Rainbow Wahine seek breakthrough at Cal Poly

Hawaii middle blocker Skyler Williams, left, and outside hitter Riley Wagoner combined on the double block on UC Irvine outside hitter Joy Umeh during the first set of a Big West volleyball game on Nov. 12 in Honolulu. Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Jamm Aquino.

Not since Sept. 24, 2016 has a University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team ventured into the Mott Athletics Center and departed with a victory.
It was Dave Shoji’s final year leading the Rainbow Wahine and Nikki Taylor put away 25 kills in a 32-34, 27-25, 25-17, 25-20 win over Cal Poly. The Mustangs have protected their home court in UH’s next three visits, winning in five sets in 2017, four sets in 2018 and posting a sweep in 2019.
The current Rainbow Wahine (19-6, 16-1 BWC) will try to break the skid at Cal Poly (13-15, 11-6) today while looking to extend their eight-match winning streak when they face the Mustangs at 6 p.m. Hawaii time. Cal Poly will celebrate senior night prior to first serve.
UH opened its final road trip of the regular season with a four-set win at CSU Bakersfield on Friday. UH middle blockers Amber Igiede and Skyler Williams continued to power the UH attack with career-high performances against the Roadrunners. Igiede finished with 20 kills and Williams posted 16. Usual starters Brooke Van Sickle and Riley Wagoner played closer roles on Friday, coming off the bench in the third set to help UH close out the win.
Big West-leading UH enters today’s play two games ahead of UC Santa Barbara with three games left to play. UCSB plays host to UC Riverside today at 5 p.m.
The UH-Cal Poly match will be streamed on gopoly.com with radio coverage on CBS 1500-AM.
Updates for the UH-Cal Poly match follow below.
>> Cal Poly goes on a 4-0 run capped by a Stockham/Phillips block. UH answers with a 6-1 run including aces by Van Sickle and Ikenaga. Cal Poly gets the serve back at 7-6 but UH goes on a 5-0 run including Wagoner’s 11th kill, an Igiede/Van Sickle block and an Igiede tip and UH leads 12-6.
>> Igiede and Van Sickle in on UH’s eighth block. Igiede’s serve forces an overpass and Williams hammers it. UH up 15-8. Timeout Cal Poly.
>> Van Sickle goes down the line to give UH a 16-9 lead. After a service error, Cal Poly gets a block on Westerberg followed by a missed connection between Williams and Lang. Stockham puts down an overpass and Cal Poly closes to 16-13. Timeout UH.
>> Cal Poly ties it up at 18-18 on a block by Amy Hiatt and Kate Slack. UH gets the lead back on a hitting error. Igiede wins a joust then hammers a kill in the middle for a 21-18 lead. Cal Poly out of timeouts.
>> Cal Poly closes to 21-20, but Wagoner goes off the block, Igiede gets her 10th kill and Van Sickle goes through the block to give UH match point. Igiede and Lang team up on a block and UH wins it 25-22, 25-18, 25-20 for its first win at Cal Poly since 2016. UH (20-6, 17-1 BWC) now two games up in the conference race with two to play.

>> UH takes a 7-4 lead on a Wagoner kill to end a rally and back-to-back blocks by Igiede. Wagoner adds three more kills, one out of the back row, and a solo block and a tough serve sets up a Van Sickle kill. UH up 15-10 at the media timeout.
>> Van Sickle gets her fourth kill through the block. A Cal Poly roll shot sails long and UH it up 17-10. Timeout Cal Poly.
>> UH stretches the lead to 19-11 when Lang goes with a back-set to Williams. Wagoner goes high hands for her ninth kill and UH leads 22-14. Timeout Cal Poly.
>> The teams trade sideouts and an Igiede kill gives UH set point at 24-16. Cal Poly fights off two set points, including an ace off the tape. Lang goes to Van Sickle on the left side and she powers a kill through the block to cap a 25-18 UH win. Wahine lead the match 2-0. UH hits .375 in the set (15-3-32) to Cal Poly’s .156. Wagoner leads UH with nine kills (.231). Igiede and Westerberg with seven kills each.

>> Cal Poly opening the night by honoring its four seniors. Looks like they also recognized UH seniors Brooke Van Sickle, Janelle Gong and Skyler Williams prior to introducing their senior class.
>> UH goes back to its usual starting lineup: OH Brooke Van Sickle, MB Amber Igiede, OH Riley Wagoner, MB Skyler Williams, S Kate Lang, OPP Tiffany Westerberg, L Tayli Ikenaga.
>> Cal Poly’s Meredith Phillips is in on three consecutive blocks and the Mustangs race out to a 6-1 lead. Cal Poly trades sideouts to maintain a 14-9 lead before UH goes on a 5-0 run with Janelle Gong back to serve to tie it up. Gong serves long to make it 15-14 Cal Poly at the media timeout. Westerberg and Igiede with three kills each.
>> Van Sickle gets her first kill out of the back row and Wagoner’s ace gives UH its first lead at 16-15. Mustangs’ next attack goes long and it’s an 8-1 run for UH. Timeout Cal Poly.
>> Cal Poly ties it at 17-17. UH regains the lead on a kill by Igiede and a block by Williams and Van Sickle. Wagoner’s third kill gives UH a 22-20 lead and Westerberg adds her fourth kill. Timeout Cal Poly with UH up 23-20.
>> Westerberg goes off the block and her fifth kill finds the floor to give UH set point. Gong’s serve forces an overpass and Igiede hammers it to give UH the 25-22 win. Igiede and Westerberg with five kills each.