Nikki Taylor had a match-high 15 kills, Tai Manu-Olevao added 11 more, and the No. 12 University of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine volleyball team handed Cal State Northridge its most lopsided defeated of the Big West season on Senior Night at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-19, 25-20, 25-21.
A Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 9,458 saw the 'Bows (22-4, 11-3 BWC) pull even in the loss column with the Matadors. Both teams trail UC Santa Barbara who controls its own destiny in winning the conference.
Natalie Allen was the leading hitter for the Matadors (22-6, 12-3 BWC), putting down 11 kills and hitting at a .429 clip.
The sweep was a welcomed result after the 'Bows dropped their first meeting with CSUN, a five-set heartbreaker in California. UH cruised through the first two sets but had to fight tooth and nail to complete the sweep. Hawai'i trailed by two points on multiple occasions down the stretch, but closed the set on a 7-1 run to seal the win. A pair of monstrous kills by both Taylor and Kalei Adolpho (9 kills, 3 blks) ignited the comeback for the 'Bows.
Manu-Olevao had it going in on in the early going of the opening set, scoring three of UH's first five points. A kill and a block by Adolpho then extended the UH lead to 14-10 and the 'Bows ran away with the win.
Taylor kicked it into high gear to help the 'Bows to a fast start to set two. UH opened up a 7-3 lead then, to the delight of the crowd, Mita Uiato put down a solo block on the right side to give her team an 11-6 lead. CSUN made a late run but it wasn't enough to stop the 'Bows from taking a two-set lead.
The Rainbow Wahine finish the regular season on the road next week when they travel to UC Riverside (Nov. 29) and Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 30). Both start times are set for 7:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. HT).
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