Volleyball: Wahine sweep Kentucky in Vegas

Hawaii ends regular season with a three game victory over Kentucky at the UNLV Thanksgiving Tournament.

LAS VEGAS - The No. 2 University of Hawai`i Rainbow Wahine (32-1) finished their regular season, defeating the Kentucky Wildcats (14-18) 30-26, 30-18 and 30-27 in the UNLV Thanksgiving Tournament at the Cox Pavilion Friday.

Kim Willoughby led the way with 18 kills and 13 digs while Lily Kahumoku had 16 kills and 12 digs. Maja Gustin had another big match with 10 kills, four blocks and two aces while Melissa Villaroman led the way in the back row with a season-high 16 digs. Hawai`i opened game one with a 4-2 lead before a rotation violation by the Rainbow Wahine started a three-point run that gave the Wildcats a 5-4 edge. Kentucky kept pushing for the upset, as they held a 20-17 advantage, forcing UH head coach Dave Shoji to take a timeout. The meeting seemed to fire up the Rainbow Wahine as they scored three straight, earning a tie at 20-20. The teams then traded points until a big four-point run by Hawai`i, capped by two kills by Willoughby, put away the first game, 30-26.

The Rainbow Wahine came out with a little more fire in the second game, as they jumped out 7-2. The difference stayed between three and five points until three-straight points put UH up 18-12, forcing a Wildcat timeout. After three UK points, Hawai`i closed game two with a 12-3 run, taking it 30-18.

Kentucky wasn't quite ready to let their season end as they took a 6-5 lead early in the third game. The teams traded points, as the score was tied at nine before the Rainbow Wahine rattled off five points to go up 14-9. UK kept fighting, getting it as close as 28-26 before Hawai`i closed it out 30-27 on a huge Willoughby kill

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