UH-Hilo served so tough Notre Dame de Namur struggled to pass and couldn’t put up much of a fight in a lopsided contest.
The Vulcans smoked the Argonauts 25-11, 25-7, 25-14 on Thursday night at UHH gym, winning their eighth straight.
Bria Beale had 13 kills and hit .478, Amber Tai had 11 kills and hit .500 with one error on 20 swings, and Alexandria Parisian added nine kills and had no errors on 14 attempts and hit .643 for the smooth-passing Vuls, who finished with a .432 hitting clip.
“When we play clean, we’re a nice team,” UHH coach Chris Leonard said. “We did nice job from the service line and took away what they wanted to do. They had to hit a lot of roll shots or tips and it was easier for us to transition to offense.
“When your outside hitters hit .478 and .500, that makes for a good night for us. We also had eight aces. We put a lot of pressure on them.”
How bad was it for Notre Dame?
Samantha Shaffer had four kills and hit .087 to lead Notre Dame, which hit .000 and had a measly 13 kills; UHH had 42 kills. In the last meeting Shaffer had 17 kills in a five-set loss.
Passing is comparable to blocking in football. If you can’t do that, it’s a struggle and you turn into the Miami Dolphins. The Argos didn’t put up much of a fight and were swept in a little over an hour.
UHH (13-5 overall, 8-2 PacWest) outblocked Notre Dame (2-14, 1-8), 6-2, which has lost eight in a row.
In the 25-11 first set, UHH served bullets, recording two aces. Tai knocked down two kills on overpasses, and the Vuls recorded three kills on free balls, due to the Argonauts’ shaky passing.
Beale, Tai, Parisian, and Kamilla Marinas each had four kills for the Vuls, who hit .433; the Argos hit just .067 in the set.
UHH had three mini-scoring spurts, reeling off five consecutive points for a 10-6 lead, then six straight for a 20-10 cushion and finally scoring the last five points.
The Vuls had a 63 percent sideout rate, barely allowing the Argos any chance to score.
UHH was even better in the second 25-7 set with an 87 percent sideout rate.
The Argos looked like they left their serve-receive passing in their luggage at the hotel.
Beale and Parisian ripped two aces each.
And when Notre Dame did pass the ball well and attacked, UHH passed cleanly and hammered balls down in transition.
The loudest cheers of the night came when Mia Takai, a Hilo 2019 graduate, entered late in the game. She was slated to record a dig, but the Argos were called for a net violation.
In the third set, UHH scored five points in a row for 16-8 lead to take control.
The Vuls next host Fresno Pacific (2-17, 1-9) at 7 p.m. Saturday.