Seventh-seeded Hawaii finished fourth today at the NCAA beach volleyball tournament after a 3-0 loss to top-seeded USC in Gulf Shores, Ala.
The Rainbow Wahine (28-11) had advanced to the losers bracket semifinal with a 3-0 win over eighth-seeded Stetson earlier today. Hawaii had finished third nationally the past two seasons.
The Women of Troy won at Flights 3, 4 and 5 to clinch the dual. The deciding point came at No. 5 when Sofia Russo and Norene Iosia fell to Cammie Dorn-Mollie Ebertin, 21-17, 21-14.
In today’s earlier elimination match with eighth-seeded Stetson, Russo-Iosia earned the dual-clinching point in the 3-0 sweep of the Hatters. Russo-Iosia, in only their fourth match together, rallied past Quinci Birker-Rebecca Ingram, 21-14, 22-20.
Russo-Iosia held off two set points when trailing 20-18. An ace by Russo, a block by Iosia and a Hatters hitting error gave the SandBows dual point at 21-20; a net violation by Stetson completed the comeback.
The Hatters, who upset USC in Friday’s opener, finish the season at 30-10.
USC (31-5) advances to Sunday’s losers bracket championship against fifth-seeded LSU. The winner of that advances to the final against defending national champion UCLA.
It was the seventh consecutive loss to the Women of Troy for the SandBows. Hawaii is 3-14 against USC all-time including a 4-1 loss in the Arizona State Invitational on March 23 in Tempe, Ariz.
The loss ends the careers of senior Ari Homayun, Emily Maglio, and Hi‘ilawe Huddleston. Homayun finishes as the program’s all-time wins leader (118) and was 12-4 in four NCAA tournaments. Maglio is second in wins at 112.