Hawai’i sweeps Saint Mary’s, Taylor reaches 100 wins

Nikki Taylor // Hawai'i Athletics

HONOLULU – The No. 5 University of Hawai’i beach volleyball team kept up its stellar play with a 5-0 win over  Saint Mary’s in the First Foundation Easter Classic Friday at the Clarence T.C. Ching Complex. The day was highlighted by a milestone for senior Nikki Taylor who picked up her 100th career overall win at UH.

Taylor teamed up with a Ka’iwi Schucht for a 21-10, 18-21, 15-13 victory over Emily Bible and Sarah Chase at the No. 2 court. She is just the second Rainbow Wahine to reach 100 career wins, joining former two-time All-American Katie Spieler. The Honolulu native needs just three more wins to surpass Spieler’s all-time wins record of 102.

Taylor and Schucht’s helped power UH (22-5) to its fourth straight victory. Coming off a huge win over No. 2 Pepperdine last Saturday, the Rainbow Wahine avoided a letdown against the Gaels (16-7) by posting its 11th shutout of the season, including straight-set wins on three courts.

Amy Ozee and Hannah Zalopany got UH off to a strong start with a 21-19, 21-13 win over Alex O’Sullivan and Madi Wilkerson at the No. 5 flight. Meanwhile, Ari Homayun and Carly Kancontinued their dominating play with their ninth straight win, a 21-12, 21-13 straight-set decision over Alexsa Parker 21-15, 21-10. The duo improved to a team-best 24-3, as did Emily Maglio andLaurel Weaver who clinched the third and decisive point with a 21-15, 21-10 win over Lindsey Calvin and Mary Hernandez.

Mikayla Tucker and Morgan Martin snapped a three-match skid and secured the UH shutout by rallying for a 21-13, 16-21, 15-12 win over Lindsey Knudsen and Payton Rund. Less than a week ago, Knudsen and Rund upset Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes of top-ranked USC to end the duo’s 103-match win streak.

The teams will be back in action again tomorrow for the second day of the First Foundation Bank Easter Classic and UH’s final home event of the season. First serve will be at 9 a.m. at the Queen’s Beach Sandbox.

#5 Hawai’i  Saint Mary’s
1. Martin/Tucker def. Knudsen/Rund 21-13, 16-21, 15-12
2. Schucht/Taylor (UH) def. Bible/Chase (SMC) 21-10, 18-21, 15-13
3. Maglio/Weaver (UH) def. Calvin/Hernandez (SMC) 21-15, 21-10
4. Homayun/Kan (UH) def. Parker/Young (SMC) 21-12, 21-13
5. Ozee/Zalopany def. O’Sullivan/Wilkerson (SMC) 21-19, 21-13
Order of Finish: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Exh: Hi’ilawe Huddleston/Cyrene Hertzog (UH) vs. Brooke Garlick/Chloe Luyties (UH) 21-15, 18-21, 15-9



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