Top-seeded Hawaii defeated second-seeded Long Beach State 3-2 today to win the inaugural Big West beach volleyball championship in Huntington Beach, Calif.
The Rainbow Wahine (16-8) clinched the dual victory and the title at the No. 1 flight when Katie Spieler and Emily Maglio rallied for a 14-21, 21-11, 15-11 win over the 49ers’ Nele Barbara and Rachel Nieto.
It was the fourth time Hawaii had defeated Long Beach State (13-14) this season, including this morning’s 3-2 victory in the winners bracket semifinal. The 49ers then had to beat Cal State Northridge in the contenders bracket to earn a rematch with the SandBows for the championship.
Hawaii’s other wins in today’s final came at No. 2 (Nikki Taylor and Ka’iwi Schucht), 21-17, 21-9, and at No. 4 (Ginger Long-Mikayla Tucker), 21-17, 21-19.
The losses were at No. 3 (Lara Schreiber-Hannah Zalopany), 21-11, 21-16, and No. 5 (Ari Homayun-Hannah Rooks), 18-21, 21-16, 15-9).
Hawaii expects to receive an at-large bid into next week’s NCAA championship at Gulf Shores, Alabama. The selection show is Sunday on NCAA.com at 4 p.m. Hawaii time.