#14 Hawaii Rainbows Sweeps Utah Valley, Northern Illinois in Wahine Classic

  0 Kaitlynn Bianconi | September 10th, 2016 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News


The University of Hawaii Rainbows (14) swept the Northern Illinois Huskies (Mid-American Conference)  in straight sets in their second match of the Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge last night. Just hours after demolishing the Utah Valley Wolverines, the ‘Bows had a tough challenger in the Huskies during the first set of the match.

In the closest game of the tournament, Hawaii narrowly avoided dropping a set. They started strong with a 14-8 lead, but the Huskies pumped up their offense and fought to a 20-15 score. N. Illinois quickly tied the score 21-21 and continued staying neck-and-neck to force deuce, but they were unable to close. Hawaii ran away with the second and third sets, winning each by 10 points.


Courtesy of Hawaii Athletics

HONOLULU—The No. 14 University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team (5-3, 0-0 Big West) battled in the first set then pulled away in the second and third to sweep Northern Illinois, 26-24, 25-15, 25-15 on the second night of the Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge. Nikki Taylor led UH with a match-high 18 kills while Savanah Kahakai recorded 14 digs. Hawai’i’s two middles—Casey Castillo and Emily Maglio led the “UH Roofing Company” with five blocks apiece on Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Taylor hit .351 with just five errors in 37 attacks. She also dealt three aces and had three digs with a block. Taylor has notched double-digits in kills in every match she’s played thus far and extends her streak to 13 dating back to last season.

Kahakai notched her seventh double-digit dig match of the season, with her 14. She also dished out four assists.

Castillo tied her career-high with six kills—five of which she put down in the first set alone. She hit .400 on the night with two errors on 10 swings. Castillo also set a new career-high with five blocks (two solo and three block assists).

Maglio also recorded a career-high with three solo blocks against the Huskies. She ended with seven kills hitting .357 for the match.

Setter Norene Iosia tallied 31 assists and had four digs, three blocks and one kill.

The first set went into extra time as NIU (5-2, 0-0 Mid-American) kept fighting until the end. Early on, the ‘Bows looked to have things rolling and had as big as a six point lead at 14-8. But the Huskies would start chipping away. Down, 20-15 NIU rallied for a 4-0 run on the serving of Malia Gabel. Eventually the Huskies would tie the score at 21-21 and then three more times after that before Nikki Taylor ended the set with back-to-back kills at 26-24.

In the second set, NIU led early on by as much as four points at 9-5 before UH was finally able to catch and then overtake them at 10-9 during a Gianna Guinasso serving run in which she served five times. From that point, Hawai’i would pull away, outscoring NIU, 14-5 the rest of the way—including the final five points of the set on the serving of Taylor who began her run with two straight aces. Hawai’i finished the set with kills from Kalei Greeley and Iosia to win 25-15 and take a 2-0 lead into intermission.

Hawai’i led from the get-go of the third set and never looked back. Behind the serving of Kahakai, the ‘Bows went on a 7-0 run to lead 11-4. Northern Illinois would not be able to recover from it. UH led by as many as eight points and finished the set with back-to-back aces by Kendra Koelsch that gave the Rainbow Wahine a 25-15 win in the third.

The Rainbow Wahine out-hit the Huskies, .308-to-.123 and had 43 kills to NIU’s 26. UH also out-blocked Northern Illinois, 10.0-to-7.0.

Northern Illinois was led by Mary Grace Kelly who had eight kills. Meg Wolowicz tallied four blocks and Anna Brereton had nine digs to pace the Huskies.

Up Next: Hawai’i will battle No. 6 Washington on Sunday at 4:00 p.m.

Hawaii Numbers

Nikki Taylor (18 kills, 3 aces, 1 block)
McKenna Granato (9 kills, 2 aces, 1 block)
Emily Maglio (7 kills, 5 blocks)
Casey Castillo (6 kills, 5 blocks)

Follow the ‘Bows

To keep up with Hawaii Volleyball, follow them on social media via Facebook (University of Hawaii Women’s Volleyball), or Twitter @HawaiiWBV  and Instagram at @hawaiiathletics

Courtesy of Northern Illinois Athletics

HONOLULU, Hawai’i – In its opening match of the Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge, the NIU (5-2) played a nip and tuck match versus the host No. 14 Hawai’i (5-3). Forcing a deuce set in the first and leading in the second, the Huskies were unable to grab a frame as it fell to the Rainbow Wahine in straight-sets, 26-24, 25-15, 25-15.

“We played volleyball in likely in the mecca of volleyball right now. This was a great crowd and great energy and I thought at times we were doing some great things. There are a lot of things we can learn from tonight,” said Head Coach Ray Gooden.

