The University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team dropped a straight-set decision to Minnesota Thursday in a spring exhibition match at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-19, 25-18, 25-19.
The coaches agreed to play an extra set, which was also won by the Gophers, 25-23.
Outside hitter Alexis Hart and middle blocker Taylor Morgan were a one-two punch for the Golden Gophers. Hart finished with a match-high 25 kills, hitting .380 while Morgan was in on 10 of the team’s 16 blocks. Minnesota limited the Rainbow Wahine to .131 hitting for the match partly due to Dalianliz Rosado’s match-high 27 digs.
UH was led by middle blocker Emily Maglio, who finished with 15 kills, hitting .344. Outside hitter McKenna Granato recorded 12 kills, three aces, and five digs and libero Savanah Kahakai had 14 digs. Setter Norene Iosia tallied 40 assists and 11 digs.
The exhibition was a rematch of last December’s NCAA Tournament second round match in Minneapolis, Minn., which the Gophers won in straight sets.
UH led for much of Set 1 before the Gophers scored seven straight points – three off of blocks – and out-scored UH 8-1 to close out the set. UM had five blocks in the frame and hit .478 compared to .226 for the Rainbow Wahine.
The Gophers jumped out to a 12-5 lead in Set 2, which included a 7-1 run in which Hart and Minnesota’s block gave the Wahine fits. UH rallied to within four at 15-11 but the Gophers held on the rest of way en route to a 25-18 victory.
In Set 3, UH fell behind early before Granato sparked a rally, trimming the deficit to 13-10. Moments later, the Wahine scored three unanswered to close the gap to two at 17-15. But the Gophers responded and reeled off four straight and took the match 25-19.
The Rainbow Wahine showed some life in Set 4. UH used a 6-2 lead, with a pair of kills by Magio and an ace by Granato for a 21-19 advantage. But the Gophers rallied with three straight capped by an ace by Rosada for a 23-22 lead. Hart ended it with her 25th kill.