Manoa, HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The ninth ranked Rainbow Wahine volleyball team came out fired up against third ranked UCLA but couldn't maintain the heat, falling to the Bruins in four sets (30-28, 16-25, 17-25, 21-25) in the championship match of the Verizon Volleyball Challenge, Saturday.
The first set was a see-saw affair and featured nine ties and six match points. Jane Croson racked up five kills in the frame, including a booming blast from the 3-meter line to give UH a 27-26 advantage.
Hawaii's Mita Uitao was charged with a service error on the following serve, but the junior redeemed herself with a perfect back set to outside hitter Emily Hartong who slammed down one of her seven kills in the frame, giving the Bows a 28-27 lead.
And while Hartong would send the ensuing serve into the net, UCLA responded with a service error of their own and a hitting error by Tabi Love whose cross court swing from the right side went wide, giving UH the set 30-28.
An emotional UH squad seemed drained from there on out.
UCLA jumped out to a nine point lead in the second frame before eventually winning 25-16. In the third, Hawaii failed to find their rhythm on offense, hitting .169 on the night, dropping the frame 25-17.
Hawaii played inspired ball late in the fourth set, scoring three straight points to close the gap 24-21. The night ended with a jump serve by Jane Croson that found Hawaii's side of the net, giving UCLA the set 25-21 and the match in four sets.
Hawaii will take the next week off from competitive play (although UH will play in it's alumni game on September 14th) and returns to action on September 19th when it hits the road for three matches, beginning with Cal State Northridge.