The University of Hawai'i women's volleyball team held off Team Osaka in a five set win on Tuesday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. Three Rainbow Wahine recorded double-digit kills—McKenna Granato, Emily Maglio, and Kirsten Sibley—to lead Hawai'i to a win in its first of three spring matches scheduled for this season.
Hawai'i cruised in the first winning 25-15, but in the second set, UH trailed by as much as seven points at 14-7 before winning the last 18-of-24 points to take the second set, 25-20. Team Osaka then took control to win the third and fourth sets to force a race to 15 points in the fifth set. In the fifth frame, UH took control early and never trailed.
McKenna Granato recorded a double-double in the win putting down a team-high 18 kills with 10 digs. Granato also had four blocks in the match. Emily Maglio added 17 kills and hit a match-high .625 with just one error in 29 attacks. Maglio also rejected a match-high eight blocks (two solo, six block assists). Kirsten Sibley buried 10 kills with two blocks and Casey Castillo had seven blocks with eight kills.
Setter Norene Iosia had a souble-double with 48 assists and 10 digs with a block and five kills. Both libero Savanah Kahakai and defensive specialist Emma Smith had a team-high 14 digs apiece to lead Hawai'i.
All 14 players who were suited up played in the match with recent transfer Treyanna-Lee Freitas (Kekaulike HS/Washington State) making her first appearance in the Green and White, playing in four sets and redshirt freshman Rika Okino also seeing time on the court in one frame.
Team Osaka was led by Rina Takeo who recorded 24 kills in 77 attempts. She also had a double-double with 10 digs plus two blocks. Three other Osaka players had double-digit kills—Ai Tsunada and Rena Hatakenaka both had 12 kills and Hazuki Nakamoto tallied 11 kills. Tsunada also had 19 digs and Natsumi Kawaguchi had a match-high 23 digs.It marked a new era for Rainbow Wahine volleyball as retired head coach Dave Shoji was not on the bench leading his charges for the first time in 42 years. Associate head coach Jeff Hall and assistant coach Kaleo Baxter are leading the Rainbow Wahine before newly hired head coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos moves back to Hawai'i.
The Rainbow Wahine will next take on Minnesota in their second spring match on March 16 followed by Kansas on March 21. Both matches are slated to start at 7:00 p.m.
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