Volleyball: Wahine Shock UCLA in a 5 Game Thriller

HONOLULU - The No. 11 University of Hawai`i Rainbow Wahine (6-0, 3-0 MLC) held on to upset the No. 3 UCLA Bruins (6-1, 2-1 MLC) 32-30, 20-30, 30-23, 27-30 and 15-13 in front of a crowd of 7,954 to win the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Volleyball Challenge championship Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Susie Boogaard led the way for Hawai`i with 19 kills, 21 digs and five blocks, after having just two kills in the first game. Alicia Arnott had 20 kills, 10 digs and three blocks, while Victoria Prince hit .385 with 16 kills and five blocks. Kari Gregory added a seven-kill, nine-block performance while freshman Tara Hittle continued to impress, putting away 11 kills and 11 digs.

Arnott and Prince earned all-tournament honors, but, again, it was Kanoe Kamana`o who earned tournament most outstanding player honors. The sophomore setter had her sixth double-double of the season, putting up 60 assists, 18 digs, four blocks and three kills on the night.

In a back-and-forth start to the first game, Arnott put away a big kill to give Hawai`i a 15-13 lead at the media timeout. The Rainbow Wahine pushed their edge to 17-13. UCLA was able to cut it back to 17-16 and then tie it up at 22, causing UH Head Coach Dave Shoji to call a timeout. Hawai`i responded with a big 6-2 run to take a 28-24 lead. After a couple of Bruin points, the Rainbow Wahine got to game point at 29-26 on a UCLA blocking error. The Bruins went on a 4-0 run to get to game-point at 30-29 before a block by Boogaard and Gregory and kills by Hittle and Arnott gave UH game one 32-30.

UCLA came out firing to start the second game, going up 11-7, forcing a UH timeout. The Bruins pushed it to 27-17 on the serve of Krystal McFarland before taking the game by a final of 30-20.

The Rainbow Wahine came out of the break and opened a 12-8 lead on an overpass kill by Prince. UCLA would take four of the next five points to cut it to 13-12. Arnott then stepped it up, ending a long rally with a kill off the Bruin touch, then smashing a kill across the court, putting Hawai`i up 20-15, forcing UCLA coach Andy Banachowski to use his second timeout of the game. The Bruins were able to cut the deficit to two points on a couple occasions before a UCLA hitting error ended game three 30-23.

The Bruins built up a 12-8 lead but a four-point run, capped by a Watanabe ace tied the score at 12, forcing Banachowski to take a timeout. The Bruins got one point after the timeout before Kelly Ong came in a served the Rainbow Wahine to four-straight points, including once ace, giving Hawai`i a 16-13 edge. The two teams then traded mini runs the rest of the way, getting their first game-point at 29-25 before taking the fourth game by a final of 30-27.

The two teams traded the lead at the start of the fifth game, as UH went on a 3-0 on the serve of Boogaard, to go up 6-4. The Bruins got one before the Rainbow Wahine went on a three-point run, making it 9-5. UCLA then reeled off a 5-1 run, tying it at 10. The Bruins kept it going, building up a 13-11 lead as they looked like the match was theirs. But the improbable run by the Rainbow Wahine was not to end as a Boogaard kill, a UCLA error and a Hittle kill put UH to match point at 14-13. Hawai`i was then able to close it, as Boogaard and Prince teamed up for a huge block, ending the match with a 15-13 UH win.

The Rainbow Wahine will next host the Waikiki Beach Marriott Invitational next weekend, playing California on Friday, Sept. 17, and UC Irvine on Saturday, Sept. 18, both at 7 p.m.


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