Posted with permission, article and pictures, courtesy of Chaminade University
HONOLULU – The Chaminade University women’s volleyball wrapped up the 2022 Hawai’i-Alaska Challenge Saturday by splitting their two matches.
The Silverswords were handed a 15-25, 20-25, 22-25 loss to Alaska Anchorage in their first match of the afternoon at McCabe Gymnasium.
However, they managed to salvage the split by downing the University of Alaska, 22-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-19, avenging Friday’s five-set loss and handing the Nanooks their first loss in four matches on O`ahu.
Sasha Colombo (Milan, Italy/Colorado State/Liceo Scientifico Giodarno Bruno HS) totaled 20 kills on the day with countrywoman Greta Corti (Varese, Italy/San Francisco/Alessandro Manzoni Liceo HS) added 16.
Chaminade is 1-2 to start the new season.
UAA 3, CUH 0
After a decisive first set win, the Seawolves opened up sizable leads in the second and third sets, only to see the ‘Swords recover to make them close. They fought back from a 13-7 deficit in the second before closing to 13-12, thanks to a pair of Brooklen Pe’a (Woods Cross, Utah/Youngstown State/Bountiful HS) service aces.
Then in the third, Chaminade fell behind 13-9 but battled back to twice take one-point leads. After forcing three ties, the last coming at 22-all, Alaska Anchorage ran off three straight points, the final two with blocks.
Colombo led the ‘Swords with 10 kills while Corti and Sophie Schilling (Berlin, Germany/Alaska/Schul- and Leistungssportzentrum Berlin HS) had four each. Corti also led the team with nine digs.
Eve Stephens had a match-high 12 kills for the Seawolves, who return to Anchorage with a 3-0 mark.
Chaminade hit just .067 in the match to UAA’s .267. The Seawolves (3-0) also compiled seven total team blocks with 35 kills, 30 assists and 38 digs. The ‘Swords, by comparison, had 29 kills, 26 assists and 37 digs.
CUH 3, UAF 1
Just hours after the Anchorage defeat, the ‘Swords seemed to have righted the ship, taking a 20-18 first-set lead. However, the Nanooks went on a 7-2 run to close out the set and take a 1-0 lead, Chaminade’s sixth straight set loss.
But the ‘Swords roared back in the second on the strength of an 11-1 run which helped them even the match at a set each.
A pair of Corti kills combined with service aces from Kendall Rios (Tustin, Calif./Foothill) and Nanna Inoue (Kula, Maui, Hawai’i/Tyler CC/King Kekaulike HS) helped Chaminade build an 8-2 lead to open the third set. They maintained at least a five-point advantage throughout the set before Colombo hammered down three kills in the ‘Swords’ final five points to take a 2-1 lead.
With an 8-8 deadlock in the fourth set, Colombo had solo blocks on consecutive scores while Alexia Byrnes (Chicago/Youngstown State/St. Francis HS) added an ace as part of a 4-0 ‘Swords run which gave them the lead for good. Twice UAF got to within a point, the last at 15-14 but Chaminade scored five of the next six points to build a 20-16 cushion. They slammed the door shut with four consecutive points down the stretch, three of which they forced four Nanook attack errors.
In addition to 10 kills, Colombo had nine total blocks, seven assisted while Lataisia Saulala (Morgan Hill, Calif./Oakwood) added eight total blocks and six kills. Schilling provided nine successful attacks in the nightcap against her former UAF teammates. Byrnes had another solid all-around match, dishing out 35 assists with 10 digs, four kills and four aces. Elli Tsukano (Austin, Texas/James Bowie), who got the nod at libero for the first time this season, scooped up a career-high 16 digs.
The ‘Swords rebounded after their bleak match against Alaska Anchorage, putting down 50 kills with 11 aces and 10 total team blocks while holding the Nanooks to a .171 attack percentage.
The Silverswords return to action next Friday when they open the Magic Island Hawai’i Classic at the Hawai’i Convention Center. Their opening opponent, Cal State San Bernardino, is ranked seventh in the AVCA poll with first serve set for 1 p.m., followed by a match-up against Stanislaus State at 7 p.m.
The tournament is being operated by the Hoops in Hawai’i basketball tournament organization who are also in charge of tickets and live video.