Lancers Stay Perfect in PacWest With Win over UHH
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by Josh Pacheco
Cal Baptist University started their four-game Hawai`i roadtrip with a straight set victory over the University of Hawai`i at Hilo in front of a small crowd of 98 on the UH Hilo campus.
Set scores were 25-19, 25-20, 25-22.
The home squad played from behind moments after first serve, losing a 2-1 lead in the first set and eventually finding themselves down by seven at 20-13. The Vulcans would rally, however, to get within three several times before dropping the opening frame at 25-19. Lancers junior Kim McCalmont led her squad in the opening set with seven kills.
Once again in the second, the Vulcans were down throughout the second, facing their biggest deficit of the match at eight with the score showing 18-10 in favor of Cal Baptist. Yet again, the Vulcans fought back, working within three at 21-18 before succumbing to the Lancers by the set score of 25-20.
For the first time in the third set, UH Hilo started the set with the early lead, and held a slight lead several different times in the set, their biggest by three. Each time, however, Cal Baptist found a way to even the score with a costly Vulcan error or a great defensive save. The Lancers took the lead for good when Faith Steinwedell, a Mississippi State transfer, put down her eighth kill to give her squad a 23-22. They took the set 25-23 to win the match.
UH Hilo’s (4-12, 4-6 PacWest) performance was a welcome sight for head coach Tino Reyes, who noted that he was happy with his team’s grit and inability to whither away when facing a difficult challenge. He was looking for that intensity just hours after kicking his team off of the gym floor during early warmups for an hour because he didn’t see the right focus from his team.
Reyes, however, was quick to note the improvements that his team made. “I like our serving…this (match, compared to other matches) is one of them where our service aces to service errors kept us in the match.”
Once again, freshman standout Bria Morgan led the Vulcans with 16 kills. Abbey Wade brought out her best match of the season, following Morgan’s effort with six kills of her own.
Megan Medeiros was a spark plug for the Vulcans in the third set. The sparingly-used defensive specialist from Hana came in during the set and contributed a kill and two digs. “I just said ‘we can’t be any worse and she’s the only one that didn’t play. Let’s go try something new.’ She did some nice stuff out there,” explained Reyes. “She got us about four or five points, maybe, and did some other good stuff. She comes to practice and, you know, maybe I should play her more.”
McCalmont led the Lancers with 17 kills. Reigning PacWest Player of the Week Ingrid Carmona followed with 13 kills and a .345 attack percentage. The Lancers, who are now 7-0 in the PacWest, continue their four-match Hawai`i trip with a visit to Chaminade University.
The Vulcans wrap up a three-match homestand with a match Monday night against conference newcomer Azuza Pacific University. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m., and the game can be heard on ESPN Radio and ESPNHawaii.com