The Rainbow Wahine volleyball team closes the sixth week of conference play looking to remain tied atop the Big West standings and undefeated against UC Riverside.
UH enters tonight’s match at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center at 28-0 in the all-time series with the Highlanders and opened conference play this season with a 25-21, 25-19, 25-16 win in its conference opener on Sept. 23 Riverside, Calif.
That started an eight-match winning streak that ended with a loss at UC Santa Barbara last week. The Gauchos improved to 11-1 in Big West play by rallying past UC Irvine for a five-set win on Friday and a 25-16, 23-25, 25-12, 25-18 win today at UC San Diego.
UH will try to keep pace a night after turning in a balanced performance in Friday’s sweep of UC Davis with fans back in the arena for the first time this season. Setter Kate Lang ran a balanced attack and UH’s five primary attackers ranged between 12 and seven kills with Brooke Van Sickle leading the way in a .333 hitting performance.
UC Riverside (5-16, 1-10) picked up its lone Big West win at Long Beach State on Oct. 22 and was swept by UC Davis on Tuesday before making the trip to Hawaii.
Updates for the 29th meeting follow below.
>> UH opens with a 4-0 run with Wagoner getting two kills to force an early UCR timeout. With UH up 5-3, Tiffany Westerberg subs in for Leoniak. After one point, Janelle Gong subs in right away to serve for Westerberg.
>> UH scrambles to save an ace but Deja Bickers puts away a kill to tie it at 6-6. After a UCR serve into the net, Wagoner serves up an ace. UCR challenges. Call stands. UH up 8-6.
>> UH goes on a 4-0 run with two more kills for Van Sickle, who now has 14. Williams gets a kill in the middle and teams with Westerberg on a block. Timeout UCR with UH up 14-8.
>> UCR again stays close with a 3-0 surge to close to 14-11. Westerberg hammers off the block for her first kill and Van Sickle with yet another ace. Another tough serve gives UH the advantage and Wagoner pushes one into the back corner for a kill.
>> Wagoner coming alive in the set. She goes angle on a 1v1 and UH leads 21-13. Lang wins a joust to make it 22-13. A lift call on UCR gives UH match point. Igiede scores on a step out and UH wins it 25-19, 25-23, 25-16. Van Sickle finishes with 14 kills, Wagoner with 13. UH hits .324.
>> Van Sickle serves up UH’s first ace of the night and her sixth of the homestand then gets another to fall off the tape. UH up 4-1. Amarachi Osuji ties it up at 5-5 and another tough serve leads to a UH violation and a UCR lead. UCR hits into the net twice to give UH the lead back. Wagoner finds a seam in the block, both teams with tough digs before Wagoner ends the rally with another kill from the left side. UH up 9-6.
>> UCR comes back with a 3-0 run and ties it at 9-9 on a block. Igiede ends the run with a kill on a step-out. UCR goes back ahead 11-10, Van Sickle ties it and UH goes ahead on a Williams block. Wagoner’s attack is ruled long, UH challenges a touch in the back row. Call stands, 12-12.
>> A service error and Leoniak’s kill down the line gives UH the lead back. Van Sickle goes off the block and the Wahine go up 15-13 at the media timeout.
>> Van Sickle comes up with her third ace of the set coming out of the timeout. Another tough serve forces the Highlanders to scramble and they hit into the net. Timeout UCR with UH up 17-13.
>> UH trades sideouts to lead 19-15. UCR comes back with a 4-0 run to tie it up. Wagoner gets a touch call on her attempt down the line to end the run. A miscue between Lang and Igiede ties it again at 20-20.
>> At 21-21, Van Sickle’s serve reception goes over the net and falls on the Highlanders’ side of the net. A double-contact call on UCR gives UH a 23-21 lead. Timeout UCR.
>> Lang’s dig turns into an Ikenaga assist to Van Sickle to give UH triple set point at 24-21. UCR fights off the first two and closes to 24-23 on an ace by Kenzy Militar. Leoniak hits from the left side to end it at 25-23. Van Sickle up to 12 kills on 19 swings without an error (.632).
>> Same starters for UH vs. UC Riverside: OH Brooke Van Sickle, MB Amber Igiede, OH Riley Wagoner, OH Martyna Leoniak, MB Skyler Williams, S Kate Lang, L Tayli Ikenaga.
>> An extended rally to open the match goes to UCR when Leoniak hits long. Van Sickle gets UH’s first kill of the night. Leoniak finds an open spot for a tip for a sideout. Ikenaga serves the next three points and assists on two Wagoner kills with an Igiede/Leoniak block in between. UH up 5-2 early.
>> Williams gets three consecutive kills, the second on an overpass of Igiede’s serve, and UH leads 11-6. Timeout UCR.
>> Coming out of the timeout, Van Sickle scores off a bump set from Wagoner and teams up with Williams on a block. UCR takes its second timeout. UH up 13-6 and on a 6-0 run.
>> Lang turns a dig tight to the net into a kill then puts down an overpass to make it an 8-0 run before UCR finally gets Igiede off the service line. UH up 15-6.
>> With UH up 21-11, Mia Johnson gets some playing time in place of Van Sickle. UCR scores the next five points and closes to 21-16 on an ace. Van Sickle back in for Johnson. The Highlanders block Igiede and Lang is called for a net violation to make it a 7-0 run. Timeout UH with the lead cut to 21-18.
>> Van Sickle goes cross court to end the run. After a serve into the net, Van Sickle scores again and a block by Williams and Leoniak gives UH set point. Williams sends a bump set to Van Sickle for her sixth kill and UH wins the set 25-19.