HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – Opening up competition on Friday, the No. 5 and top-seeded University of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine beach volleyball squad dominated Cal Poly, 5-0 in the inaugural Big West Beach Volleyball Championship semifinals at the Beach Blvd. Courts in Huntington Beach, Calif. commonly called Surf City.
The 'SandBows' won 10-of-11 sets played in the dual with fifth-seeded Cal Poly, taking it to the Mustangs early and often. Top-seeded Katie Spieler and Emily Maglio dismantled their counterparts in convincing fashion 21-4, 21-9. Defending Big West Pairs Team of the Week, the No. 2 tandem of Nikki Taylor and Ka'iwi Schuct, picked up where they left off winning in straight sets 21-12, 21-12. UH's Lara Schreiber and Hannah Zalopany locked in the No. 3 victory, 21-16, 21-13, and Mikayla Tucker and Ginger Long dominated at No. 5 in a 21-18, 21-6 victory. No. 4 pair Hannah Rooks and Ari Homayun stumbled early in a 19-21 first set, but rebounded strong to win 21-11 in the second and 15-9 in the decisive third set.
Friday's win sets up another showdown with conference rival No. 7 and second-seeded Long Beach State in the winners bracket at 9:00 a.m. PT (6:00 a.m. HT) on Saturday at Huntington Beach. Hawai'i has twice defeated the 49ers this season including a 4-1 victory in last weekend's Outrigger Resorts Aloha Invitational at Queen's Beach. The tournament final is set for 1:30 p.m. PT (10:30 p.m. HT) on Saturday, as the SandBows look to hoist the championship trophy as first-ever Big West Champions.