HONOLULU (HawaiiAthletics) - Jane Croson had a season-high 21 kills and Jade Vorster poured in six blocks, and the No. 9 University of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine volleyball team handed San Diego State its first loss (22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-15) on Friday in the Verizon Volleyball Challenge at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Ali Longo led the 'Bows with 22 digs and Emily Hartong added nine kills and seven digs. Summer Nash for SDSU equaled Croson for match-high honors with 21 kills and Andrea Hannasch added 10 kills and five blocks.
It was an inauspicious start for UH (6-1), as the Aztecs (5-1) rallied for a 25-22 win in the opening set. The 'Bows led by three or more points on eight occasions and eventually pulled ahead 17-13. SDSU then mounted a comeback and after Hannasch and Chaiymin Steel blocked a Croson attack, the Aztecs had pulled even at 18-18. They later ran off three straight points to take a 23-20 lead and control of the set.
SDSU carried the momentum into the second set, winning the first five points of the frame. The 'Bows mounted a rally of their own and took the lead midway through the set at 14-13 on a Croson kill. With the score tied 18-18 and Hawai'i facing a possible two-set hole, a pair of Aztec errors and kills by Hartong and Kaela Goodman (6 kills, 4 blocks) helped UH even the match as the two teams headed to the locker room for the intermission.
The Aztecs had another fast start after the two teams returned to the court. They led 8-2 but the 'Bows again rallied and controlled the match for the remainder of the evening. Leading 17-12, UH put the match away when a Vorster kill gave her team a 20-13 lead as the 'Bows coasted to the win. Hawai'i took care of business in set four with a 25-15 drumming.
In the opening match of the tournament, No. 3 UCLA swept Idaho, 25-16, 25-13, 25-13.
The tournament continues on Saturday when the 'Bows take on former Western Athletic Conference foe Idaho at 7:00 p.m. The match will be preceded by UCLA and San Diego State at 5:00 p.m.