SEATTLE >> Hawaii middle blocker Amber Igiede put away 18 kills and outside hitter Brooke Van Sickle added 16 and the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team pulled out a five-set win over Mississippi State today to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Rainbow Wahine (22-7) recovered from a shaky start to dominate the second and third sets before being forced to a fifth set for the second straight match. Igiede sparked the Wahine in the fifth set and UH advanced with a 17-25, 25-14, 25-13, 21-25, 15-11 win over the Bulldogs in Alaska Airlines Arena.
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The Wahine host Washington in the second round on Saturday. The match is set for 5 p.m. The host Huskies, the No. 15 seed in the bracket, swept Brown 25-15, 25-13, 25-20 in today’s second match.
Mississippi State right-side hitter Gabby Waden led the Bulldogs (25-6) with 20 kills on .372 hitting. The loss snapped a 13-match winning streak for Southeastern Conference runner-up Mississippi State.
A Mississippi State team making its first NCAA Tournament in the program’s 47-year history appeared to be the more composed unit throughout the opening set. The Bulldogs raced out to a 19-9 lead against a misfiring Wahine attack. UH found its footing with three consecutive blocks and an ace by Kate Lang to close to 19-13. But Mississippi State halted the UH momentum and closed out the set on UH’s 10th hitting error.
After UH hit negative-.050 in the opening set, the match flipped in the second set and the Rainbow Wahine charged out an 8-3 lead. Consecutive aces by Igiede highlighted a 6-0 run that stretched the UH lead to 17-7. Mississippi State went on a five-point run to close to 18-13, but UH closed the set with a 7-1 run to even the match.
The Rainbow Wahine rolled the momentum into the third set and jumped out to a 6-1 lead. UH opened the set with a block and Igiede followed with three kills and Williams added two more. The Wahine turned back three consecutive MSU attacks to open up a 20-9 lead. Igiede hammered a kill off an overpass of Tayli Ikenaga’s serve to close out the set and give UH a 2-1 lead in the match.
With its landmark season on the line, Mississippi State battled back in the fourth set. The Bulldogs hit .429 in the set and opened up a 24-17 lead. UH fought off four set points before Lauren Myrick went through the UH block to send the match to a fifth set.
Igiede had six kills in the fifth set and Van Sickle fired an ace to help the Wahine take a 12-8 lead. The teams traded sideouts until UH reached match point at 14-11 on Van Sickle’s 16th kill. Mississippi State fought off the first, but UH freshman Martyna Leoniak scored from the right side to send the Wahine to the second round.