Higgins sets ace record as Hawaii takes out New Mexico in four

Higgins sets ace record as Hawaii takes out New Mexico in four

HONOLULU - Tayler Higgins set a new UH ace record, Tai Manu-Olevao belted a career-high 17 kills and the No. 20 University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine volleyball team powered past New Mexico on Thursday night in the Hawaii Airlines Rainbow Wahine Volleyball Classic. Set scores were 24-26, 25-18, 25-11, 25-17.

The 'Bows (3-1) recovered from a sluggish first set to win convincingly. Higgins recorded eight aces on the night, setting a new Rainbow Wahine rally scoring record for aces in a four-set match. Manu-Olevao hit .229 on 48 swings in her personal best performance while also recording eight digs and three blocks.

Chantele Riddle led the Lobos (2-2) with 11 kills and Ashley Kelsey recorded a match-high 18 digs.

UNM jumped on the 'Bows in the first set, scoring six of the first seven points and forcing a UH timeout. After making several runs throughout the set, the 'Bows rallied to take a 21-20 lead on a Manu-Olevao kill. The lead wouldn't stand though as back-to-back kills and a block from Riddle capped a 6-1 Lobo run to end the set.

It was all Rainbow Wahine from then on. Back-to-back aces from Higgins helped UH grab an early 5-2 lead in set two. Later, Olivia Magill (11 kills, 7 blocks) buried three kills over a six-point stretch to give Hawaii a 19-14 lead, and Kalei Greeley punctuated the second-set win with one of her seven kills. Greeley also added 10 digs.

The 'Bows fired on all cylinders in a dominating set three win, hitting an impressive .444. The Rainbow Wahine scored the first five points of the set then extended to an eight-point lead before running away with the win. In the fourth set, the 'Bows and Lobos battled back and forth before a Magill kill and a Higgins ace ignited an 8-2 run and UH won going away.

The tournament continues on Friday when UH faces No. 22 Oregon at 7:30 p.m. St. John's and New Mexico will play the opening match of the evening at 5:00 p.m.