Undefeated Hawaii was about as close to flawless as a volleyball team can get Friday in its 25-19, 25-17, 25-18 sweep of Sacramento State.
One player, Sky Williams, was extremely close to perfect, at least according to the stats sheet. The junior middle scored on all nine of her swings for a 1.000 hitting percentage. Williams, who played about half the match, was in on three blocks and contributed a dig. Her only mistake was a blocking error.
Williams said she knew she was having a great night, but not exactly how superb.
“I kind of felt it, but I wasn’t really keeping a tally,” said Williams, who couldn’t recall previously posting a perfect hitting game at any level. “Nothing like tonight. There was one where someone got one dig to spoil it.”
UH played inspired volleyball, taking command early in all three sets. The Hornets’ only lead was 1-0 in the third, but that didn’t last as UH reeled off the next five points. Coach Robyn Ah Mow substituted liberally, giving plenty of playing time to all five of the team’s freshmen (three of whom start).
“(The Wahine) just came in and took care of business,” Ah Mow said. “When they play like that we can get (the young players in). It’s good. Get them used to the crowd.”
And there was some pressure in the third set, as the Wahine and their fans were hungry for a sweep. There wasn’t a whole lot of drop off as the youthful backups gained experience that might come in handy in the future. Braelyn Akana, a freshman middle whose mother Joselyn Robins, played for the Wahine, made her debut and got two kills and an error in eight swings, plus two block assists.
Williams had almost as much fun cheering on her teammates as she did while in the game as the perfect killing machine.
“It was awesome,” Williams said. “We know that anyone can come in and do the job. And it shows that their hard work is paying off.”
Another middle, freshman Amber Igiede, tied Williams for the team-high with nine kills. She was also errorless as a hitter, but she took 16 swings. Still, a .562 hitting percentage is pretty sporty.
The Wahine played with focus and passion.
“It just came from how yesterday (a four-set struggle against Army). That wasn’t who we are and we wanted to make sure we showed who we are,” Williams said. “We’ve been scouting all the teams a lot this weekend. Watching film and reading scouting reports.”
Did they find weaknesses to exploit?
“Not really. Just be quicker, on offense and defense,” Williams aid.” And make tough serves.”
Brooke Van Sickle, another error-free Wahine, made four kills in 13 swings. She’s a fan of Williams’ work ethic.
“She’s doing awesome. When I first got here everyone was telling me how hard she worked in the offseason,” Van Sickle said. “As a pin I love when the middles do well. The game becomes more fast-paced. Our middles are doing great. Amber pretty much dented the floor (with a kill).”