HONOLULU - The No. 5 University of Hawai'i beach volleyball team won its first two matches on the second day of the Outrigger Hawaii Invitational before falling to top-ranked USC in the tournament finale Saturday at Queen's Beach.
UH defeated Utah, 5-0, and No. 7 Arizona, 3-2, to start the day but couldn't stop the Trojans (11-0) who captured the tournament title with a 4-1 victory over the Rainbow Wahine (11-2). The Trojans, who went 5-0 on the weekend, extended it NCAA record-win streak to 41 straight matches while the top pair of Sara Hughes and Kelley Claes remained undefeated in its last 84 matches.
In the first match of the day, UH blanked Utah (1-9) in the first-ever meeting between the programs. UH cruised to straight set wins at flights 2, 4, and 5 to clinch the match, but needed to go the distance on the final two courts to secure the shutout.
In the second match of the day, UH took down Arizona 3-2. It marked the second time this season the SandBows defeated the Wildcats (6-5) after winning 5-0 in Tucson on March 3. UH scored the first three points of the match, before the Wildcats took courts No. 1 and No. 5 in straight sets.
UH entered the day's finale vs. USC with a chance to capture a share of the tournament title. But USC turned back the SandBows by winning the first four points, including a 15-21, 21-11, 15-10 win by Allie Wheeler and Sophie Bukovec over Nikki Taylor and Kaiwi Schucht at the No. 2 flight. It marked the first loss this season for Taylor and Schucht who won 12 straight matches to start the year.
UH's lone point against came when Emily Maglio and Laurel Weaver took down Nicolette Martin and Terese Cannon, 21-10, 21-23, 15-7, at the No. 3 flight. Maglio and Weaver improved to 12-1 on the year with the win.
The SandBows return to the court on Monday, March 20 when they host Nebraska in a dual match at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex. Flights 3-5 will begin competition starting a 4:00 p.m. while flights 1 and 2 follow at 7:00 p.m.
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