Senior hitter McKenna Granato put down a team-high 16 kills and senior middle Sarah Liva added a career-high 11 as Hawaii outlasted UC Santa Barbara 19-25, 25-14, 25-21, 19-25, 15-10 in tonight’s Big West volleyball match in Goleta, Calif.
Granato finished with her 10th double-double (14 digs) for the Rainbow Wahine (9-5, 5-0), who won their fifth straight. Senior libero Tita Akiu had 26 of Hawaii’s 89 digs and the walk-off ace that ended it after 2 hours and 20 minutes.
The victory sets up a showdown between the Big West’s undefeated, with Hawaii traveling to play No. 13 Cal Poly (15-1, 5-0) on Saturday. It was the 10th consecutive win over the Gauchos by the Wahine dating back to 2013.
Hawaii had a season-high 12 blocks, with junior middle Natasha Burns in on eight. Junior setter-hitter Norene Iosia also had a double-double (10 kills, 23 assists), as did senior setter Faith Ma’afala (19 assists, 16 digs).
Senior hitter Casey Castillo had 10 kills and sophomore defensive specialist Rika Okino a career-high 13 digs.
For UCSB (12-7, 4-3), junior hitter Lindsey Ruddins finished with 16 kills, taking 70 swings, and 11 digs. Senior libero Emilia Petrachi added 29 digs.