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Hawaii women’s volleyball team claims Big West title, NCAA tournament berth

  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM Hawaii’s Skyler Williams hits against Cal State Northridge’s Taylor Orshoff and Lauryn Anderson.

    GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Hawaii’s Skyler Williams hits against Cal State Northridge’s Taylor Orshoff and Lauryn Anderson.

  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM The Rainbow Wahine volleyball team celebrated their Big West championship tonight.

    GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The Rainbow Wahine volleyball team celebrated their Big West championship tonight.

The University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team clinched its second-consecutive Big West conference championship tonight, and the accompanying automatic NCAA tournament bid with a 23-25, 25-12, 25-19, 25-12 victory over visiting Cal State Northridge.

A crowd of around 4,000 at SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center saw Amber Igiede lead the Wahine with 16 kills as they rebounded from a slow start to improve to 18-1 in the Big West and 21-6 overall. The Matadors finished their season at 6-14 and 7-23.

UH hosts UC Santa Barbara on Saturday to finish its regular season and honor Janelle Gong, Brooke Van Sickle and Skyler Williams on Senior Night.

The Wahine learn Sunday whom and where they will play their NCAA first-round match next week. Hawaii will not be hosting this year. In 2019, the four-time national-champion Rainbow Wahine won their first two NCAA tournament matches before losing to Nebraska in a regional match. (There was no season in 2020 due to COVID-19.)

Tonight, CSUN took the first set on the strength of six of Seyvion Waggoner’s team-high 11 kills while UH hurt itself with four net violations. The set was tied eight times, but the Matadors never trailed after taking a 2-1 lead.

Igiede dominated the second set with seven kills in nine swings. Tayli Ikenaga contributed seven of her match-high 22 digs.

With Kate Lang serving, Hawaii reeled off the first six points of the third set. CSUN closed to 22-19. After a UH timeout, Carisa Barron’s service error, a kill by Tiffany Westerberg and Lang’s ace put the ‘Bows up 2-1 in sets. Van Sickle threw down five of her 14 kills.

The Matadors scrapped to a 9-all tie in the fourth set, but Van Sickle gave UH breathing room with a kill and an ace and the Wahine pulled away from there.

For the match, Riley Wagoner pitched in with 11 kills for Hawaii, and Williams was in on six of UH’s 10 blocks.

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