December 2, 2023

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Women’s Volleyball Downs UC Santa Barbara to Claim First Place in Big West

HONOLULU—The University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team (11-6, 9-1 Big West) ended the first round by claiming sole position in The Big West with a four-set victory over UC Santa Barbara (12-7, 8-2 BW) on Saturday at the SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center. Junior Riley Wagoner and Amber Igiede combined for 30 of UH’s 54 kills while Kendra Ham recorded a career-high 18 digs and put down the final kill to end the match.
Wagoner was a catalyst in the win, leading Hawai’i with her fourth double-double of the season with 17 kills and 13 digs. She hit just shy of .300 with three errors on 48 swings for a .292 hitting percentage. It marked her 12th double-digit kill match and her fifth 10+ dig match of the season.
Igiede’s 13 kills was her 16th-straight double-digit kill match. She was in on four blocks and tied her season-high with eight digs.
Setter Kate Lang finished a dig-shy of a double-double with 41 assists and nine digs. She also had a pair of aces and tied her season-high with three blocks.
Defensive/serving specialist Ham recorded nine of her 18 digs in the fourth set alone. It was her second-straight match with double-digit digs and the sixth of the season. She has posted 10+ digs in three of the last four matches.
With the scored tied at 9-9 in the first set, Hawai’i went on a 5-to-1 scoring run jump out to a 14-10 lead. The Rainbow Wahine would lead by as many as five at 20-15. The Gauchos would score three to trail by just two points at 20-18. But after a UH timeout. Back-to-back Igiede kills extended UH’s lead to 22-18. Hawai’i would take Set 1, 25-21.
In Set 2, UCSB went on a 4-0 run to take an early 4-2 lead. The Gauchos would hold the lead until UH see-sawed into the lead at 8-7 to start a 5-to-1 run resulting in an 11-8 lead. The two teams would trade three point runs as the lead swung back and forth. UCSB would close out Set 2 on an 8-to-1 run—propelled by a combination of six UH errors to win Set 2, 25-20 to even the match at 1-1.
Hawai’i held the lead until UCSB went in front for a single point at 8-7. UH would retake the lead at 9-8 and would not look back. UCSB would trail by just one at 15-14, but UH would then score four-straight points to go up 19-14. The Rainbow Wahine would score six of the last eight to win Set 3, 25-18 and lead the match 2-1.
The Rainbow Wahine went on an early 5-0 run with Igiede serving and making diving digs in the back row as UH took an 8-3 lead. The ‘Bows would lead by as many as six, but UCSB would start rallying and close to within two points at 20-18. The Gauchos saved two match points, but Ham entered the front row for one play—which she ended by putting down the cross-court kill to end the match.
Hawai’i had a 54-to-50 advantage in kills;  52-to-47 edge in assists; and 4-to-3 lead in aces. The Gauchos out-dug UH , 67-66 and ended up out blocking the ‘Bows, 10.0-to-8.0.
UC Santa Barbara was led by Michelle Ohwobete’s match-high 18 kills. Macall Peed posted a match-high 20 digs whiele Deni Wilson was in on four blocks.
Early week for the Rainbow Wahine  as they hit the road to begin the second round. The ‘Bows will travel to face UC Riverside on Thursday and have a day between before taking on UC Davis.