HONOLULU—The No. 20 University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team fell in a five set heartbreaker in their season opener against Marquette, 24-26, 25-21, 25-18, 18-25, 15-12. Under the new leadership of head coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos, the Rainbow Wahine battled all night, but unfortunately fell short in their comeback bid at the Stan Sheriff Center on Friday night.
Senior middle hitter Emily Maglio lead the ‘Bows with 14 kills—seven after sliding over to play outside hitter from the fourth set on. Junior outside hitter McKenna Granato added 13 kills, a service ace, and 11 digs for her fourth career double-double. Freshman middle hitter Skyler Williams made an immediate impact in her first collegiate match, leading the Manoa Roofing Company with a match-high 12 blocks. Setter Norene Iosia dished out 47 assists with a match-high three service aces whie Savanah Kahakai had a match-high 18 digs. As a team Hawai’i hit at .130, had five service aces and 18 blocks.
The first set was a battle for the Rainbow Wahine as Marquette kept it close. After trading the lead back and forth, the Wahine were able to secure it again at 23-22 after a six point run on Granato’s serve. A block by Williams and sophomore outside hitter McKenna Ross tied the match at 22-22. A service ace by Granato took the 23-22 lead. Marquette continued to fight back but the Wahine took the match 26-24.
The Wahine faltered in the second set, trailing until a seven point run late in the set got them the lead for the first time. Senior outside hitter Kendra Koelsch won a joust at the net to tie the game at 20-20. A block by Koelsh and Williams got the lead 21-20. But the lead was short lived as Marquette went on a five point run to take the second set going away, 25-21.
The third set was another loss for the Wahine who trailed almost the entire set. A kill by Granato tied the set at eight and Marquette took the set from there winning 25-18.
The fourth set saw a line up changes which spurred UH to force a deciding fifth set. Maglio saw her first action as an outside hitter in her four year career. Junior Casey Castillo, who started the match at outside hitter, slid over to play middle. Maglio on the outside made a large difference with five kills, leading the Wahine to their 25-18 win.
Marquette jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the fifth set. But the Rainbow Wahine were able to battle back to tie the game at 12-12. Marquette went on a run that got them the set 15-12 and the match.
Marquette was lead by sophomore outside hitter Allie Barber with 22 kills and eight digs. Freshman outside hitter Hope Werch also contributed 12 kills. Marquette was lead fierce on the net with middle hitter Jenna Rosenthal having the team high of nine blocks. Marquette finished hitting at .128 with 10 service aces and 13 blocks.
The Rainbow Wahine will challenge No. 22 San Diego on Day Two of the Texaco Rainbow Wahine Invitational at 7 p.m. in the Stan Sheriff Center.