Colleges: Vulcans settle for split, take 3 of 4 in Kona

  • RICK WINTERS/West Hawaii Today UH-Hilo's Skyler Thomas hits a home run Friday against Academy of Art at Kealakehe High School.

It wasn’t all fun in the sun for UH-Hilo’s softball team in West Hawaii

Isabelle Mejia pitched a four-hitter with six strikeouts Saturday and Kiarra Lincoln hit a home run to pace the Vulcans’ 5-1 win at Kealakehe High, but Academy of Art staved off the four-game sweep with a 9-0 mercy-rule victory in the second game.

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Lincoln went 2 for 3 – tying for the team lead with her fifth homer – Maria Steadmon was 2 for 2 with two runs scored, Rayla Jacobs-Kea hit an RBI double and Mejia drove in a pair of runs at the plate and improved to 10-2 in the circle – allowing one run, four hits and one walk.

With their first loss in 11 games at Kealakehe, the Vuls came back to Hilo at 28-15 and 21-9 in the Pacific West Conference.

“It is always nice to come to the westside because the weather is always better, especially over the last week, and we just want to play,” Lincoln said told West Hawaii Today. “We have to wake up earlier, but as our coaches always say, ‘It is mind over matter.’ It is something we can control.”

UHH managed just two hits in the second game and the Urban Knights (14-15, 10-9) broke it open with nine runs in the last three innings.

Billi Derleth took the loss, allowing three hits, including a two-run homer, in four innings before Valerie Alvarado was charged with four runs in 2/3 of an inning. Leah Gonzales yielded a three-run home run in the sixth.

Long Beach repeat

For the second consecutive night, the top-ranked University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team fell to No. 2 Long Beach State in five sets, losing 25-16, 18-25, 25-13, 23-25, 15-10 in the regular season finale Saturday at the Walter Pyramid in Southern California

The 49ers (25-1, 10-0 Big West) claimed their second straight Big West regular season title and enter next week’s conference tournament as the No. 1 seed.

The Rainbow Warriors (25-2, 8-2 BWC) suffered their only two losses of the season to the defending national champions and are the No. 2 seed in the tournament, which UH will host April Thursday-Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center. Hawaii will face the winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal between UC Irvine and UC San Diego.

Senior outside hitter Stijn van Tilburg led three players in double-figure with 17 kills, hitting .294 with two aces, three digs and two blocks. Opposite Rado Parapunov added 13 kills but hit only .135 while middle blocker matched a career-high with 12 kills, hitting .550.

Brothers Joe Worsley and Gage Worsley each had 12 digs. UH hit .298 for the match with six aces and 6.5 team blocks. In contrast, the Beach hit .348 and tallied six aces and 15.5 blocks.

’Bows have a blast

Kamehameha-Hawaii alum Daylen Calicdan was 4 for 5 as Hawaii beat UC Riverside 15-3 on the road.

UH (14-18, 4-4 Big West) erupted for 12 runs in the third inning as Kamehameha-Hawaii alum DallasJ Duarte, Tyler Best and Maaki Yamazaki all drove in runs before Ethan Lopez hit a grand slam.

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Duarte, Tyler Murray and Best all put up RBIs in their second at-bats of the inning to push to the lead to 14-2. UH had 10 hits in the frame.

The rubber game of the series is Sunday.

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