Nothing came easy during a five-set challenge at Biola that almost took a turn for the worse, but UH-Hilo’s volleyball team survived.
That’s more than the Vulcans’ Hawaii brethren could say as the Pacific West Conference race hit full throttle Monday night in Southern California.
Bria Beale and Emily Wade smacked 15 kills apiece for the Vuls, who opened a pivotal four-match road trip with a 25-27, 25-20, 13-25, 26-24, 15-13 victory that vaulted them into sole possession of second place.
Amber Tai added 10 kills for UHH (14-3 PacWest), the last of which put her team ahead 14-13 in the fifth set. An attack error by the Eagles (10-7) ended the match.
The Vulcans’ last four matches have gone five sets – they are 3-1 during the stretch – and more marathons could be on tap as the try to pad their postseason resume.
On Wednesday, UHH visits Point Loma (13-5) – which beat Hawaii Pacific (13-4) on Monday in four sets– and it will face Azusa Pacific (16-2) on Thursday in a possible battle for first place. On Monday, the Cougars beat Chaminade (13-4) in four sets.
UHH looked to be face a similar predicament to that of HPU and Chaminade when it was routed in Game 3, compiling more attack errors (12) than kills (10).
In the fourth set, no more than two points separated the teams. Wade tied the match at 23-23, and an Alexandria Parisian ace gave the Vulcans set point. Biola wasted one, but a Wade kill gave the Vulcans the lead again and a Biola attack error sent extended the match.
Parisian posted eight kills and two aces, Kendall Kott produced 50 assists and 11 digs, Kaila Lizama added 24 digs and Armani Moultrie had seven kills for the Vulcans, who hit .132. Beale had another double-double with 10 digs. Wade made seven blocks.
Raegan Tjepkema pounded 18 kills for Biola, which hit .200 and won the blocking battle 14-8.