The No. 14 University of Hawai'i women's volleyball team (4-3, 0-0 Big West) opened the Outrigger Resorts Wahine Volleyball Classic with a sweep over Utah Valley (3-5, 0-0 WAC), 25-18, 25-21, 25-8. The Rainbow Wahine had four players in double-figure kills while Savanah Kahakai led UH with 10 digs on Thursday night in the Stan Sheriff Center.
Hawai'i's quartet of double-digit hitters was led by Nikki Taylor who buried 12 kills. She hit .250 for the night with six errors in 24 attacks. Taylor also recorded an ace, two blocks and seven digs. Both McKenna Granato and Kirsten Sibley added 11 kills. Granato hit .333 with three errors in 24 swings while Sibley hit a career-high .529 with just two errors in 17 attacks. Middle hitter Emily Maglio was also super efficient, hitting a season-high .769 with 10 kills and no errors. She had three digs and along with Taylor had two blocks.
Norene Iosia, Casey Castillo and McKenna Ross all came into the match in the third set and gave the team a lift of energy that allowed them to runaway with the third set, 25-8. It was the most lopsided set win since UH defeated UC Riverside on the road 25-5 in the third set on Oct. 3, 2015. Castillo, a middle hitter, came off the bench to tie her career-high hitting .667 with four kills, no errors, on six swings. Ross, who is an outside hitter, was a perfect 3-for-3 in kills.
For Kahakai, it was the sixth time in seven matches that she's recorded at least 10 digs. She passed the 700 dig mark tonight as she entered the match with 692. Kahakai also added an ace.
The setting duties were split with Tayler Higgins playing the first two sets while Iosia came in the third frame. Higgins dished out 26 assists and had seven digs and a block while Iosia had 12 assists with a pair of digs.
As a team in the final set, the 'Bows had a season-high in sideout percentage converting 8-of-9 sideout opportunies for an 88% to Utah Valley's 29% in the final frame. Overall, Hawai'i out-hit Utah Valley .438-to-.192 in hitting percentage and 54-to-24 in kills. UH also had 40 digs to UVU's 23. The Wolverines however out-blocked the 'Bows 8.0-to-3.0.
Hawai'i continues play in the Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge on Friday night. UH will take on Northern Illinois at 7:00 pm following the Utah Valley vs. No. 6 Washington match which begins at 4:45 pm.
Hawaii Athletics Release
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