SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Nikki Taylor had 12 kills, Tai Manu-Olevao added 11 more, and the No. 12 University of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine volleyball team kicked off a pivotal Big West Conference road trip with a 25-16, 25-19, 25-19 win at Cal Poly on Friday night.
Emily Hartong contributed nine kills and 11 digs for the 'Bows (19-4, 8-3 BWC) who complete the season sweep over Cal Poly. Kalei Adolpho hit an impressive .429 (8-2-14) to lead the Rainbow Wahine (.280) to their best hitting performance since a .405 clip against the very same Mustangs nearly a month ago at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Hannah Schleis had seven kills to lead Cal Poly who falls to 10-13 overall and 4-6 in conference.
The 'Bows comfortably won the opening two sets but were anything but handed the victory in set three. They built an early 7-2 lead and looked prime to finish off the Mustangs, but Cal Poly rallied and tied the set at 13-13 off a Nicole Kessler kill. The two teams traded points down the stretch before a pair of kills each by Taylor and Manu-Olevao spearheaded a 6-0 Hawai'i run that closed the door on the Mustangs and completed the sweep.
UH took a 4-0 lead in the first set off a pair of Manu-Olevao kills, and Adolpho later drilled a couple Mita Uiato sets to push the lead to 15-7. The Mustangs put together a 4-0 run to cut into the Rainbow Wahine lead, but UH responded with a spurt of its own to regain the momentum and cruise to the first set win.
Set two saw the 'Bows net the first five points and temper several Mustang runs before posting a comfortable six-point win. UH scored six of the set's first seven points but Cal Poly didn't crumble and cut the lead to two points off a Schleis kill. The Mustangs remained in striking distance but a 6-1 Hawai'i run, led by a block and a pair of Manu-Olevao kills, pushed the lead to 19-11 as UH cruised to the win.
The 'Bows next visit UC Santa Barbara on Saturday as both teams try and keep pace with first place Cal State Northridge. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. PT (4:30 p.m. HT).
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