Hawaii women’s volleyball is headed to the sweet 16 after sweeping USD

Hawaii middle blocker Amber Igiede, left, and setter Norene Iosia, right, celebrated a point with outside hitter Hanna Hellvig in the Rainbow Wahine's sweep of USD. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s run to the sweet 16 of the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament went a bit easier than expected.

Seeded in the only subregional with three ranked teams, Hawaii made short work of San Diego tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center, winning 25-23, 25-21, 25-21.


The Rainbow Wahine (26-3), who have won 13 in a row, advance to play fifth-seeded Nebraska (27-4) in Madison, Wisc. The Huskers, second nationally last season, eliminated Missouri earlier Saturday, 3-1.

Hanna Hellvig finished with a game-high 12 kills and McKenna Ross added 10. Libero Rika Okino had a match-high 20 digs and Big West Player of the Year Norene Iosia posted a double-double with 24 assists and 12 digs.

Middle Amber Igiede put down six kills without an error to help the Rainbow Wahine take Set 1. The Toreros cut the lead to 24-23 with three straight points, forcing coach Robyn Ah Mow to call timeout. Hellvig then finished out the set with her fifth kill to give UH a 1-0 lead in the match.

USD cut the Hawaii lead to 23-21 in Set 2 but was done in by a net violation, a hitting error and Okino, who had 11 of her 20 digs in the set.

Jolie Rasmussen made her first appearance of the game with UH down 7-6 in Set 3 and had four kills in five swings to help UH finish off the win 25-21.

Hawaii’s region was one of two that didn’t have a seeded host upset. On Saturday, Utah swept 14th-seeded BYU and Cincinnati stunned sixth-seeded Pittsburgh in five; the Panthers are hosts of the final four Dec. 19 and 21.

Hawaii setter Bailey Choy came up with an impressive dig in the second set against San Diego. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.


  1. sports for fun December 7, 2019 9:21 pm

    The atmosphere in “The Stan” was electric tonight!! The ladies played great!! Great win Na Wahine!!
    #gobows #beathuskers

  2. Cruisecontrol December 7, 2019 10:15 pm

    “UH last advanced past the second round in 2015 and hasn’t been to a regional final since 2011.”

    Didn’t UH beat Penn St. in the Regional Semifinal, and lose to Minnesota in the Regional Final in 2015?

  3. Billy Hull December 7, 2019 10:27 pm

    Good catch, Cruisecontrol. My fault. That’s what happens when they bring the third-stringer in to help out with volleyball.

  4. Warrior Lifer December 8, 2019 2:31 am

    Way to go Bows! Awesome win, and to do it against a USD squad that was looking for revenge after the first game of the season. Let’s keep it going!

  5. Kalani934 December 8, 2019 5:08 am

    I live about 3 hours from Madison and would love to see UH play. Do anybody know how to get tickets to the games???

  6. blunite December 8, 2019 6:39 am


    1. If last night was any indication the officiating will not be much better on the mainland. Wahine have to stay off the net and may not get the call when hitting high off the hands.

    2. Passing needs to improve to keep all offensive options open; otherwise, the OHs will face double and triple blocks regularly.

    3. UH has 2 All Conference middles with high hitting percentages (much higher than any of the OHs); play the percentages.

    4. Jen Petrie continually argued with the ref when it was UH’s serve. This had the effect of “icing” the server. UH coaches should alert the refs of this tactic before the game starts.

  7. Harvey December 8, 2019 9:08 am

    Nobody bother me on Friday afternoon (here in the Eastern Time Zone). I’ll be watching the Wahine volleyball game.

    And nobody bother me Saturday afternoon either, as we’ll be in the Regional Finals.

  8. Harvey December 8, 2019 9:11 am

    5. Kalani…


  9. blunite December 8, 2019 9:23 am

    Against Nebraska Hawaii has fair chances.

    Nebraska’s Jazz Sweet (6’3″ OH) appears to be a one woman wrecking crew. Madi Kubik, 6’3″ & Lexi Sun, 6’2″, are matched by HH, BVS, & MR. Hawaii’s blocking should compensate. Even.

    Their middles (Callie Schwarzenbach, 6’5″ & Lauren Stivrins, 6’4″) are average. Against Missouri Callie hit .000 while Lauren hit .250. Hawaii’s 2 All Conference middles are higher in hitting percentage. Blocking is about even. Edge Hawaii.

    Digging: slight edge to Hawaii (Rika being the edge).

    Setting: Nicklin Hames dumps about 5-6 times/match, 1 block & 3 aces vs Missouri. Norene Iosia and Bailey Choi can match her. Even.

  10. darkfire35 December 8, 2019 8:54 pm

    7. Harvey: Wave a Hawaiian flag so we know it’s you! Unless, as usual, all our fans out that way will show up so we won’t be able to distinguish who you are. Not unless you make a sign that says “I’m Harvey!” LOL!! GO BOWS!!

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