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UH avoids second straight upset

The Maui News

A night after being stunned by UC Irvine, the University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team found itself in an 0-2 hole against another unranked conference foe.

This time, the Rainbow Wahine were able to claw their way back and avoid the upset.

Hanna Hellvig had 16 kills and 20 digs, and No. 11 Hawaii rallied for a 22-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-15, 15-12 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

By dropping the first two sets against the Titans, UH had dropped five straight after losing the last three against the Anteaters in a shocking five-set loss Friday night.

It looked as though the Rainbow Wahine were in for another loss as they then fell behind 18-13 in the third set against Fullerton. But UH went on a 5-1 run to get back in the set. Trailing 21-19, Hawaii got a kill and back-to-back aces from Norene Iosia during a 4-0 run to take the lead. The set ended on a Titans attack error.

After they breezed to a fourth-set victory, the Rainbow Wahine were able to open up a 13-7 lead in the fifth. Fullerton scored four straight points to make it close, but an Amber Igiede kill and another Titans error ended the match.

Iosia finished with nine kills, 26 assists and 17 digs, and Igiede had 10 kills, 10 blocks and six digs. On a night where both teams hit sub-.160, UH (13-2, 3-1 Big West Conference) totaled 106 digs, one fewer than Fullerton.

Julia Crawford led the Titans (8-7, 0-4) with 20 kills.

UH next plays a pair of road matches against teams with 5-0 conference records — the Rainbow Wahine are at Cal Poly on Friday and at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.