Senior Mary Grace Kelly (Strongsville, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) led NIU with eight kills while hitting .316 on the night. Jenna Radtke (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson) paced the Huskies with a clip of .364, adding five kills and two blocks. Meg Wolowicz (Manitowoc, Wis./Manitowoc Lincoln) blocked four attempts. Hawai’i’s Nikki Taylor paced all attackers with 18 kills.

In front of announced crowd of 6,000 people – one of the largest crowds the program has ever played in front of – the Huskies found themselves in an early hole against the Rainbow Wahine. Despite the noise and energy from the green and black crowd, the Huskies were unfazed by the deficit.

Trailing 20-15, NIU rallied four-straight points to cut the gap to one, 20-19, as a block assist by Bri Horwath(Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater Area) and Wolowicz forced a UH timeout. The Huskies registered their first tie in the match at 21 and forced a deuce set as Hawai’i served for set point as Wolowicz blocked the attempt. However, the Rainbow Wahine would clinch the set, 26-24.

“We were making them play and we were doing a good job of making them earn points and I thought we had a pretty good stretch where we were earning points so we were trying to take that into the second and third sets,” Gooden added.

Emotionally charged and primed with confidence after the set, the Huskies would build a 9-5 lead in the second stanza and send a hush over the crowd that drew the focus of UH squad. The Rainbow Wahine would take the frame, 25-15, as they won 10 of the final 13 points in the match.

Hawai’i showed its power in the third set as it took a 10-4 lead, however, after a series of errors by UH, NIU closed the gap to four just before the break, 14-10. The Rainbow Wahine would finish with 11 kills, three aces and five blocks in the frame as their all-around play clinched the set and the match, 25-15.

Up Next: NIU will close the tournament with a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, starting against Utah Valley at 5 p.m. Central. The Huskies will close the tournament versus No. 6 Washington at 10 p.m. Central.

Husky Numbers

Mary Grace Kelly (8 kills, 2 blocks)
Jenna Radtke (5 kills, 2 blocks)
Taylor Krage (5 kills, 1 ace, 1 block)
Meg Wolowicz (4 kills, 4 blocks)

Track the Huskies

Follow the Huskies on Facebook, on Twitter @NIUAthletics and Instagram @niuhuskies

Match Stats

The University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine’s volleyball team dominated the Utah Valley Wolverines in straight games in their first match-up during the Outrigger Resorts Wahine Volleyball Classic. The now-ranked No. 14 team is 4-3. In their straight sets, Hawaii claimed two narrow wins 25-18, 25-21, but dealt a crushing blow to the Western Athletic Conference Wolverines in the third game with a 25-8 score.

In the third game, the Rainbows really showed how they earned the win, going on five scoring streaks to rack up 20 kills and earn the other points on unforced errors.

Emily Maglio, junior middle hitter, is fresh off her first Big West Defensive Player of the Week award for her performance in the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic last weekend. Senior Nikki Taylor, winner of the Big West Player of the Year in 2015, is in just her second outing for the season after dealing with an elbow injury. Taylor proved she still owns her award, leading the team with 12 kills, 7 digs and 1 ace.


Courtesy of Hawaii Athletics

HONOLULU—The No. 14 University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team (4-3, 0-0 Big West) opened -the Outrigger Resorts Wahine Volleyball Classic with a sweep over Utah Valley (3-5, 0-0 WAC), 2518, 25-21, 25-8. The Rainbow Wahine had four players in double-figure kills while Savanah Kahakai led UH with 10 digs on Thursday night in the Stan Sheriff Center.

Hawai’i’s quartet of double-digit hitters was led byNikki Taylor who buried 12 kills. She hit .250 for the night with six errors in 24 attacks. Taylor also recorded an ace, two blocks and seven digs. Both McKenna Granato and Kirsten Sibley added 11 kills. Granato hit .333 with three errors in 24 swings while Sibley hit a career-high .529 with just two errors in 17 attacks. Middle hitter Emily Maglio was also super efficient, hitting a season-high .769 with 10 kills and no errors. She had three digs and along with Taylor had two blocks. Having four players with 10 or more kills was the most since UH had five players in double-figures last year against TCU in the NCAA first round, five-set win.

Norene IosiaCasey Castillo and McKenna Ross all came into the match in the third set and gave the team a lift of energy that allowed them to runaway with the third set, 25-8. It was the most lopsided set win since UH defeated UC Riverside on the road 25-5 in the third set on Oct. 3, 2015. Castillo, a middle hitter, came off the bench to tie her career-high hitting .667 with four kills, no errors, on six swings. Ross, who is an outside hitter, was a perfect 3-for-3 in kills.

Norene IosiaCasey Castillo and McKenna Ross all came into the match in the third set and gave the team a lift of energy that allowed them to runaway with the third set, 25-8. It was the most lopsided set win since UH defeated UC Riverside on the road 25-5 in the third set on Oct. 3, 2015. Castillo, a middle hitter, came off the bench to tie her career-high hitting .667 with four kills, no errors, on six swings. Ross, who is an outside hitter, was a perfect 3-for-3 in kills.

