Posted with permission, article and pictures, courtesy of Hawaii Pacific University
HILO – The Hawai’i Pacific University women’s volleyball team lost a 3-1 battle against the University of Hawai’i at Hilo Saturday night inside Vulcan Gymnasium.
HPU (0-8, 0-2) had their best performance but came up just short of going to a fifth set. UHH (1-6, 1-0) snap their six-game losing streak and will face the other island team Chaminade to finish their week.
The first set was all Vulcan as they ran away for a 25-13 set victory. The Sharks took notice and made adjustments for the second set. Freshman middle blocker Marley Sandoval hit .444 in the second and added five digs, but Hawai’i came up short and dropped the second game 25-23.
The Sharks found their groove in the third set with the momentum shifting. Attackers hit a season set-best .522. Sandoval added another five kills while senior middle blocker Demi Winters added four of her own as the duo account for nine of the 12 kills en route to a 25-14 set win.
Headed into the fourth set, HPU started slowly, losing seven straight before chipping away at the lead. Eventually, sophomore middle blocker Ali Rumpel gave the Sharks a 13-12 lead. It was a back-and-forth battle until UHH pushed past HPU 24-23 and put the match away on the next point.
The middle duo of Sandoval and Winters combined for 29 of the team 47 kills, with Sandoval garnering her first double-double of the season with 15 kills and 13 digs. Graduate setter Maile Powell had a season-high 21 assists. The team combined for season-bests in five categories for their best outing yet.
The Sharks return to action next weekend, playing back-to-back nights, beginning with Fresno Pacific on Friday at 7 p.m. HT, followed by Academy of Art on Saturday at 7 p.m. HT.