comscore Hawaii upsets No. 1 USC in sand volleyball, advances to semifinal | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Hawaii upsets No. 1 USC in sand volleyball, advances to semifinal

  • Hawaii's Karissa Cook hits a ball away from USC's Alexa Strange (24) and Kelly Claes (30) during the semifinal match of the Rainbow Wahine Spring Challenge with Brittany Tiegs and Karissa Cook of Hawaii vs Kelly Claes and Alexa Strange of USC.

Fourth-seeded Hawaii avenged its loss to top-ranked USC from earlier this season by defeating the Women of Troy 3-2 in Friday’s second round of the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championships at Gulf Shores, Ala.

The Rainbow Wahine (20-3) advanced earlier Friday with a 4-1 win over No. 5 Florida International. USC (22-2), which edged Hawaii 3-2 in March at Queen’s Beach, had an opening-round bye and was riding a 21-match winning streak.

The SandBows, making their first appearance in the team portion of this event, advance to Saturday’s semifinal. Hawaii will meet No. 3 Florida State, which eliminated Florida International Friday. at 6 a.m. Hawaii time. 

On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 Pepperdine advanced to Saturday’s semifinal and will face USC. The Women of Troy eliminated Stetson Friday.  

Hawaii clinched the match against USC with a win at No. 3 with Ginger Long and Ali Long defeating Sam Hirschmann and Natasa Siljkovic, 21-19, 22-20. The final match was at No. 2 where Katie Spieler and Nikki Taylor fell to Kelly Claes and Alexa Strange, 15-21, 21-18, 15-12.

Hawaii’s only loss in the opener against FIU came at No. 4 when Martyna Gluchowicz and Kristine Monforte of the Panthers (14-3) swept London Chow and Olivia Urban 21-10, 21-17.  

The Rainbow Wahine have now won five straight matches and 16 of their last 17. UH’s last loss was 5-0 to No. 2 Pepperdine on April 12.

In other matches vs. FIU:

1. Brittany Tiegs-Karissa Cook (UH) def.  Jessica Gehrke/Marina Boulanger (FIU) 21-9, 21-16

2. Katie Spieler-Nikki Taylor (UH) def. Aren Cup/Tina Toghiyana (FIU) 21-18, 21-13

3. Ali Longo-Ginger Long (UH) def. Jessica Mendoza/ Ksenia Sukhareva (FIU) 21-19, 21-18

5. Karlee Riggs-Mikayla Tucker (UH) def. Camila Rosado/Maja Rosko (FIU) 21-18, 21-17

In other matches vs. USC

1. Tiegs-Cook def. Burnham-Hughes 2-0 (23-21, 22-20)

4: Chow-Urban def. Ettinger-Russ 2-0 (21-19, 21-19)

5: Martin-Wheeler def. Riggs-Tucker 2-0 (21-9, 21-19)

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