During a successful spring season of what amounted to glorified scrimmages, UH-Hilo played four five-set contests against Chaminade.
Now that the matches count, the Vulcans had no intent of playing with fire Saturday.
Faced with a bit of adversity in the fourth set, UHH battled back to down the shorthanded Silverswords in four, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 25-23 in a PacWest clash of contenders in Honolulu.
No. 21 Chaminade (11-3, 1-1 PacWest) jumped to a 6-1 lead in Game 4 before the Vuls (4-1, 1-0) climbed back with three consecutive points and then finally pulled even at 9-9 to right the ship.
“I think one of the advantages of the spring is we became accustomed to playing from behind,” coach Chris Leonard said. “We know how to dig out of holes and chip away.”
All-conference outside hitter Bria Beale had her best match of the season, compiling 17 kills and 17 digs and a .378 attack percentage.
“She played today like she has so many times before for us,” Leonard said. “She hit the ball very well.”
Best of all, he liked his team’s balance.
Alexandria Parisian added 11 kills, 12 digs and four service aces, middle blocker Sydney Gott and Ashton Jessee had nine kills apiece and Jessee also had seven block assists. Tani Hoke led the Vulcans with 20 digs, Kendall Kott had 39 assists and 11 digs and Nicole Schmitz had seven kills and 11 digs.
The Vuls won the blocking battle 10-3.
“We took away what they wanted to do,” Leonard said.
Chaminade, which had a five-match winning streak snapped, had three players in double figures, paced by Annah Rivera with 14. The ‘Swords played without their leading outside hitter Brooklyn Pea, who also sat Friday’s win against Hawaii Pacific.
The Vuls take on the Sharks on Sunday.
In a men’s soccer match Saturday on Oahu, HPU (2-2) beat the Vulcans (1-1) 1-0.