The University of Hawai’i’s bid for a national championship came to an end following a 3-0 loss to Pepperdine Sunday in the semifinals of the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship.
The fifth-ranked Rainbow Wahine closed out their season a program-best 29-7 while the Waves advance to the title match versus top-ranked USC, where they fell to the Trojans, 3-2.
A day after an emotional win over Florida State, the SandBows simply couldn’t keep up with the Waves (27-4) who defeated UH for the third time in four meetings this year. Despite the score, UH again found themselves in another tight match with three of the five courts going into a third set.
The Waves took a 2-0 lead after wins at the top two flights. Corinne Quiggle and Brittany Howard took down Ka’iwi Schucht and Nikki Taylor 21-17, 21-15 and just moments later Delaney Knudsen and Maddy Roh knocked off Morgan Martin and Mikayla Tucker (UH), 21-18, 21-15.
UH was on the brink of defeat when Amy Ozee and Hannah Zalopany faced a match point against Sarah Seiber and Nikki Lyons on Court 5. But just like they did they day before, the pair dug deep and eventually forced a third set with a 23-21 set 2 victory. Emily Maglio and Laurel Weaver also extended their match to a third set with a 21-19 Set 2 win over Skylar Caputo and Heidi Dyer to continue the Rainbow rally.
The Waves, however, ultimately clinched the third and final point at Court 4 where Anika Wilson and Deahna Kraft out-lasted Ari Homayun and Carly Kan 9-21, 21-15, 15-9. It was only the second loss in the last 18 matches for Kan and Homayun who finished a sensational season with a school-record 31 dual match wins.
Following the championship match Ozee and Zalopany were named to the All-Tournament team at the No. 5 flight. Sunday’s action capped a remarkable 2017 season for the Rainbow Wahine, who set a record for wins in a season, repeated as Big West champions, and advanced in the postseason further than any other team in program history.
No. 3 Pepperdine 3, No. 5 Hawai’i 0
1. Knudsen/Roh (Pepperdine) def. Martin/Tucker (UH), 21-18, 21-15
2. Quiggle/Howard (Pepperdine) def. Schucht/Taylor (UH), 21-17, 21-15
3. Caputo/Dyer (Pepperdine) vs. Maglio/Weaver (UH), 21-18, 19-21, unfinished
4. Wilson/Deahna Kraft (Pepperdine) def. Homayun/Kan (UH), 9-21, 21-15, 15-9
5. Seiber/Lyons (Pepperdine) vs. Ozee/Zalopany (UH), 21-12, 21-23, 4-4, unfinished
Order of finish: 2, 1, 4*