The No. 18 Hawaii women’s volleyball team overcame the absence of top attacker Jolie Rasmussen to defeat Utah Valley 25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 25-15 tonight in front of 4,183 at the Stan Sheriff Center and remain unbeaten.
UH (8-0) faces longtime rival UCLA (5-2) for the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts championship at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Freshman Hanna Hellvig matched her season high in kills with 17 and set a new digs high of 17 for her first double-double. Junior hitter Brooke Van Sickle contributed 11 kills and middle Amber Igiede nine with six blocks against the Wolverines (2-7) of the WAC. Setter Bailey Choy had her third straight double-double, 20 assists and 14 digs.
Ramussen, who injured her right ankle in Thursday night’s four-set win over West Virginia, watched from the bench and on crutches, her foot in a boot.
Playing without its kills leader for the first time this season, UH started senior McKenna Ross (five kills) in her stead.
UH built an eight-point lead in Set 1, 22-14, before the Wolverines creeped back to make it a little interesting. Ross rose up from the left side and hit it off the block to take it.
UVU, aided by several UH attack errors early in Set 2, claimed an 11-9 lead, lost it, then went back up 15-13 at the media timeout. Trailing 20-17, the Wahine uncorked an 8-0 run on libero Rika Okino’s serve to go up 2-0 overall.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 9-2 lead in Set 3 with consecutive aces by Kahuku alumna Jasmine Niutupuivaha. The visitors’ lead grew to 13-3 and coach Robyn Ah Mow burned her second timeout of the set. UH got within 17-9 on Igiede’s second block solo of the set and 18-11 on Tiffany Westerberg’s step-out kill. Consecutive UVU attack errors brought UH within 19-14. Hellvig’s cross-court kill made it 22-19, but the Wahine got no closer as Hellvig was roofed to end the set.
Setter Norene Iosia got UH off on the right foot in the fourth with two aces during the Wahine’s 3-0 start. It was all Wahine from there. Van Sickle’s consecutive aces made it 23-14 and UH hit .333 in the set to win going away.