UH’s season ends with Sweet 16 loss to Nebraska

The Maui News

The University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team’s resurgent season came to an end Friday as the 12th-seeded Rainbow Wahine lost to No. 5 seed Nebraska in three sets in an NCAA regional semifinal in Madison, Wis.

Brooke Van Sickle recorded a career-high 14 kills to lead the Rainbow Wahine, who lost 29-27, 25-22, 25-19 and end the season at 26-4. Norene Iosia capped off her UH career with 19 assists and 13 digs for her 20th double-double of the season, and fellow senior McKenna Ross added 10 kills and seven digs.

The Rainbow Wahine, making their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2015 and on a 13-match winning streak, had two set points in the first set — at 24-23 and 27-26 — before Nicklin Hames’ kill, a block of Jolie Rasmussen and another attack error by Van Sickle gave the Huskers (28-4) the 1-0 lead.

UH rallied from an early five-point deficit to tie it up midway through the second set. After the ‘Bows took a 17-16 lead on a kill by Ross, Nebraska scored five straight points to grab control of the set and match.

The Huskers were able to maintain a slim lead throughout the third set before a 6-1 run turned a one-point advantage into match point at 24-18. Lexi Sun’s team-high 14th and final kill sent Nebraska into a regional final meeting with fourth-seeded Wisconsin today.