Hawaii senior Brooke Van Sickle put away 16 kills to lead the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team to a sweep of Cal State Fullerton to open a Big West road trip Friday at Titan Gym in Fullerton, Calif.
After the Rainbow Wahine got off to a slow start, Van Sickle sparked UH’s comeback from a 21-16 deficit in the opening set with six kills in a 9-2 run. The Wahine (16-5, 12-1 Big West) went on to roll to a 25-23, 25-19, 25-14 win over the Titans to remain tied with UC Santa Barbara atop the conference standings.
Van Sickle contributed 10 digs to UH’s defensive effort and was among three UH players who posted double-double performances. Outside hitter Riley Wagoner finished with 10 kills and 13 digs and setter Kate Lang distributed 33 assists and popped up 14 digs. With Lang extending points, freshman libero Tayli Ikenaga had four assists to go along with 14 digs.
Tiffany Westerberg was summoned off the bench early in the first set and added a season-high six kills to the UH attack.
UH trailed for much of the opening set and the host Titans opened up a 15-10 lead. UH closed to 18-16, only to see the Titans surge away again with a 3-0 run to force a Wahine timeout. Van Sickle then hammered kills on four of the next five points and UH took a 22-21 lead on a kill by Skyler Williams.
Cal State Fullerton (9-12, 6-8) took the lead again at 23-22, but Van Sickle tied it and Williams and Westerberg teamed on a block to give UH set point. Van Sickle put away her eighth kill of the set to give UH the win.
The Wahine took control of the second set with a 5-0 run to take a 17-13 lead. UH maintained the cushion and Van Sickle again ended the set with a cross-court kill.
UH opened the third set with a 10-2 surge and held a double-digit lead for much of the set. The Wahine held Cal State Fullerton to a .000 hitting percentage in the set and closed the night with a kill by Westerberg.
The Rainbow Wahine close the trip with a match at Long Beach State on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.
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