Rallying for the second straight night against a top 10 team to a fourth set, Santa Clara couldn't hold on in the end and fell 3-1 at No. 9 Hawaii. SCU is 2-3 and Hawaii is 4-1. Hawaii won the match 25-23, 25-15, 25-27 and 25-17. Santa Clara closes out the tournament with an 8 pm Pacific match vs. New Mexico State on Saturday night.
"We are hungry for a win and excited to play New Mexico State tomorrow night. We want to leave Hawaii with a win," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace.
With the win over Santa Clara, Hawaii head coach Dave Shoji - in his 39th season leading the Rainbow Wahine - passed former UCLA coach Andy Banachowski for the most wins in NCAA Division I women's volleyball history with 1,107 wins.
Santa Clara hit .188 with 47 kills (20 e, 144 att.). The Broncos collected 45 digs, 41 assists, 6.5 team blocks, four service aces and 12 service errors. Hawaii hit .250 with 50 kills (19 e, 124 att.). UH collected 55 digs, 45 assists, nine team blocks, four service aces and two service errors.
SCU was led by Nikki Hess who collected 17 kills, hitting .261 (5 e, 46 att.). Megan Anders hit .300 with 13 kills (4 e, 30 att.). Taylor Milton had six kills and 10 digs. Alyssa Anderson collected 22 assists, three digs and two aces. GiGi Cresto had 13 assists and seven digs.
"I feel good about the match," said Wallace. "I am not happy where we are at, but we competed better than we did yesterday and better than last week. We have to execute better. We have to play and be committed to our brand of volleyball. We have to execute and trust it."
Hawaii was led by Emily Hartong who scored 13 digs and 17 kills, but hit just .184 (8 e, 49 att.). Jade Vorster and Kalei Adolpho both collected seven kills each. Mita Uiato had 36 assists, two aces and nine digs.
The Broncos went up early 6-2 in the first set. Anders and Milton both terminated the ball to put SCU up 8-3. Hawaii then scored 15 of the next 20 points to take a commanding 18-12 lead. SCU called for time to regroup. The Broncos then rallied to score four of the next six points to pull within two, 20-17 UH on kills by Anders and Hess and a couple Rainbow errors. The teams traded points twice as UH took a 23-18 lead. The Broncos scored on a kill by Maddie Cannon, Hess and Anders and an ace by Anderson to pull within one, 23-22. Trading points, Hess' kill brought SCU again within one, 24-23. But Hartong's kill gave UH the first set, winning 25-23. Hawaii hit .282 with 18 kills (7 e, 39 att.). SCU hit .263 with 13 kills (3 e, 38 att.).
Tied 1-1 in the second set, Hawaii got more comfortable in the second set and rallied to score nine of the next 12 points to take a 10-4 lead. During the rally, SCU called for time. UH scored four of the next six points to push the lead to 14-6. A kill by Anders stopped the rally, but Nikki Taylor started another with her own termination and UH scored on an attack error by Cannon, 16-7 UH. Anders again stepped up big for a kill to grab the Bronco sideout. Trading sideouts again, UH took command at 17-8 on a kill by Manu-Olevao. Sideout Broncos with another Anders kill, her seventh of the night. Haley Cameron scored a kill but a UH team block gave UH the ball up 18-11. UH scored three of the next five to advance its lead to 21-12. Timeout Broncos. Cameron and Hess snared kills before back-to-back Jade Vorster kills put Hawaii within two points of winning the second set. A kill by Anders was followed by two straight Bronco hitting errors to give Hawaii set two 25-15. UH hit .333 with 18 kills in the second set (3 e, 30 att.). SCU hit .049 with 11 kills (9 e, 41 att.).
The teams were tied five times in the early going in set three. A kill by Cameron and another by Hess made it 11-9 Broncos. A ace by Anderson and a kill by Anders made it 13-10 SCU, but UH scored twice before Anderson dumped the ball to put SCU up 14-12. The teams traded points twice, including a kill by Anders, to put SCU up 16-14. A kill by Kaela Goodman was followed by two straight kills by Katherine Douglas, 18-15 Broncos. Timeout Hawaii. Hawaii scored three straight on two kills and a team block, knotting it up 18-18. Hess scored two kills between Hawaii points to knot it 20-20. A kill by Cannon and a bad set by Uiato gave SCU 22-20 lead. Timeout Hawaii. Anderson served it wide and then Hartong's 14th kill tied it up 22-22. Both set by Anderson, Hess and Anders scored back-to-back kills for set point. Anders attack went wide to pull UH within one, 24-23 Broncos. A kill by Milton gave the Broncos set three 27-25. SCU hit .268 with 17 kills (6 e, 41 att.). Hawaii hit .200 with 10 kills (4 e, 30 att.).
"Game three was very similiar to game one. In game one they made plays and in game three we made plays. We had a chance to win both of those games," said Wallace.
Set four started out with ties at 1, 2 and 3 before an error by Hartong, back-to-back errors by Adolpho and ace by Cresto put SCU up 7-3. Timeout Hawaii. An attack error by Manu-Olevao was followed by her own kill. Hartong's hitting error (8th of match) gave SCU the sideout and a 9-4 lead. A Bronco setting error and an Ali Longo kill made it 9-6 Broncos (then stats went out online for 5 minutes). Milton's service error and Cresto's attack error put UH up 17-14. Milton crushed the ball for the Bronco sideout. Adolpho scored her seventh kill of the night, but Hess answered with her 16th of the match to make it 18-16 UH. Down 19-17 after a kill by Hess, UH closed out the match 25-17 with six straight points. UH hit .160 with 9 kills in the fourth set (5 e, 25 att.). SCU hit .167 with 6 kills (2 e, 24 att.).
"We made some really nice plays and then got stuck in a rotation that let them back in," said Wallace. "In game four, up 9-6, we were doing good things and then Hawaii made a mini-run and the crowd got into it and they overcame us."