Vulcans women’s volleyball goes 0-2 on the weekend

Anthony Akau/ UH-Hilo Sports Information Samara Cruz led UH-Hilo's offense with 13 kills, also notching 12 digs.

The UH-Hilo women’s volleyball team concluding its opening homestead over the weekend, taking narrow losses to Point Loma and Azusa Pacific.

UH-Hilo moved to 5-7 overall (2-2 PacWest).


The Vulcans will head to Northern California for a three-game stretch against Fresno Pacific (Oct. 4), Dominican (Oct. 5) and Academy of Art (Oct. 7) before returning home Oct. 14 to host two-time defending champion Chaminade to start another four-game home stand.

Point Loma 3 - UH-Hilo 2

Another five-set match, and another thriller. This time, however, the UH-Hilo Women’s Volleyball team fell just short in dramatic fashion, falling by an extra point in the deciding set to Point Loma in Pacific West Conference play in front of a rowdy crowd at the Vulcan Gymnasium. Set scores were 25-20, 13-25, 19-25, 26-24 and 14-16.

UH-Hilo pushed the Sea Lions to the limit after trailing three points through the middle portion of set five. Facing a 10-7 score, the Vulcans rattled off four straight points with kills by Isabella Hadaller and Chase Koepke. Both teams traded points until a final tie at 14-14 before PLNU managed to pull away for the final two scores.

Other than in the serving column, PLNU held the advantage in most stat categories and came away with dominating wins in set two and set three. Still, the Vulcans played tough on defense and gutted out a win in set four to force the ultimate fifth set.

The Vulcans came out strong in the opening set, outhitting the Sea Lions along with a four-ace and two-block advantage. Point Loma came firing back as UH-Hilo hit negative .128 in Set 2 before the Sea Lions posted a .379 hitting percentage in set three.

Set four saw the Vulcans maintain a healthy lead throughout, but after holding a 24-21 advantage, the Sea Lions stiffened up to cause three attacking errors (two blocks) for a tied 24-24 score. The Vulcans pulled through to force a service and attack error of their own.

Azusa Pacific 3 – UH-Hilo 1

It was a tough Pacific West Conference home-opening stand for the UH-Hilo Women’s Volleyball team and it stepped up to the challenge to put up a big fight, but the Vulcans ultimately fell in the final game to visiting Azusa Pacific, 3-1 (25-14, 17-25, 21-25, 18-25), Sunday afternoon at the Vulcan Gymnasium.

If there was any fatigue setting in from playing consecutive five setters in as many days — including just eight hours prior — it didn’t show early on as the Vulcans came firing on all cylinders in the opening set.

UH-Hilo rotated fresh arms into the lineup with Samara Cruz and Imani Lee taking the swings on the outside to help post a .342 hitting percentage as Raelee Samio led with five kills.

Set 2 saw the Cougars flip the script as they hit .444 to overcome five aces by the Vulcans.

The third set was a closer affair between the two teams as the Vulcans rallied late to make it a one-score game facing a 22-21 deficit. But even with UH-Hilo hitting at .417, APU managed to pull away to put down the final points.

After APU jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the final set, UH-Hilo remained within striking distance through a 15-17 score when the Cougars strung together six straight points to pull away for the match win.

The Vulcans top two offensive weapons, Taylor Tullo and Isabella Hadaller (only played one point), sat out Sunday’s match.

Kamryn Childs notched 11 kills (.474) while Samara Cruz led with 13 to go along with 12 digs.

Imani Lee had four service aces and added 12 kills with 14 digs.

APU had six blocks to UHH’s zero. The Cougars also held a slight dig advantage at 71-67, which included more than a handful of point-saving pancakes.

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