Volleyball: Vulcans look to ‘hold serve’ entering busy stretch

  • RICK OGATA photo Freshman setter Kendall Kott is first in the PacWest with 10.73 assists per set for UH-Hilo's volleyball team, which begins a stretch in which it plays three times home games in four days at 7 p.m. Thursday against Notre Dame de Namur.

It’d be easy for UH-Hilo’s volleyball team to think greedily – recent history is on its side – but hold that thought, coach Chris Leonard said.

The Vulcans ride a seven-match winning streak, the program’s longest in almost a decade, into Thursday’s 7 p.m. home match against Notre Dame de Namur to begin a stretch in which they play three matches in four days.


As stretches go, this appears to be a manageable one.

The Vulcans (12-5, 7-2 Pacific West Conference) beat the Argonauts (2-13, 1-7) in five sets less than two weeks ago on a road trip in which they also swept Fresno Pacific (2-16, 1-8) and Dominican (1-13, 1-8), who come calling Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

“Our goal is to get better every day,” Leonard, whose team has had four days off since a four-set win against Biola, said in a school release. “Whether it is in practice or games. This week, we have to hold serve at home. We can’t afford to look past anyone in this league, even if we have already beaten them this year.”

Notre Dame de Namur is on a seven-game losing streak in which it has only won three sets. Of course, a pair of those came Oct. 5 against the Vuls, who came out with a no-nonsense hitting attack to win the fifth set, getting balance from Emily Wade (21 kills), Bria Beale (20) and Amber Tai (19). Samantha Shaffer had 17 kills for the Argonauts.

Wade, a freshman middle blocker, missed the match against Biola with an injury, forcing senior Armani Moultrie and redshirt freshman Kamilla Marinas into increased action, and they responded by combining 10 kills.

“We have depth at a lot of positions,” Leonard said.

That’s showing in the stat book. The Vulcans are third in the PacWest in hitting percentage (.230) and opponent hitting percentage (.168) – the Argonauts are ninth (.144) and 12th (.250), respectively.


Leonard doesn’t want to hear it – not now – but if all goes as planned the next four days, UHH could be riding a 10-match win streak for the final two games of the homestand against Point Loma and Azusa Pacific, who have only two combined PacWest losses between them.

UHH hasn’t had a double-digit win streak since 2010, when Tino Reyes’ Vulcans won 13 in a row.

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