The No. 15 University of Hawai'i women's volleyball team (1-2, 0-0 Big West) continues their non-conference schedule this week as they host the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic, Sept. 1-3, 2016. Coming to the Stan Sheriff Center this week are Missouri State (2-1, 0-0 MVC), Pacific (2-1 0-0 WCC), and No. 8 UCLA (3-0, 0-0 PAC-12).
Nikki Taylor was a limited participant in practice Tuesday, just 10 days after dislocating her elbow in a scrimmage. Head coach Dave Shoji said the senior All-American will practice fully on Wednesday and is cleared to play Thursday.
The Rainbow Wahine fell nine spots in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll after starting the season for just the fifth time in program history, and first time since 2005, with a pair of losses before battling back to defeat Arizona in five sets in last week's Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational's finale. Just like in 2005 when the 'Bows fell to Nebraska (Big 12) and Penn State (Big Ten) then went on to defeat Pac-12's USC. This year, UH fell to a Big Ten (Wisconsin) and a Big 12 school (Kansas State) before edging out Arizona for the exciting win.
Sophomore outside hitter McKenna Granato improved in each match last week, culminating with a career-high 33-kill performance against Arizona. It was the most kills since Emily Hartong buried 33 against Long Beach State in 2012. Granato recorded her 33 kills with just five errors in 61 attacks for a career-high .459 hitting percentage in her epic performance.
Savanah Kahakai once again anchored the backline with three, 20+ dig matches. She tied her career-high twice with 23 digs against both Wisconsin and Arizona. Kahakai picked up right where she left off last season as the leader of the defense.
Junior Emily Maglio held down the fort in the middle, posting 32 kills with a .300 hitting percentage for the week. She also saw action all the way around the rotation for the first time in her Rainbow Wahine career as UH was missing both Nikki Taylor and Annie Mitchem due to injuries.
Five out of UH's six rookies also saw action in the first week. Norene Iosia came in relief at setter in the first two matches but got her first collegiate start against Arizona. She finished the week with 100 assists and reeled off eight service aces—including three-straight at one point against Arizona. Her .80 aces per set leads the Big West. Outside hitter Kirsten Sibley led UH on the opening night posting a team-high 13 kills against No. 4 Wisconsin. But it was freshman McKenna Ross who made the biggest impact against Arizona. The defensive specialist slid over to start the third set with UH already down 0-2 in the match. She brought instant energy and offense finishing the match with seven kills and just one error. UH's two McKenna's (Granato and Ross) combined for 40 kills and just six errors in 75 swings for a .533 combined hitting percentage. The 40 kills also accounted for 60% of Hawai'i's kills as the 'Bows had a total of 67 as a team.
Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic Schedule
Thursdaty, September 1
4:45 pm – UCLA vs. Pacific
7:00 pm – Hawai'i vs. Missouri State
Friday, September 2
4:45 pm – Missouri State vs. UCLA
7:00 p.m – Hawai'i vs. Pacific
Saturday, September 3
4:45 pm – Pacific vs. Missouri State
7:00 pm – Hawai'i vs. UCLA
Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic Information
When: Thursday, September 1 – Saturday, Sept. 3
Where: Honolulu, O'ahu (Stan Sheriff Center)
Television: OCSports (Oceanic Time Warner Cable Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD) –or- Hawaiian Telcom Channel 89 (SD) and 1089 (HD) will be broadcasting all Hawai'i matches of the tournament with Kanoa Leahey calling the play-by-play and Chris McLachlin providing color commentary. Scott Robbs, Lisa Strand-Ma'a, and Ryan Kalei Tsuji will be the talent for the pre and post-match shows.
Radio: ESPN 1420AM will be on the airwaves for all of the UH matches live with Tiff Wells handling the play-by-play.
Audio Webcast: Fans can listen to the UH matches online at espn1420am.com.
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com women's volleyball schedule page
Ticket Information: Tickets can be purchased at Stan Sheriff Center Box Office, online at HawaiiAthletics.com, or by phone at (808) 944-2697 (BOWS).
Promotions: Tournament-sponsor Hawaiian Airlines will distribute 200 collapsible fans one hour prior to each UH match. Also, Hawaiian Airlines will award 30,000 Hawaiian Miles during intermission of each UH match. There will be an autograph session with the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team following Thursday's match. Team posters will be provided for the autograph session while supplies last.
Series History: Hawai'i holds an 8-0 record against Missouri State with the most recent meeting coming in Honolulu on 9/9/04 in a four set win over the Bears. The 'Bows hold a 38-25 mark against Pacific—a long time rival when both teams were in the Big West. The last meeting came when UH rejoined the BWC in 2012. UH won both matches that season in five sets. The Tigers left to join the WCC the following year. UH and UCLA have a very tight rivalry. Hawai'i has a slim 37-36 advantage over the Bruins. Last year, one of UH's two losses came against UCLA. UH fell in four sets on 9/6/15.
Hawaii News Now
420 Waiakamilo Road, Suite 205
Honolulu, HI 96817
Main (808) 847-3246
News (808) 847-1112