Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge this coming week from Sept. 10-12. San Diego State, No. 4 Florida and Eastern Washington will all be competing for the tourney title.
2015 Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic
Allison Cappellino, American
Loxley Keala, Iowa
Lauren Brobst, Iowa
Kalei Greeley, Hawai’i
Nikki Taylor, Hawai’i
Reily Buechler, UCLA
Most Outstanding Player: Jordan Anderson, UCLA