Volleyball: Wahine win Aston Imua Challenge

Laureen Duggins put down a career best 17 kills in leading the second ranked Wahine to the title of the Aston Imua Challenge over Pacific.

HONOLULU - The No. 2 University of Hawai`i Rainbow Wahine (7-1) defeated the Pacific Tigers (3-1) 27-30, 30-24, 30-18 and 30-21 in front of a crowd of 7,428 in the championship match of the Aston Imua Wahine Volleyball Challenge Saturday night.

Kim Willoughby led the way for Hawai`i with 25 kills and 17 digs while hitting .385. Lauren Duggins hit .565 with a career-high 17 kills, nine digs and three blocks, while Lily Kahumoku added 16 kills and eight digs. Kanoe Kamana`o continued to impress in just her eighth career match, tallying 58 assists, 11 digs and four blocks. Melissa Villaroman also played solid in the back row, picking up 14 digs.

The two teams kept it close early on, as Pacific took a 15-13 lead into the media timeout. The Tigers would keep their edge at 23-21, forcing a Hawai`i timeout. UOP got to game point at 29-25 before UH scored two straight to get within two points. But Pacific finally put it away as Ashley Groothuis put away her fourth kill of the game to take game one 30-27.

Hawai`i came out motivated in game two scoring four straight points to take a 12-6 lead, forcing UOP coach Jayne McHugh to take a timeout. Pacific would get it as close as 19-16, but UH proved to be too much, taking the second game 30-24.

Pacific kept it closer at the start of game three, as UH took a 15-12 lead at the media timeout. Hawai`i kept pounding away, taking the third game 30-18.

The Rainbow Wahine looked to put it away quickly in game four, jumping out to a 7-2 lead early on. Hawai`i would keep the pressure on all game, holding a 24-16 lead. Pacific would come back, scoring four straight points to cut the deficit to four points. From there, Hawai`i put the Tigers away, taking the fourth game 30-21.

UH will start up again on Friday, Aug. 12, against Utah State in the Sprint Hawaii Invitational at 7 p.m. It will be preceded by a match with No. 4 Stanford and Weber State at 5 p.m.

Aston Imua Challenge All-Tournament Team

Sara Younes, Wichita State

Tisha Schwartz, Baylor

Haley Anderson, Pacific

Lauren Duggins, Hawai`i

Lily Kahumoku, Hawai`i

Jennifer Joines, Pacific

Kim Willoughby, Hawai`i (Most Outstanding Player)


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