For Kahakai, it was the sixth time in seven matches that she’s recorded at least 10 digs. She passed the 700 career-dig mark tonight as she entered the match with 692. Kahakai also added an ace.

The setting duties were split with Tayler Higgins playing the first two sets while Iosia came in the third frame. Higgins dished out 26 assists and had seven digs and a block while Iosia had 12 assists with a pair of digs.

As a team in the final set, the ‘Bows had a season-high in sideout percentage converting 8-of-9 sideout opportunies for an 88% to Utah Valley’s 29% in the final frame. Overall, Hawai’i out-hit Utah Valley .438-to-.192 in hitting percentage and 54-to-24 in kills. UH also had 40 digs to UVU’s 23. The Wolverines however out-blocked the ‘Bows 8.0-to-3.0.

Hawai’i continues play in the Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge on Friday night. UH will take on Northern Illinois at 7:00 pm following the Utah Valley vs. No. 6 Washington match which begins at 4:45 pm.


How to Follow

To keep up with Hawaii Volleyball, follow them on social media via Facebook (University of Hawaii Women’s Volleyball), or Twitter @HawaiiWBV  and Instagram at @hawaiiathletics

The Numbers

Nikki Taylor (12 kills, 7 digs, 1 ace)
McKenna Granato (11 kills, 3 digs)
Kirsten Sibley (11 kills, 3 digs)
Emily Maglio (10 kills, 3 digs)

Press Release

Courtesty of Utah Valley Athletics 

HONOLULU – The Utah Valley University volleyball team battled with No. 14 Hawai’i on Thursday night in the opener of the Hawai’i Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge, but in the end the ranked Rainbow Wahine managed to pull out the contest in consecutive sets in front of 5,449 fans at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu (25-18, 25-21, 25-8).

Despite suffering the setback, the Wolverines (3-5) managed to control the contest at the net as they outblocked the ‘Bows (4-3) 8.0 to 3.0.

UVU kept things close in the opening set against the ranked Rainbow Wahine, as it trailed by just two at 15-13 following a couple of blocks assists fromMadison Dennison and Sierra Starley. UH then struck back with a 5-1 spurt to take a six-point lead at 20-14. The ‘Bows then held onto their lead from there as they went on to take the opening set by a score of 25-18. Despite dropping the first set, UVU managed to outblock UH 4.0 to 1.0 in the frame.

Utah Valley bounced back in the second game, as it managed to trade points with UH early in the set. With UVU holding to a 10-9 lead following a Brooklynn Bodily ace, Hawai’i then countered back by reeling off five straight points to take a 14-10 advantage of its own. Following back-to-back kills from Kiahna Vernonand Lexi Thompson, the Wolverines later pulled to within two at 16-14. Utah Valley then made it a one-point game, at 21-20, after another kill from Thompson and a block assist from Dennison and Vernon, but a pair of Wolverine errors then gave the ‘Bows a late 23-20 advantage. UH then managed to put the set away a couple of points later at 25-21 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.

UH continued to hold the upper hand following the intermission break, as it jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead in the third set. The Wolverines later cut the deficit to three following a block assist from Dennison and Thompson, but that was as close as UVU would manage to cut it the rest of the way as Hawai’i pulled away in the frame. The Rainbow Wahine managed to finish off the contest sweep following a 25-8 third-set victory.

Thompson led the Wolverine offense on the night with a team-high eight kills, while the preseason all-conference selection Dennison paced the team at the net with a match-high six blocks. Starley chipped in 19 assists and three blocks.

The 2015 All-American Nikki Taylor paced the Rainbow Wahine with a match-high 12 kills.

The 5,449 fans in attendance marked the second largest crowd to ever witness a UVU women’s volleyball match. The largest came on Nov. 15, 2008 when UVU also played at Hawai’i in front of a record 6,221 fans.

The Wolverines will once again be tested on Friday when they continue the weekend tournament against No. 6 Washington of the Pac-12 Conference at 8:45 p.m. MT/4:45 p.m. HT. UVU will then conclude the Hawai’i Outrigger Resorts Challenge on Saturday against Northern Illinois at 4 p.m. MT/noon HT. Following the conclusion of the tournament, Utah Valley will return home to host in-state rival Utah State on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. in the UCCU Center.

To track the Wolverines, follow them on Facebook, Twitter @WolverineGreen or Instagram @wolverinegreen

Wolverine Numbers

Lexi Thompson (8 kills, 2 blocks)
Kiahna Vernon (4 kills, 2 blocks)
Madison Dennison (4 kills, 6 blocks)
Sierra Starley (3 kills, 3 blocks)


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