Sports

UHH Fails to Complete Rally in Five Set Loss

October 25, 2013, 8:30 AM HST
* Updated October 25, 8:34 AM
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The University of Hawai`i at Hilo women’s volleyball team dug itself out of a deep hole, dropping the first two sets to Dixie State University Thursday night at the UH-Hilo Gymnasium.

Just as soon as they reached the surface and forced a fifth set, the Vulcans dug another hole, trailing big early in the deciding frame before falling in the final set.

Set scores were 25-14, 25-20, 25-27, 22-25, 15-8.

“We didn’t do all the little things we needed to do to be successful,” UH-Hilo head coach Tino Reyes said after the match.

UH-Hilo (6-11 overall, 1-11 PacWest) spent much of the match trying to recover from many of its own mistakes. In the first set, Dixie State opened up with a 9-2 advantage. Five of those points came off of errors on Vulcan serves and attacks. The Vulcans committed eight total errors, six on the attack, in the lopsided first set.

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Dixie State (12-7, 9-4) struggled in the second set with four service errors and four attack errors, but the Vulcans once again doomed themselves in the second frame. UH-Hilo tallied just nine kills, two less than the opening set, and committed five attack errors and five service errors.

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The tide turned in the third set. The Vulcans took advantage of three Red Storm errors to strand together five consecutive points, leading 8-3 early on. Dixie State closed the gap and tied the set at 15, but UH-Hilo opened its lead back up to four at 20-16.

“We changed the lineup. We put Shelby (Harguess) in one of the middle hitting spots and we put Kyndra (Trevino-Scott) out on the right side just to see what we could do,” Reyes explained. Both players combined for four of the team’s 14 kills in the frame.

UH-Hilo held set point at 24-21, but Dixie State fought all three points off to force extra play. An error by Nicole Koehler gave the Vulcans a 26-25 lead, and Strand-Nicolaisen finished the set off with her fourth ace of the night.

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Strand-Nicolaisen led all players with 24 kills but took 89 swings at the volleyball, something that Reyes doesn’t want to see in the future. “To get 89 swings, that’s a bit much,” said Reyes, who compared it to a typical night for former UH-Hilo standout Hillary Hurley.

UH-Hilo trailed for a large chunk of the fourth set before an error from Dixie State’s Shannon Young put the Vulcans ahead 19-18. A ball-handling error from Maddie Rex added to the Vulcans’ lead and helped push the home squad to a fifth set.

Dixie State scored the first five points of the winner-take-all fifth set. Shelby Harguess committed her only error to start the downward trend when she sailed her middle attack long on the opening point. Young picked up an ace on the next point, followed by a clean kill from Kendahl Weiland. Strand-Nicolaisen was blocked and misfired on another attempt to add to the Vulcans’ woes. UH-Hilo got two of those points back immediately, but could not complete another deep comeback.

“You look at the stats, we had the same amount of kills, five each,” Reyes said. “You look at the errors, there’s eight of them for us and two for them, and so, the five kills that they got and the eight errors we gave them, that adds up to 13 points. They only needed to do two more points.

“It’s like playing tennis and double-faulting all the time. The person doesn’t have to do anything. All you have to do is collect the point.”

Shannon Young led Dixie State with 15 kills and contributed a service aces. Maddie Rex added 11 kills and 16 digs. The Red Storm hit .194 and tallied 11.5 blocks.

Callie Aberle added 13 kills for UH-Hilo. She also led the team with 18 digs. The Vulcans hit .080 for the match.

The Vulcans return to the court Saturday night to face Academy of Art in a PacWest conference match. First serve is slated for 7:00 p.m.

Dixie State 25 25 25 22 12 – 3

Hawai`i Hilo 14 20 27 25 8 – 2

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