Wahine sand team splits in LA

Looks like some switching of duos.

The No. 5 University of Hawai’i women’s sand volleyball squad played on the mainland for the first time this season, splitting a pair of matches against No. 4 USC and No. 9 Nebraska at Merle Norman Stadium Friday morning on the campus of USC.

The Rainbow Wahine fell to the host Trojans, 5-0, before bouncing back for a 3-2 win over the Cornhuskers. UH moved to 2-1 on the year.

The sweep by the Women of Troy  was only the second time in 12 all-time dual matches that UH was blanked. The first occurrence was against eventual national champion Pepperdine during a match in California last year. The tandems of Ali LongoKarlee Riggs and Tai Manu-OlevaoEmily Mount did extend their matches to three sets, but were unable to pull through.

UH regrouped in its next match. In the first-ever meeting between UH and Nebraska on the sand, the Rainbow Wahine got the better of the Cornhuskers, who are making their debut in the sport this year. Like their season-opening win over Florida International last week, UH got all three of its points from the No. 4, 5 and 6 flights as the pairs of Longo-Riggs, Ashley Kastl– Manu-Olevao and Olivia UrbanKu`ulei Zalopany, each claimed straight-set victories.

Next up for the Rainbow Wahine is a trip to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix this weekend. UH will face Grand Canyon and Loyola Marymount in a pair of dual matches on Saturday before the three teams face off in a tournament format on Sunday

Dual Match Final Results
USC 5, Hawai’i 0
1. Kirby Burnham-Stevi Robinson (USC) def. Natasha BellJane Croson (UH) 21-11, 21-15
2. Katie Fuller-Cinnamon Sary (USC) def. Ginger LongKatie Spieler (UH) 21-15, 21-14
3. Eve Ettinger-Bria Russ (USC) def. Ali LongoKarlee Riggs (UH) 20-22, 21-19, 15-8
4. Brooke Fournier-Natasa Siljkovic (USC) def. Olivia UrbanKu`ulei Zalopany (UH) 21-16, 22-20
5. Sam Hirschmann-Alexa Stonish (USC) def. Tai Manu-OlevaoEmily Mount (UH) 21-11, 17-21, 15-9
Order of finish: 4, 5, 1, 2, 3

Hawai’i 3, Nebraska 2
1. Kelsey Robinson-Alexa Strange (NEB) def. Natasha Bell-Jane Crosson (UH) 21-13, 21-16
2. Morgan Broekhuis-Kadie Rolfzen (NEB) def. Ginger LongKatie Spieler (UH) 21-14, 21-16
3. Ali LongoKarlee Riggs (UH) def. Amber Rolfzen-Hayley Thramer (NEB) 21-18, 21-16
4. Ashley KastlTai Manu-Olevao (UH) def. Meghan Haggerty-Sheridan Zarda (NEB) 21-10, 21-10
5. Olivia UrbanKu`ulei Zalopany (UH) def. Kelsey Fien-Alicia Ostrander (NEB) 21-15, 21-16
Order of finish: 4, 5, 2, 3, 1


  1. warriorfan March 22, 2013 2:21 pm

    I think Scott maybe should pair up Croson with Kastl they were doing well before,
    although Kastl/Tai looked good against Nebraska.
    Or maybe split Spieler/Long since they aren’t doing well, and Pair Ginger and Croson? Spieler with someone big at the net like Urban?

    I think UH will do better against USC in the rematch.

  2. Cindy Luis March 22, 2013 2:58 pm

    don’t think anyone will ever be happy with the duos. At some point, they won’t be able to switch partners.
    Croson-Kastl did OK first day against FIU at No. 3. Got smoked the next day by an FIU team in the quarterfinals that switched up their pairs. Could have been the indoor hangover and Kastl’s ankle from the night before
    as for Spieler-Long they finished 3rd at last Saturday’s tournament with an all-FIU final, losing to the No. 1 duo. Their loss Friday came at No. 1 against a beach all-american with plenty of experience

    found it interesting that Wong kept the same duos at Nos, 1, 2, 3 but switched Mount for Kastl to team with Manu-Olevao and moved Urban and Zalopany from No. 4 to 5 against Nebraska.
    I like the Longo-Riggs pairing. They lost in 3 to USC and won in 2 vs. Nebraska.

  3. meimei March 22, 2013 4:20 pm

    Thanks for the update Cindy!

  4. mainlandgal March 22, 2013 4:40 pm

    Thanks for the update Cindy. Looks like Scott is still movin’ and grovin’ the girls around. There’s still some struggle in the #1 and #2 flights. Have to figure that out soon as there will be a time when no more pair changes can be made. Longo/Riggs seem to be the most compatible on the court, the most settled in their pairing and fighters on the court. They are the team to keep an eye on this season. Scott moved them to the #3 flight today. I think the #3 flight for them is a good spot for the season.

    Looking forward to hearing about the match against Grand Canyon and LMU tomorrow.

  5. dedicatedfan March 22, 2013 4:53 pm

    Still wishing Kevin Wong would have coached the Women’s team. I feel he has alot more volleyball knowledge then his brother, imo.

  6. Cindy Luis March 22, 2013 5:56 pm

    don’t know how you can say that about KW vs. SW
    Scott has much more experience coaching and playing than his brother. Don’t get me wrong, I like both of them and both of them know the game inside and out but
    Scott has four years at UH, including one year as a volunteer assistant, helped coach the Pepperdine men to the NCAA title in 05, and final four berths in 08 and 09
    He had a successful career on the beach, played briefly with the U.S. national indoor team. was a three-time All-American at Pepperdine.

  7. Cindy Luis March 22, 2013 6:30 pm

    KW does have more broadcast experience, very good analyst, nice job at these past Olympics, played on UCLA’s national championship teams of 93 and 95. Very successful beach career, placed fifth at the 2000 Olympics Doing a lot of work with youth volleyball in Hawaii.

  8. warriorfan March 22, 2013 6:32 pm

    plus isn’t kevin busy with a broadcasting career?

    Anyway I don’t dislike the duos but I noticed Bell/Croson didn’t have much chemistry. They did play Nebraska’s and USC’s number one teams but they just made more errors than any other duo today.

    While Spieler and Long have more chemistry they are just too small , Spieler struggled to put the ball away and Long wasn’t much better maybe they both would be better if partnered with someone who is bigger and can terminate and block more like What Kerri is to Misty.

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