Rainbow Wahine clinch Big West championship


The Maui News

The University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team defeated Cal State Northridge in four sets in Honolulu on Friday night, securing its 10th Big West Conference championship and 26th conference title overall.

Amber Igiede had 16 kills and Brooke Van Sickle added 14 kills and 12 digs as the Rainbow Wahine (21-6, 18-1 Big West) overcame a sluggish start to beat the Matadors 23-25, 25-12, 25-19, 25-12.

Riley Wagoner had 12 kills and 12 digs, Skyler Williams had six blocks and five kills, Kate Lang had 43 assists and 11 digs, and Tayli Ikenaga had 22 digs for UH, which clinched the Big West’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, the selection show for which is Sunday.

After dropping a close first set, the Rainbow Wahine roared back to dominate the second — hitting a blistering .351 as a team in the set — and they were well on their way to their 10th straight victory.

Seyvion Waggoner led Cal State Northridge (7-22, 6-13) with 11 kills.

UH closes the regular season today against UC Santa Barbara.

• MEN’S BASKETBALL: At Las Vegas, Junior Madut scored 18 points as the short-handed Rainbow Warriors fell to South Alabama 72-69 in the championship game of the Las Vegas Classic on Friday.

Despite once again playing without top scorers Bernardo da Silva and Noel Coleman, UH was in position to win for a second straight day.

Hawaii closed to 70-69 on Madut’s fastbreak layup with 16 seconds remaining. After the Jaguars hit two free throws, the ‘Bows had 10 seconds left to get off a tying shot, but Jovon McClanahan’s 3-point attempt in the final seconds was off the mark.

UH shot 49 percent, shared the ball well (18 assists on 23 field goals) and outrebounded South Alabama 33-24, but the Rainbow Warriors couldn’t overcome a season-high 20 turnovers and 12-for-20 free throw shooting.

Mate Colina had 15 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, and McClanahan and Amoro Lado each added 12 points for UH (3-2).

Charles Manning Jr. led the Jaguars (5-2) with 25 points.

The Rainbow Warriors next play at Santa Clara on Tuesday.

• WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: At Honolulu, freshman forward Nnenna Orji had 10 points and 10 rebounds in her first career start as the Rainbow Wahine notched their second straight victory, 71-50 over Eastern Illinois on the first day of the Rainbow Wahine Showdown.

Amy Atwell led UH in scoring for the third straight game with 16 points, and McKenna Haire and Maeve Donnelly each added 10.

The Rainbow Wahine jumped out to a 10-0 lead and led by double-digits for most of the first half. They led by as many as 19 points in the second quarter before the Panthers went on a late run to close the gap to 33-24 by halftime.

UH pulled away again in the third quarter to take a 54-36 advantage into the fourth, and the Rainbow Wahine were able to maintain their large lead while using a younger lineup that included four freshmen.

Julia Bengston had 12 points to lead Eastern Illinois (4-1), which shot under 30 percent from the field and were outrebounded 43-33.

The Rainbow Wahine play Utah today and then Gonzaga on Sunday.