Rainbow Wahine face Highlanders in Big West opener

Hawaii outside hitter Riley Wagoner (6) puts a kill past USC middle blocker Candice Denny (2) during the first set of an NCAA women’s volleyball game on Sept. 11 at SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center. Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com

Following a bye week to rest and recharge, the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team opens defense of the Big West title today at UC Riverside.
The Rainbow Wahine enter the match at SRC Arena in Riverside, Calif., at 3-5 following a rocky non-conference schedule. UC Riverside (4-7, 0-1) was swept by UC Davis in the opening match of the Big West season on Tuesday.
UH entered the season as the favorite in the coaches poll and is 27-0 in the all-time series with UCR with a run of 18 consecutive sets won against the Highlanders. A preview of the Big West season can be found in today’s Star-Advertiser.
Links to broadcasts of today’s match can be found at gohighlanders.com and at espnhonolulu.com with Tiff Wells on the call.

Updates will be posted below.
>> UH with a quick 4-0 run on two Wagoner kills, an Igiede/Akana block and an Ikenaga ace. UCR rallies to tie at 5-5 and UH runs away with a 5-1 surge capped by an Igiede/Lang block. After a UCR timeout, Van Sickle puts two away to give UH a 12-6 lead.
>> Van Sickle’s third kill of the set and ninth of the match gives UH a 13-7 lead. UCR able to sideout for a couple of points. Akana (5 kills) and Wagoner (9 kills) put two away and UH leads 16-9, timeout UCR.
>> UH up to 10 blocks on an Akana/Williams roof to go up 17-10. Igiede’s 13th kill gives UH a 23-13 lead. Kendra Ham getting her first playing time of the season for UH.
>> Lang wins a joust at the net to give UH match point. Williams and Akana team on a block and UH completes the sweep 25-21, 25-19, 25-16. Wahine continue the road trip on Saturday at UC Davis.

>> UH jumps ahead 4-1 on kills by Wagoner, Igiede and Akana. UCR closes to 9-7 but Van Sickle hammers a kill off the block and teams with Williams on a block. UH up 11-7, Timeout UCR. The run gets to 4-0 on a Van Sickle kill to give UH a 13-7 lead.
>> UH with four blocks so far in the set and takes a 17-10 lead on a block by Lang and Igiede.
>> UCR errors help UH stretch the lead to 21-13. A pass-hit my Williams in the middle gives UH set point at 24-17. UCR fights off the first two, but Wagoner tips one over the block and UH takes the set 25-19.

>> Three early UH errors fuel a 4-0 UCR run and the Highlanders lead 6-2. Riley Wagoner gets her second kill and goes back to serve the next four points and Amber Igiede caps a 5-0 UH run by hammering an overpass. Timeout UCR with UH up 8-7.
>> UH opens up a 12-9 lead, UCR comes back to tie at 16-16 with a three-point run with two kills from Amarachi Osuji. Igiede gets the serve back for UH on a step-out, Wagoner follows with an ace, Osuji hits into the net. Timeout Highlanders. UH up 19-16.
>> Skyler Williams with two kills and two blocks so far in her return to the starting lineup and a block with Lang gives UH a 21-18 lead. UCR gets the serve back and Lang and Williams can’t connect. Timeout UH leading 21-20.
>> A UCR service error gives UH a two-point cushion and Osuji hits long to give UH a 23-20 lead. Wagoner goes off the block off an assist from Tayli Ikenaga to give UH set point. Van Sickle serves wide. Osuji can’t salvage an errant set and UH win the set 25-21.


  1. H-Man September 24, 2021 6:41 pm

    A nice win. Waiting to see how they do against UC Davis. Watched the Cal Poly – Long Beach State match this afternoon. Wahine should beat both. Cal Poly may prove harder to beat as they have good serving and a good block. Neither team has a consistent middle attack. Long Beach especially showed a one-dimensional left-side attack. I don’t know how they beat the ranked San Diego Toreros.

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