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No. 20 Hawaii turns back New Mexico in volleyball

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Junior hitter Tai Manu-Olevao put down a career-high 17 kills and sophomore setter Tayler Higgins set a program record for aces in a four-set match as No. 20 Hawaii turned back New Mexico 24-26, 25-18, 25-11, 25-17 Thursday night in the 27th Hawaiian Airlines Classic volleyball tournament at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Rainbow Wahine (3-1) will face No. 22 Oregon at 7:30 pm. Friday. The Ducks (4-0) topped St. John’s 25-18, 20-25, 25-14, 25-18 in Thursday’s opener.

The Red Storm (4-1) meet the Lobos (2-2) Friday at 5 p.m.

Higgins finished with eight aces, two more than the previous record set by Emily Hartong in 2011. 

Junior middle Olivia Magill added 11 kills for the Wahine with no errors on 22 swings. Senior libero Sarah Mendoza finished with 17 digs and freshman Kalei Greely 10.

Hawaii outblocked New Mexico 12.5-10 with Magill in on seven. The Wahine finished with 13 aces, the Lobos just one.

Senior Chantale Riddle led UNM with 11 kills and was in on eight blocks. The right-side hitter had most of her success in Set 1 when putting down six kills and being part of six blocks.

After Hawaii dropped the first set, coach Dave Shoji started two freshmen hitters in Greeley and Megan Huff. The pair responded, combining for 13 kills and six blocks the rest of the way. 

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