Senior opposite Nikki Taylor put down 23 kills and junior middle Emily Maglio added a career-high 15 as Hawaii survived its NCAA volleyball tournament opening-round match today, turning back USC 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 16-25, 15-13 in Minneapolis.
Hawaii (23-5), winning its 11th straight, will play top-ranked Minnesota (26-4) at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Golden Gophers swept North Dakota 25-21, 25-12, 25-20, in Friday’s second match to run their home-court winning streak to 14 this season and 20 dating back to 2014.
The Wahine have now advanced to the second round every season since 1998 and for the 34th time in 36 appearances.
Saturday’s match with Minnesota is a rematch of last year’s regional final, won by the Gophers 3-1.
Hawaii improved to 23-18 against the Women of Troy (18-14). Freshman hitter Khalia Lanier, daughter of NBA great Bob Lanier, led USC with 26 kills.
Senior hitter Annie Mitchem had 12 kills and sophomore hitter McKenna Granato had 11, earning her third double-double with 11 digs. Junior libero Savanah Kahakai finished with 19 of the team’s 76 digs.
USC senior libero Taylor Whittingham had 32 of her team’s 89 digs.
Hawaii won the block war 13-12, with Taylor and Maglio in on six each. Freshman setter Norene Iosia turned in her 13th double-double with 46 assists and 10 digs.
Maglio had no hitting errors in 31 swings, hitting .484.