IRVINE, Calif. - Tai Manu-Olevao ripped a career-high 21 kills and the University of Hawaii women's volleyball team rallied from a two set deficit to beat UC Irvine 21-25, 22-25, 26-24, 25-18, 15-7 on Friday night at the Bren Center.
Tayler Higgins recorded a career-high 19 digs and Olivia Magill added 17 kills and nine blocks for the 'Bows (15-5, 7-2 Big West) who nearly fell victim to a sweep before staving off match point in the third set. UH trailed by four points late in the set before Kalei Greeley and Kalei Adolpho each got a kill and a block to tie the score at 21-21. UCI would get to set point though when Dennis Victoria's kill gave her team a 24-23 lead. Things quickly turned when kills by Adolpho and Manu-Olevao highlighted three straight points to give the 'Bows the win.
Allison Lee and Cassidy Pickrell both had 16 kills to lead the Anteaters who fall to 15-9 overall and 5-4 in conference. Arden Davis added a match-high 31 digs.
Nikki Taylor nearly had a triple-double for Hawaii, posting 10 kills, 12 digs, and eight blocks. Greeley had nine kills, 16 digs, and four blocks with Adolpho adding 10 kills and six blocks.
There would be no stopping the 'Bows after escaping the third set. Magill's kill gave UH a 13-8 lead in set four but the Anteaters responded to cut the lead to one point. Hawaii didn't break though as a pair of Greeley kills put the 'Bows ahead 19-14 and Manu-Olevao closed the door with back-to-back kills late in the set.
Set five proved to be no contest for the 'Bows who jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back. Taylor got a kill and a block to push the lead to 9-5 and two straight Magill kills put the set and match away.
Hawaii will have little time to rest though, as the 'Bows retake the court on Saturday at Cal State Fullerton. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m. PT (4:00 p.m. HT).