The title has been decided. Bragging rights are still very much up for grabs.
A night after clinching the Big West championship, the Rainbow Wahine (21-6, 18-1 BWC) take on UC Santa Barbara (20-11, 16-3) tonight aiming for payback for their lone loss of the conference season.
A few weeks ago, the possibility of the Big West race coming down to senior night match was in play. The Gauchos swept UH at the Thunderdome on Oct. 22, but losses to Cal Poly on Nov. 6 and Long Beach State on Nov. 13 dropped the Gauchos two games behind UH. The Wahine held serve through Friday’s win to wrap up the title.
That’s not to say there’s nothing to play for tonight. The Wahine will look to send seniors Brooke Van Sickle, Skyler Williams and Janelle Gong off on a festive note in their final match in the Stan Sheriff Center. The Gauchos, no doubt, would savor putting a damper on the proceedings by completing a sweep of the season series.
Updates on the matchup between the Big West’s top two teams follow.
>> UCSB opens the set with a Bross kill. UCSB goes out to a 4-2 lead when Wilson’s tip drops. The lead grows to 6-3 on a net violation in Wilson’s kill. Timeout UH.
>> Froley’s kill extends the UCSB run. Kiraly in for Igiede. Ohwobete’s kill gives UCSB an 8-3 lead.
>> Wagoner gets one through the block to end UCSB’s 4-0 run. Lang puts down an overpass of Wagoner’s serve. Both teams with tough saves in a long rally. Van Sickle finally goes cross court to cut the UCSB lead to 8-6. Timeout UCSB.
>> Igiede back in for Kiraly. Wagoner gets a touch in the back row for a kill. UCSB challenges a net violation. Could be a huge swing here. Call stands, UH closes to 8-7. Wilson hammers in the middle to end the 4-0 UH run.
>> Farmer off the block for a 10-7. Van Sickle smacks a trouble set off the block. UCSB stuffs Van Sickle on her next swing for an 11-8 lead.
>> Van Sickle comes back from the right side. A double contact on UCSB makes it 11-10. Bross with a cross-court kill and Ohwobete pushes one down for a 13-10 lead. Timeout UH.
>> Van Sickle hits high and gets a touch, 13-11. Ennis gets a tip to fall to give UCSB match point. Westerberg’s cross court shot lands in, 14-12. Ohwobete ends it with a kill from the left side and UCSB wins it 18-25, 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 25-12. Gauchos sweep the season series and ends UH’s 10 match winning streak.
>> UCSB takes a 6-4 lead and UH goes on a 4-0 run with Gong serving. UH takes the lead on a block by Igiede and Lang and Wagoner’s shot off the tape falls to give UH an 8-6 lead. Two UCSB errors extend the UH lead to 11-7.
>> UCSB responds with a 5-1 run including a Ma’a ace and a block by Ennis to tie it at 12-12. A Williams/Lang block gives UH the lead back. Williams handles an out-of-system set and Van Sickle goes off the block. Van Sickle with another kill out of the back row and UH leads 15-13 at the media timeout. Van Sickle and Wagoner with 14 kills each.
>> Williams with a solo block on Wilson coming out of the timeout. UH’s fourth of the set. Van Sickle’s back-row kill gives UH an 18-16 lead. A double contact is called on UCSB and the Gauchos take timeout with UH up 19-16.
>> Briana McKnight with a kill down the left side and Macall Peed follows with an ace. UCSB closes to 19-18. Timeout UH.
>> UCSB saves Igiede’s tip and Ohwobete hammers from the back row to tie it 19-19. Wagoner goes off the block to give the serve back to UH. A long rally ends with a block by Lang. Lang is there again to send back a tip. UH on a 3-0 run and leads 22-19. Timeout UCSB.
>> The Gauchos block Van Sickle. Ma’a’s serve goes into the net and Bross hits wide to give UH set point at 24-20. Lang and Williams team up on UH’s seventh block of the set and we’re going five on senior night. UH takes the set 25-20.
>> UCSB takes a 3-1 lead, UH rallies and goes up 5-4 on an ace by Gong. UCSB goes back up 8-6 on back-to-back solo blocks. Deni Wilson’s solo block on Igiede is UCSB’s 10th block of the match and the Gauchos lead 13-10.
