Rainbow Wahine, Gauchos meet for top spot in Big West

Rainbow Wahine sophomore Riley Wagoner had eight kills in a win over Cal State Bakersfield on Oct. 16 at SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center. Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by George F. Lee.

The top two teams in the Big West meet today when Hawaii (11-5, 8-0 BWC) takes on UC Santa Barbara (12-9, 8-1) at the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara, Calif.
The Rainbow Wahine own a 43-9 advantage in the all-time series with the Gauchos and won both meetings in 2019. UH’s current 19-match winning streak in Big West contests began with a sweep at the Thunderdome on Oct. 12, 2019 when Hanna Hellvig put away 14 kills and McKenna Ross added 12. UCSB enters today’s matchup with the most efficient offense in the Big West with a .263 hitting percentage. UH counters with a defense holding opponents to a league-low .185.
The match will be streamed on UCSBGauchos.com. Radio coverage with Tiff Wells will air on 1500-AM and online at cbssportshawaii.com.
Updates for the 4 p.m. match follow below.
>> UH avoids the extended UCSB runs of the first two sets and takes a 10-7 lead on two kills by Leoniak and a Wagoner block. UCSB rallies to tie it up at 12-12 on a block.
>> Ohwobete’s third ace of the match gives UCSB a 14-13 lead. Lang tips over a kill to tie it and the Gauchos triple block makes it 15-14 UCSB at the media timeout. Macall Peed serves up an ace after the timeout and another Ennis kill in the middle makes it 17-14.
>> UH chips away and ties it at 19-19 on Wagoner’s solo block. Ohwobete and Igiede trade sideouts. Gauchos lead 21-20 with Ma’a going back to serve. Timeout UH.
>> Wilson scores in the middle and the Gauchos hit out on the next play, 22-22. Wilson ends another rally, Gauchos up 23-22. UH takes its second timeout. Wahine hitting .351 in the set (17-4-37).
>> Wagoner hits long and UCSB has match point at 24-22. Van Sickle goes off the block to extend the match. Ennis ends it with her 11th kill. UH’s 19-match Big West winning streak ends with a 25-16, 25-16, 25-23 loss to the Gauchos. Wahine face Cal State Northridge on Saturday.
>> Ennis leads UCSB with 11 kills on 14 attempts with one error (.714). Van Sickle leads UH with 11 kills (.233).

>> The second set starts much like the first with Ma’a on the service line for a three-point run. A solo block by Wilson again on Igiede gives UCSB a 6-2 lead. The lead grows to 9-3 when Lang’s tip lands out. Timeout UH. Wahine hitting .058 for the match.
>> Riley Wagoner gets three consecutive kills to cut the UCSB lead to 16-11. Ohwobete gets the momentum back for UCSB with a kill and an ace, 18-11. After a service error, Van Sickle goes off the block and Lang wins a joust to make it 18-14. Timeout UCSB.
>> Wilson blocks Van Sickle to end UH’s 3-0 run. Ennis gets a kill in the middle and Anna Kiraly subs in for UH. She hits wide on her first swing. Ennis and Froley block Van Sickle and UCSB leads 22-15. Timeout UH.
>> UCSB’s first error of the set makes it 22-16, but Ennis scores again and Froley goes off the block to give the Gauchos set point. Leoniak hits wide and UCSB wins the set 25-16 and leads the match 2-0. UCSB just three hitting errors for the match while hitting .379. UH hitting .089 with 16 errors.

>> Hawaii starters vs. UCSB: OH Brooke Van Sickle, MB Amber Igiede, OH Riley Wagoner, MB Skyler Williams, S Kate Lang, OH Braelyn Akana, L Tayli Ikenaga.
>> Punahou graduate Mehana Ma’a comes off the bench and goes on a four-point service run to give UCSB a 6-2 lead. UH opened the match with a natural point off a UCSB error, but the Gauchos have been able to side out on each of UH’s eight serves since and lead 15-9 at the media timeout.
>> Michelle Ohwobete serves up an ace after the timeout and the Gauchos stretch the lead to 16-9. Gauchos go another 3-0 run and lead 20-12 on their fourth block of the set. Rowan Ennis’ third kill gives UCSB a 22-14 lead. A UH error makes it a nine-point margin. Timeout UH.
>> UCSB ends the set with a block by Deni Wilson on Igiede and run away 25-16. Gauchos hit .394 to UH’s .103 and side out at 88% (15 for 17). UCSB finishes with five blocks.


  1. H-Man October 22, 2021 4:41 pm

    Oh boy, Wahine getting smoked.

  2. H-Man October 22, 2021 4:46 pm

    First set was ugly. Second set is uglier. Phew !!!

  3. H-Man October 22, 2021 5:37 pm

    None existent Wahine block allowed Gauchos .427 kill%. It was a real whipping.

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