HONOLULU – In its final home match of the season, the No. 5 University of Hawai'i beach volleyball team defeated Saint Mary's with a 4-1 decision in the First Foundation Easter Classic Saturday at Queen's Beach. UH improved to 23-5 on the season with its fifth straight win and its eighth victory in its last nine matches.
After blanking the Gaels (16-8) on the first day of the Classic, the Rainbow Wahine put out another strong performance with straight set victories on four of five courts. In the last flight of the day, Lindsey Knudsen and Payton Rund picked up the Gaels' lone point by turning the tables on Morgan Martin and Mikayla Tucker with a 16-21, 21-18, 15-9 victory. Martin and Tucker defeated Knudsen and Rund in three sets on Friday.
Similar to Friday's action, UH clinched the match before the top two flights hit the court, with sweeps on courts 3, 4, and 5. Amy Ozee and Hannah Zalopany made quick work of Alex O'Sullivan and Madi Wilkerson (21-13, 21-11) to start the day at the No. 5 flight.
Meanwhile Carly Kan and Ari Homayun won their 10th straight match and improved to 25-3 on the season with a 21-7, 21-17 win over Alexsa Parker and Sienna Young at the No. 4 position. Moments after that win, Emily Maglio and Laurel Weaver also improved to 25-3 on the year via a 21-18, 21-15 win over Lindsey Calvin and Mary Hernandez at the No. 3 flight.
A day after a three-set battle at the No. 2 flight, Ka'iwi Schucht and Nikki Taylor had a much easier time on Saturday with a 21-15, 21-16 straight-set win over Emily Bible and Sarah Chase. Taylor now has 101 overall wins and is just one win away from tying Katie Spieler for the UH all-time mark.
UH will have next weekend off before traveling to Pismo Beach, Calif., where they will defend their 2016 Big West title at the Big West Championship, April 28-29. The winner of the Big West Championship will earn the automatic berth to the NCAA Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala., May 5-7.