LAS VEGAS – The University of Hawai‘i advanced to the championship match of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament following a 25-11, 25-21, 25-16 victory over Idaho, Tuesday at The Orleans Arena in front of a pro-Hawaii crowd of 2,484.
The Rainbow Wahine (28-1), winners of their last 23 matches, extended their WAC Tournament win streak to 30 dating back to 1998 and advance to their 13th championship match. UH also won its 19th consecutive match in straight sets and extended its set win streak to 62.
Kanani Danielson led Hawai'i with a match-high 18 kills along with 11 digs for her 10th double-double of the season. The junior also hit .357, had a team-high three blocks and served one of the team's three aces in the match. Chanteal Satele hammered 13 kills with no errors in 21 attempts for a .619 hitting percentage. Libero Elizabeth Ka‘aihue had a match-high 22 digs.
As a team, UH hit .381 while limiting the Vandals (14-15) to .150. Alicia Milo had 12 kills and 10 digs to lead Idaho.
The Rainbow Wahine jumped all over the Vandals in Set 1 with an 8-3 lead. UH extended its advantage to 20-7 following a 9-1 run which included three kills each by Satele and Danielson. Hawai‘i finished off the Vandals and captured the set, 25-11 while hitting .412 with 16 kills and only two errors.
Idaho battled tough in Set 2 closing to one at 16-15. The Vandals tied it at 20 until UH answered with a Danielson kill, Brittany Hewitt service ace, and an Idaho hitting error for a 23-20 advantage. After a Vandal kill, Danielson helped close out the set with a block and her 11th kill.
In Set 3, the Rainbow Wahine scored seven of the first nine points forcing Idaho to burn its first timeout. After another four point run, UH led 11-2 and the Vandals used both timeouts. Down 15-5, Idaho closed to within 18-12 but that would as close as they would get as the Rainbow Wahine won 25-16.
UH will meet Utah State in Wednesday's championship match. USU upset second-seeded New Mexico State, 25-23, 20-25, 25-21, 22-25, 16-14 to advance to its for championship match since 2005.