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Vulcans return favor, sink Saints

The UH-Hilo volleyball team took care of business, sweeping St. Martin’s after falling to the Saints in four sets in the season-opener a day earlier.

The Vulcans defeated the Saints 25-22, 25-18, 25-21 at the Hawaii Challenge on Saturday at McCabe Gym on Oahu.

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“Friday we were not consistent. It was our first match with new pieces playing a team with a few matches under their belt,” UHH coach Chris Leonard said. “We weren’t steady and a lot of unforced errors. That’s not how we typically play. Yesterday we had 41 unforced errors. That’s way too many in four sets.

“We did a great job today, pass, set, hit. Kendall (Kott) gave us nice matchups and our hitter hit smart shots. We played better all around. We had a lot fewer errors.”

The Vulcans (2-1), who hit .254, had nice balance with outside hitters Bria Beale and Nicole Schmitz putting down 13 and nine kills, respectively, and opposite Alexandria Parisian hammering eight kills.

Beale also became the second Vulcan to surpass 1,000 career kills and 100 aces. Tanya Fuamatu leads with 1,703 kills and 155 aces.

“We’ve got a number of people with over 1,000 kills and 100 aces but only two with both,” Leonard said. “We try to show we have to ability to attack in all rotations, give teams a different look, from the left, right and middle. We want to be balanced.”

Ilana Sagapolutele and Tia Allen had 13 and 10 kills, respectively, to lead the Saints (5-2), who hit .216.

The Vulcans finish the three-day tourney against Montana State Billings today.

“It comes down to execution on our side of the net,” Leonard said. “If we take care of the ball and don’t give away a lot of points, we can match up with anybody. We’re finding our rhythm and getting more synchronized.”

The season opener didn’t got as expected for UHH, which lost to St. Martins in four sets on Friday.

Schmitz had 15 kills and 19 digs, but the Vulcans hit just .091 and were outblocked 14-6 in a 13-25, 29-27, 25-18, 25-15 loss.

Tia Allen, daughter of UH-Manoa great Allen Allen, smashed 16 kills to lead the Saints, who hit .138.

In the second match on Friday, UHH swept Cal State East Bay 25-18, 31-29, 25-18, behind libero Tani Hoke’s career-high 33 digs.

Sydney Gott had 13 kills and hit .458, Parisian added 10 kills, and Bria had nine kills for the Vulcans, who hit .229.

Hoops schedule

The UHH men’s basketball team will open its season in UH-Manoa’s Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic Nov. 10-13 and return home to host Simpson Nov. 12 before heading back to Oahu to play Northern Colorado Nov. 13.

In itinerant schedule, the Vulcans then fly back to Hilo again to host Simpson on Nov. 14. The Vuls then wrap up six games in seven days against Alaska Anchorage at home on Nov. 16.

The Rainbow Classic game are exhibitions for the Vulcans, who play Lubbock Christian Nov. 24 on Oahu prior to taking on Alaska Fairbanks Nov. 27 and Alaska Anchorage in a rematch on Nov. 28 in Alaska.

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UHH opens PacWest play with three home gams against Concordia on Dec. 3, followed by Point Loma on Dec. 6, and Hawaii Pacific on Dec. 12.

“We are looking forward to venturing out of the Hawaii pod and getting a shot against the rest of the PacWest this year,” said second-year UHH coach Kaniela Aiona, whose team went 10-2 last spring. “We have a tremendous conference so we expect to have some great contests all the way through February.”

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