Posted with permission, article and pictures, courtesy of University of Hawaii Hilo
HONOLULU, Hawai’i – Hawai’i Hilo women’s volleyball team opened the 2022 season with a 3-0 loss to University of Alaska Fairbanks in non-conference action at Chaminade University’s McCabe Gymnasium as part of the two-day Hawai’i-Alaska Challenge.
The Vulcans battled back and forth in a close opening-set but ultimately fell by scores of 25-22, 25-19 and 25-15.
The Nanooks put down 22 total blocks as 6-foot-2 sophomore Elizabeth Jackson assisted on six putdowns while notching five kills.
UH Hilo registered four total blocks as junior Nikki Logan led the way on six kills and one solo block.
“Ultimately, we know against a team like that that we gave away a lot of height at the net — they were much bigger than we were,” Hawai’i Hilo head coach Chris Leonard said. “But we had a pretty good plan to neutralize that and it worked well in the first set, but then they figured it out and our level of play dropped off a bit in sets No. 2 and No. 3.”
Set 1 – UAF 25, UHH 22
Set 2 – UAF 25, UHH 19
Set 3 – UAF 25, UHH 15
The Vulcans came out strong and battled to 11 score ties with the last lead coming at a 20-18 advantage before Alaska closed out on a 6-4 output to take the set win.
Set No. 2 saw six early ties before the Nanooks started to pull away on a 15-10 lead.
In her first match for the Vulcans, Childs tried to be the sparkplug needed to keep the game within reach as she slammed down three consecutive kills and a service ace to cut a six-point deficit to three points, but it wouldn’t be enough as Alaska Fairbanks once again closed it out to take the middle set.
“We didn’t take care of the ball as well as we needed to,” Leonard said. “I thought we got a little bit frantic. We got a lot of new pieces and still trying to figure out how to put all those together.”
Alaska jumped out to an early three-point lead and maintained pace as it closed out the sweep with a 10-point final-set victory.
Emerson Reinke also saw action in all three sets as she led the Vulcans with 10 assists.
Kott dished out eight assists and is now five away from setting a new all-time school record.
The Vulcans will wrap up the two-day Hawai’i-Alaska Challenge Saturday morning with a matchup against Alaska Anchorage at 10 a.m. at Hawai’i Pacific University’s The Shark Tank.