comscore Rainbow Wahine volleyball team sweeps Cal Poly, clinches tie for Big West title
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Rainbow Wahine volleyball team sweeps Cal Poly, clinches tie for Big West title

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Hawaii earned a breakthrough sweep at Cal Poly today to secure at least a tie for first place in the Big West women’s volleyball race.

Rainbow Wahine outside hitter Riley Wagoner put away a match-high 12 kills and middle blocker Amber Igiede added 10 kills and seven blocks in a 25-22, 25-18, 25-20 win over the host Mustangs at the Mott Athletics Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

The Wahine snapped a three-game losing streak on the Mustangs’ home court with the program’s first win at Cal Poly since 2016. UH also stretched its current winning streak to a season-high nine in a row.

With the win, UH (20-6, 17-1 BWC) secured at least a tie for the top spot in the Big West with a two-game lead on UC Santa Barbara and two matches left in the conference season. The Rainbow Wahine can clinch the outright title and the Big West’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with one win or a UCSB loss next week.

UCSB (19-11, 15-3) plays at Cal State Northridge on Tuesday. The Rainbow Wahine open their final homestand of the season on Friday against CSUN and play host to UCSB on Saturday in their regular-season finale at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

UH went back to its usual starting lineup after altering the group for Friday’s four-set win at CSU Bakersfield. Brooke Van Sickle returned to a starting role after coming off the bench on Friday and finished with nine kills in 20 attempts. Tiffany Westerberg tied her season high with seven kills.

Cal Poly jumped out to a 6-1 lead on three consecutive blocks in the first set. Trailing 14-9, UH rallied to catch the Mustangs with a five-point run with Janelle Gong on the service line and took a 16-15 lead on an ace by Wagoner. The Wahine held off Cal Poly the rest of the way and finished the set when Igiede hammered an overpass of Gong’s serve.

UH posted four blocks in the second set and took control with a 6-1 run to open up a 19-11 on its way to taking a 2-0 lead in the match.

Van Sickle and Tayli Ikenaga served up aces to help UH surge to a 12-6 lead in the third set. Cal Poly battled back to tie it at 18-18. But a Mustang error and consecutive kills by Igiede gave UH a 21-18 lead. Cal Poly closed again to 21-20 before UH closed out the match with a 4-0 run capped by a block by Igiede.

Tommi Stockham led Cal Poly with nine kills. UH hit .252 for the match to Cal Poly’s .142.

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