Rainbow Wahine sweep Fullerton, showdown with Cal Poly looms

Robyn Ah Mow-Santos

HONOLULU—The University of Hawai’i womens’s volleyball team notched its second sweep of the weekend as it defeated Cal State Fullerton, 27-25, 25-11, 25-14 on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Wahine were led by the one-two punch of McKenna Granato and Emily Maglio on offense while libero Savanah Kahakai anchored the defense and passed the 1,300 career dig mark. Hawai’i improved to 15-6 overall and 9-1 in conference, while the Titans fell to 4-18 overall and 0-9 in the Big West.

Granato led Hawai’i with 15 kills as she hit .303 (15-5-33) in the three-set match. It marked the ninth time in the last 10 matches and 15th time overall that Granato has hit double-digits in kills this season. She tied her career-high with three blocks and had four digs against the Titans.

Maglio recorded 13 kills while hitting a match-high, .619 with no errors on 21 attacks. It was the fourth time this year that Maglio has not committed a hitting error in a match. She now has 17 double-digit kill matches this season—including 11 of the last 12. It also was the 18th time this year that she’s led the ‘Bows in blocks.

Kahakai had a match-high 19 digs and was just one dig shy of recording her fifth 20-dig match this year. She now has 17 double-digit dig matches this year, including the last 11 straight. Kahakai also chipped in with three assists. She is now just three digs away from tying former UH standout Tara Hittle with 1,315 digs to rank No. 4 on the UH all-time dig list. Kahakai finished the night with 1,312 career digs. She has 311 total digs in her senior season alone.

Norene Iosia posted her team-leading 12th double-double of the year with a match-high 35 assists to go with 10 digs. She also had a hand in two blocks and had one service ace during a 10-point scoring run in the second set.

The first set was extremely tight with 15 ties and eight lead changes. UH got some breathing room late, going on a 5-to-1 run to take a 22-19 lead. But the Titans would fight their way back as they went on a 4-to-0 run to take a crack at set point with a 24-23 lead. Hawai’i however closed out the frame on a 4-to-1 run for the comeback win, 27-25.

In the second set, UH jumped out to a quick lead and never took their foot off the gas. Scoring runs behind the serving of Kendra Koelsch, Iosia and Faith Ma’afala allowed the ‘Bows to cruise to capture Set 2, 25-11. Behind Iosia’s jump serve, UH scored 10 straight points in the middle of the set.

Hawai’i led from the get-go in Set 3 and never allowed the Titans to take the lead to win, 25-14. Granato blasted seven of her match-high 15 kills with just one error for a .545 hitting percentage in the third set alone. UH gradually pulled away for their 10th sweep of the year.

Cal State Fullerton’s Madeline Schneider had a team-high 11 kills and Aniya Henry had a team-high four blocks to lead the Titans.

Hawai’i will now head off on a pivotal third roadtrip. The ‘Bows will battle league leader Cal Poly on Friday, Oct. 27 followed by a match at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Oct. 28.

#HawaiiWVB

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