MALIBU, Calif. – Despite a strong effort, the No. 5 University of Hawaii beach volleyball fell just short in 3-2 loss to No. 2 Pepperdine Wednesday at Zuma Beach. The Rainbow Wahine dropped to 15-3 and saw its four-match win streak snapped.
The Waves, meanwhile, improved to 13-1 with their ninth straight win. It didn't come easy though as UH took Pepperdine to the limit. The Waves entered the match having lost just three of their last 83 sets played. UH took five sets on this day, including wins on the No. 1 and No. 5 courts. In the end though, Pepperdine hung on to defeat UH for the eighth time in nine all-time meetings.
Pepperdine got on the board first with a 21-11, 21-19 straight set win by Anika Wilson and Deahna Kraft over Ari Homayun and Carly Kan at the No. 4 court. It marked just the third loss in 18 matches this year for the UH duo of Homayun and Kan.
UH evened it up shortly after on Court 5 as Norene Iosia and Hannah Zalopany outlasted Gigi Hernandez and Kaity Bailey 21-19, 28-30, 15-11 in the tightest match of the day. It marked the first time in nine matches that the Waves dropped a point, while UH handed Hernandez and Bailey their first loss of the year (7-1).
Skylar Caputo and Heidi Dyer put the Waves up 2-1 after doing what not many opponents have done all year—defeat Emily Maglio and Laurel Weaver. Cupto and Dyer won in straight sets, 21-15, 21-16, as Maglio and Weaver (16-2) suffered just their second setback this year.
The pivotal match came on Court 2. Brittany Howard and Corinne Quiggle came back from a set down to defeat winning Nikki Taylor and Ka'iwi Schuchtt (UH) 14-21, 21-14, 15-9 to clinch the third and decisive point of the match.
UH ended the day on a high note at the top of the lineup as Morgan Martin and Mikayla Tucker continued their hot streak. The pair took down Delaney Knudsen and Madalyn Roh, 26-24, 12-21, 15-11, for UH's second point of the day and the duos 10th win in the last 12 matches.
The teams will meet again in Honoulu when UH hosts Pepperdine in a pair of dual matches on April 7 and 8 at the Clarence T.C. Ching Complex. The Rainbow Wahine will conclude its Southern California road trip in Huntington Beach for four matches in the Big West Challenge, April 1-2.
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