UHH Volleyball Gets Season’s First Win Over Dixie St.
If the University of Hawai`i at Hilo women’s volleyball team was going to notch a win for the first time this season, it was going to be up to the players to step up their effort to do it.
After Sunday’s practice was cut short after half an hour by head coach Tino Reyes because of recurring “bad habits” and less than stellar effort, the players met hours before first sever on the middle of the volleyball court to discuss what it would take for them to rally around each other as a team.
The talk worked, and the Vulcans picked up their first win with a 3-1 victory over Dixie State College. Set scores were 25-17, 26-24, 22-25, 25-18.
Once again, UH Hilo rode the hungry arm of freshman Bria Morgan, who got 91 of 174 swings on the night, a percentage that is still too high for Reyes’ liking. Morgan’s improvement, however, is showing, as she was error-free in the first set and finished with a match-high 28 kills and a .198 attack percentage.
Olivia Lane and Patty Snel had 30 swings each and combined for 15 kills for the match. Lane injured her right ankle during the third set and left the match, but later returned at less than full strength to contribute her size to the rotation.
UH Hilo (1-7, 1-1 PacWest) seemed to take complete control of the match late in the second set. After falling into a seven-point hole at 11-4 in the set, the Vulcans started to chip away at the Red Storm lead before scoring four points in a row to even the set at 21. Brita Jensen and Sheila Uluave fought off a pair of Vulcan set points, but with the set deadlocked at 24, Morgan came through with a pair of kills to close it out.
Dixie State (2-4, 0-1) controlled the third set and had a slim one-point lead in the fourth. But, thanks to three straight attack errors by the Red Storm, UH Hilo took a 6-3 lead and never turned back, leading at one point by 13 before giving up some ground and winning by seven in the final frame.
UH Hilo hosts Grand Canyon University on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The match can be heard on ESPN Radio and ESPNHawaii.com beginning at 6:30 p.m.