HONOLULU—The University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team overcame a slow start to eventually sweep UC Santa Barbara, 25-20, 26-24, 25-11 on Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. For Hawai’i, the win marked its ninth-straight to improve to 11-5 overall and 5-0 in the Big West. The win extended UH’s home conference win streak to 22 dating back to 2014. The win also sets up tomorrow night’s match as a battle of the Big West’s two remaining unbeaten teams–Hawaii and Cal Poly. Emily Maglio recorded a career-high 10 blocks while McKenna Granato posted a match-high 18 kills. In the win, libero Savanah Kahakai moved into No. 5 on UH’s all-time dig list. With the loss, UC Santa Barbara fell to 3-14 overall and 2-3 in the conference.
Maglio was a blocking machine in the three-set match. She racked up double-digits in blocks for the first time in her four-year career. Maglio had one block in the first set then erupted for four in the second frame—including the final two points in UH’s come-from-behind win. Maglio finished the night with five rejections in the final set. She came out one kill shy of a double-double ending the match with nine kills with an assist and a dig. Maglio hit .364 (9K- E-22 TA).
For Granato, it was her 10th time this season that she’s put down double-figure kills—including in four of the last five matches. She hit .316 with six errors on 38 attacks. She also had eight digs and two blocks.
Kahakai was responsible for 12 digs in the match. She now has 11 double-digit dig matches this season, including nine of the last 10 matches and the last six straight. She also had two aces and two assists. Kahakai tied and then passed former UH great Kanani Danielson early in the first set to move up to No. 5 on UH’s career dig list. In four years (2008-11), Danielson recorded 1,233 digs. Kahakai is now chasing No. 4, Tara Hittle in the UH annals. Hittle, who played outside hitter for UH from 2004-08, had 1,315 digs. Kahakai ended the match with 1,243 career digs.
Iosia issued out a match-high 32 assists to go with seven digs, a kill and a service ace.
Early in Set 1, UCSB went on a 5-0 run with Lindsey Ruddins serving as they took an 8-3 lead. But the ‘Bows would chip away to catch the Gauchos at 11-11 in the middle of a 6-to-1 UH run which left Hawai’i taking a 15-12 lead. Later UH would go on a 5-0 run of their own with Granato serving that left Hawai’i with a 22-16 lead. UH scored the last three points to take the first set.
In the second set, UH trailed early but battled back to take as big as a four point lead at 16-12 as a result of an 8-0 run behind the serving of Kahakai. But the Gauchos would fight back, going on a 0-9 run of their own to reclaim the lead to go up, 21-17. UC Santa Barbara would eventually take a 24-21 lead and be on the cusp of winning Set 2. But with their backs against the wall, the ‘Bows would battle back, staving off three UCSB set points. Kahakai came through with an ace that tickled the tape and rolled onto the UCSB side of the net to knot the score at 24-24. Maglio and Kendra Koelsh then got back-to-back blocks to seal the comeback set win, 26-24. UH finished the set on a 5-to-0 run.
Set 3 saw the Rainbow Wahine cruise to a 25-11 win. The ‘Bows scored in bunches off the serves of Iosia, Kahakai and Casey Castillo who served seven-straight to help UH double-up on UCSB, leading by as much as 13 before taking the final set, 25-11.
UCSB was led by Ruddins who had 11 kills and three service aces. Emilia Petrachi tallied a match-high 21 digs while Nicole Omwanghe led the Gauchos with three blocks.
Next up for the Rainbow Wahine is Cal Poly on Saturday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.