(14) Rainbow Wahine sweep UC Davis, two wins away from BWC Title

Annie Mitchem / Hawai'i Athletics
Annie Mitchem / Hawai'i Athletics

DAVIS, Calif.—The No. 14 University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team swept its final regular season road game at UC Davis on Saturday night, 25-19, 25-19, 25-16. The victory extended UH’s win streak to a season-high eight matches and the Rainbow Wahine have now won 22-straight sets. In the last 15 consecutive sets, UH has held their opponents below 20 points. Nikki Taylor put down a match-high 16 kills and Emily Maglio denied three Aggie attacks for a team-high in blocks to lead Hawai’i on Saturday night at The Pavilion in Davis, Calif. UH improved to 20-5 overall and 13-1 in conference while UC Davis fell to 13-14 overall a 6-8 in the BWC.

The win also brought head coach Dave Shoji‘s career record to 1,199-203-1. He is now just one win shy of becoming just the second NCAA DI head women’s volleyball coach to accomplish the milestone victory. Only Russ Rose, who reached the 1,200 win mark earlier this season, is the only one ahead of Shoji at 1,208-194.

Taylor hit .314 with five errors in 35 swings against the Aggies. She also added two blocks, a service ace, three assists and a pair of digs. It marked the 16th time this season, and second time this weekend that Taylor has recorded double-digits in kills.

Maglio continued to patrol the net. Her three blocks against UC Davis brought her league-leading total to 119 blocks while averaging 1.40 per set. Maglio also added seven kills while hitting .600 for the match and she had three digs.

After missing a double-double by one dig last night, Norene Iosia recorded her team-leading ninth double-double of the season with 33 assists and 12 digs. She chipped in with a service ace, a block and a kill to fill her stat line. Savanah Kahakai led UH with 12 digs and had four assists plus her second kill of the season on a down ball attack.

In the first set, the ‘Bows battled with the Aggies early on. UC Davis held the early advantage taking as big as a three point lead at 4-7 before UH started to chip away. Hawai’i finally was able to tie the score at 9-9 and later took their first lead of the match at 13-12. With Iosia behind the service line, UH was able to pull away on a five-point run to take a 20-15 lead. Both teams then traded points until the ‘Bows were able to take the set at 25-19 with Kendra Koelsch getting the final kill to end the first set.

In the second and third set, the Aggies competed early, but by the middle of both sets, the ‘Bows started to gain momentum to eventually pull away to win down the stretch.

With the win, Hawai’i has now won 20 matches in a season for the 38th time in program history–including the last 24 straght.

UC Davis’ Aima Eichie led the Aggies with 14 kills and hit .522 (14-2-23) while Kelechi Ohiri had a team-high three blocks and Malia Bolko had a match-high 22 digs.

The Aggies snapped UH’s streak of 17-straight matches of out-blocking their opponents. The last team to register more blocks than UH was Utah Valley on Sept. 8 (3.0-to-8.0). Hawai’i though did out-hit the Aggies, .261-to-.129 and won the sideout percentage battle 71%-to-52%.

The Rainbow Wahine now return home for their final homestand of the season. UH will take on Cal Poly on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:00 p.m. and then the ‘Bows will play UC Santa Barbara on “Senior Night” on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7:00 p.m. Four Rainbow Wahine seniors will be recognized following the match—Tayler Higgins,Annie Mitchem, Katiana Ponce, and Nikki Taylor.

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