>> UCSB can’t return Van Sickle’s back-row kill and UH closes to 13-12. The teams trade sideouts and UCSB leads 15-13 at the media timeout.
>> Van Sickle goes off the block to make it 15-14. Martyna Leoniak in to serve for Igiede, but her serve goes wide. Ennis puts down an overpass to end a rally and give UCSB a 17-14 lead.
>> Wilson with a solo block of Williams in the middle and UCSB leads 20-16. Timeout UH. Wilson and Ennis have five blocks each.
>> An overpass leads to a Wilson kill and its 21-16. Anna Kiraly checks in for Williams. Igiede gets a bit of payback with a block of Wilson. UH on a 3-0 run to close to 21-19. Timeout UCSB.
>> After a Bross kill, Igiede scores in the middle and a UCSB error makes it 22-21. Ikenaga’s save of a hot shot crosses the net and lands just inside the left sideline for a dig kill to tie it up. Timeout UCSB.
>> Tallulah Froley and Wagoner trade kills to make it 23-23. Froley gets another down the left side to give UCSB set point. Ennis and Farmer team up on UCSB’s sixth block of the set and the Gauchos take the set 25-23 and lead 2-1 in the match.
>> UH takes a 5-3 lead on Igiede’s solo block. UCSB ties and UH goes up 6-5 when the Gauchos mishandle a free ball from Westerberg. The UCSB bench is shown a yellow card after the play. Gong’s serving gives UCSB fits in a three-point run and UH leads 9-5 after Wagoner’s shot through the seam.
>> Igiede scores from the right side and goes back to serve. UCSB hits long to make it 12-8. Igiede with a diving dig to extend a rally and Van Sickle hangs in the air for a one-handed block. Timeout UCSB with UH up 13-8.
>> Van Sickle and Williams send a ball back and the call is the ball went off a UCSB player. Gauchos challenge. Call overturned. UH leads 13-10. Hold up UH challenges a net violation. Call stands, point UCSB. Gauchos with their first extended run of the match and closes to 13-12 with a 4-0 surge. Wagoner ends the run when her tip falls for her 10th kill.
>> UCSB closes to within a point four times but UH manages to get a sideout to keep the lead. That is until a UH miscue ties it at 20-20 and a net violation gives the Gauchos the lead. Timeout UH with Mehana Ma’a back to serve for UCSB.
>> UCSB continues its run with a kill by Rowan Ennis in the middle and a Van Sickle error into the antenna. Tasia Farmer’s kill down the line gives UCSB set point at 24-20. Timeout UH.
>> A UCSB error makes it 24-21, but Abrielle Bross fires a kill from the left side to end it. UCSB takes the set 25-21 and evens the match 1-1.
>> Friday’s match drew a season-high 2,130 and it looks like tonight will surpass that figure.
>> The teams trade sideouts on the first eight serves of the match before an error gives UCSB the first natural point of the night. The Gauchos hit into the antenna to give it back. Williams’ second kill gives UH an 8-6 lead.
>> Both teams hitting at a high clip so far, UH at .455 and UCSB at .438. UH with a 92% sideout percentage. UH leads 15-12 at the media timeout after Wagoner’s sixth kill in 10 swings.
>> Williams ends a rally with her third kill and Van Sickle’s next serve dives to the court for an ace. UH opens an 18-13 lead. Timeout UCSB.
>> UH now on a 6-2 run with two more kills for Wagoner and one for Igiede. UH up 21-15. UCSB takes its second timeout.
>> Van Sickle pounds a kill off the head of a UCSB blocker and Williams puts down an overpass of Igiede’s serve to give UH set point at 24-17. UCSB fights off the first with a block, but Michelle Ohwobete hits long. The Gauchos want a touch, none called and UH wins the first set 25-18. The Wahine side out at 95% and hit .342.
Starters for @HawaiiWVB vs. UCSB: OH Brooke Van Sickle, MB Amber Igiede, OH Riley Wagoner, MB Skyler Williams, S Kate Lang, OPP Tiffany Westerberg, L Tayli Ikenaga. @StarAdvertiser pic.twitter.com/WrnQA4dX7M
— Jason Kaneshiro (@jasonkaneshiro) November 28, 2021
The collection of lei for the seniors continues to grow on the main concourse. pic.twitter.com/M3QphcjXak
— Jason Kaneshiro (@jasonkaneshiro) November 28, 2021