Rainbow Wahine back on track with win at LBSU

Robyn Ah Mow-Santos // ESPNU

LONG BEACH, Calif.—The University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team bounced back after a tough loss to Cal Poly last week and overcame a slow start on Friday to defeat Long Beach State on the road, 16-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-22. Senior middle hitterEmily Maglio led the Rainbow Wahine with her second-straight double-double with a match-high 14 kills (tied with LBSU’s Megan Kruidhof) and 10 blocks. Hawai’i improved to 12-6 overall and 6-1 in the Big West while the 49ers fell to 5-15 overall and 2-5 in conference at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.

For Maglio, it marked the third straight-match that she tied her career-high with 10 blocks (three solo). It was also her 13th match of the season and eighth time in the last nine matches that Maglio has posted double-digits in kills for UH. She continues to lead the league with 106.0 blocks. She helped lead UH to the win racking up five kills with just one error in the fourth and final set. She hit .321 (14-5-28) against Long Beach State.

Although junior outside hitter McKenna Granato was a little under the weather, she also overcame a slow start to finish with her seventh double-double of the year with 10 kills and 15 digs. She pounded six of her 10 kills alone in the third set. Granato also had a hand in one block and had two aces in the match. She now has had double-digit kills in 12 matches—including the last four straight.

Sophomore setter Norene Iosia was one dig shy of a double-double with 41 assists and nine digs. She also added two blocks and a kill on the night, while senior libero Savanah Kahakai posted her 14th double-digit dig match of the season. She has now tallied at least 10 digs in the last 12 of 13 matches. Kahakai also dealt a pair of aces in the match to bring her season total to 19. Kahakai is now just 42 digs shy of tying former UH standout Tara Hittle who is No. 4 on UH’s all-time career dig list. Kahakai currently has 1,273 career digs after her 15 against the 49ers.

In the first set, the ‘Bows fell behind early, 7-3 forcing UH to call an early timeout. Long Beach State extended its lead to 19-13 but UH closed to within three points at 16-19. The 49ers then won the last six straight points to pull away and take the first set, 25-16. The ‘Bows offense struggle to get things going and were out-hi in the first frame, -.026-to-.226.

The ‘Bows, however, turned things right around in the second the set, winning 25-16 to even the match at 1-1. The Rainbow Wahine start with a 6-1 lead, with four straight points coming off Clare-Marie Anderson‘s serve. UH went on to lead by as many as nine points at 18-9 and ended the frame on a 4-to-1 run. Maglio had five of her kills in the second set to help pace the ‘Bows. UH flipped the scripts and out-hit the 49ers in the second set, .320-to-.117.

The third set was a very tight one with 11 ties and four lead changes. But it was UH that pulled away in the end, scoring five of the last six points to take a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-20 win in Set 3.

After two ties and lead changes early in Set 4, Hawai’I started to pull away. UH went on a 6-to-1 run in the middle of the frame to take a 12-8 lead from which the 49ers could not recover from. Long Beach State however would not go down without a fight as they cut their deficit down to just two points at 20-18. But senior outside hitter Kendra Koelsch came through with two key kills late to help the ‘Bows win 25-22.

Long Beach State was led by Kruidhof’s 14 kills and Alexis Patterson who had a team-high 35 assists. Emma Kirst had a team-high eight blocks (three solo) while Rachel Nieto had a match-high 18 digs.

The Rainbow Wahine out-hit Long Beach State for the match, .233-to-.148 and UH outblocked LBSU, 12.0-to-9.0. Hawai’i has won their last seven-straight road conference matches dating back to last season. UH’s last road loss was a five set heartbreaker at Long Beach State last season on Oct. 8.

This match between the longtime rivals was the first time since 1984 that it wasn’t UH’s former head coach Dave Shoji and LBSU’s former head coach Brian Gimmillaro were not on the sidelines with their respective teams. Between the two legendary coaches, they had 2,037 combined career wins (Shoji – 1,202 / Gimmillaro – 835); seven combined NCAA titles (Shoji – 4 / Gimmillaro – 3); eight National Coach of the Year awards (Shoji – 5 / Gimmillaro – 3); and 74 combined years as head coach (Shoji – 42 / Gimmillaro – 32).

The Rainbow Wahine will head up the I-405 to take on CSUN on Saturday, October 14 at 4:00 p.m. HT.


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