Brooke Van Sickle and her University of Hawaii teammates put on a show worth waiting for Friday as UH swept UC Davis 25-19 , 25-7, 25-22 in the first home match in front of live fans for the Rainbow Wahine since 2019.
A total of 500 tickets were issued for the match at SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center. Due to COVID-19, the Wahine did not have a season in 2020, and spectators were not allowed for the first nine home matches of this season.
UH remained tied atop the Big West standings with UC Santa Barbara at 10-1 and is 13-6 overall. The Aggies fell to 3-8 and 7-15.
The Wahine dominated most of the way, but were at another level midway through the second set with Van Sickle serving.
After two kills to start the set, she served seven points in a row — including three of her five aces. At the end of that spree, UH led 13-3. The Aggies never recovered, and Skyler Williams blasted four kills the rest of the way, including the set point.
The five aces is a set record for Van Sickle at UH. She had nine in a match before transferring to Hawaii from Oregon.
Van Sickle also led the Wahine with 12 kills. Martyna Leoniak had 10, and Williams added nine on 15 errorless swings. She and Leoniak each had seven blocks.
Olivia Utterback led the Aggies with 11 kills.
UC Davis led 12-11 in the first set, but the Wahine scored the next six points to regain control. Williams and Leoniak combined on two blocks, and then an ace and kill by Van Sickle put UH up 17-13.
The Aggies never led the third set, but stayed close and trailed 21-20. But then Leoniak’s kill and an Aggies error gave UH breathing room. Van Sickle’s final kill ended the match.
Hawaii plays UC Riverside on Saturday. The 500 available tickets are already accounted for. Tentative plans are to allow capacity-sized crowds at the 10,300-seat Sheriff Center for Hawaii’s final four home matches of the season next month.
The Wahine host UC Riverside on Saturday.