HONOLULU (Courtesy: Hawaii Athletics) – The University of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine sand volleyball team hosted its second event of the season on another picturesque day at the Queen's Beach Sandbox in Waikiki. The Rainbow Wahine were once again dominate in the all-day event, sweeping Hawai'i Pacific in a team dual match, while Emily Hartong and Elizabeth Stoltzman captured the pairs championship later in the day.
The Rainbow Wahine defeated the Sea Warriors 5-0 in the morning dual match as all five courts won in straight sets. The top three UH squads were particularly strong. The No. 1 squad of Jane Croson and Ashley Lee demonstrated their top-flight ability, cruising past Natasha Bell and Kyra Pelayo, 21-9, 21-7. The No. 2 duo of Elizabeth Stoltzman and Emily Hartong cruised past Sanoe Recca and Chelsea Buyuan (21-7, 21-14), while Larissa Nordyke and Jade Vorster did the same against Haley Doerfler and Pihana Kea (21-6, 21-16) in the No. 3 flight.
A single-elimination championship bracket involving 16 seeded squads—seven from UH, five from HPU and four from Chaminade—took place following the dual match. After a couple rounds of action, three UH squads remained alive for the semifinals. HPU's 11-seeded squad of Christina Furrer and Hannah Schuett pulled off the biggest upset of the day, taking down No. 3 Nordyke and Vorster 23-21, 21-19 in the quarterfinals. The ride however ended abruptly for Furrer and Schuett in the semifinals where Hartong and Stotlzman dismantled them 21-4, 21-9.
Hartong and Stoltzman eventually met top-seeded Croson and Lee in the finals, a duo that won the highly-competitive North Florida Invitational less than a week ago. However, it was Hartong and Stoltzman who would take the title, rallying to score five of the final six points in the second set to win 21-12, 22-20. It was the second pairs title for the duo following a win in a 12-team bracket during the program's inaugural event last month.
UH will now complete its regular season on the road with the Beach Collegiate Challenge in Hermosa Beach, Calif., on April 14-15, followed by a pair of dual matches versus Long Beach State and Loyola Marymount on April 16. The Rainbow Wahine will then await word for a possible appearance in the AVCA National Championship in Alabama at the end of the month.