UH’s season ends with five-set loss to Baylor

The Maui News

Despite winning the first two sets, the University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team saw its season come to an end Thursday as the Rainbow Wahine lost to No. 25 Baylor in five sets in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Norene Iosia had 11 kills, 14 assists and 15 digs to lead UH (18-9) in the 23-25, 23-25, 25-14, 26-24, 16-14 loss at the University of Oregon’s Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene.

McKenna Granato added 11 kills and 10 digs, but she and Iosia combined for 21 hitting errors as Hawaii hit .063 for the match.

After UH allowed the Bears to come back and tie the match up at two sets apiece, the fifth set was close throughout. Down 13-12, the Rainbow Wahine pulled ahead and had match point after a Granato kill and error by Gia Milana. But Baylor closed it out with three straight points, capped by Milana’s seventh kill of the match.

Shelly Fanning had 18 kills and 10 blocks to lead Baylor (20-8), which advances to face Oregon in the second round today. Yossiana Pressley added 17 kills, nine digs and six blocks, and Aniah Philo had 14 kills, 21 digs and four blocks.

The Rainbow Wahine fell behind midway through the first set before rallying. They trailed 19-14, but a 6-1 run tied it at 20. The teams traded points until the Rainbow Wahine finished off the set with three straight points.

UH jumped out to an early lead in the second and expanded it to as many as eight points. The ‘Bows led 23-15 after an attack error by Milana. The Bears rallied for seven straight points to close within 23-22, but a Baylor service error and kill by Casey Castillo — wrapped around a Pressley kill — gave UH the set.

The third set was all Baylor, as the Bears went on an early 7-2 run and didn’t let up. The Rainbow Wahine hit .000 in the set.

Neither team was able to get much separation in the fourth set. The Bears took a 24-23 lead when McKenna Ross was blocked. Iosia’s kill kept the set going, but Baylor got a kill by Fanning and another block to send the match to the decisive fifth set.