BYU-Hawaii women’s volleyball beats pesky UC San Diego 3-1 in NCAA II West Regional

BYU-Hawaii Volleyball Courtesy BYU-Hawaii Sports Information

LAIE, Hawai'i, HI - The Brigham Young University Hawaii women's volleyball team defeated a pesky UC San Diego squad 3-1 on Thursday night, Nov. 29, in the final match of the opening day of the NCAA II West Region Volleyball Tournament.

The Seasiders improved to 22-3 overall for the season.

BYU-Hawaii, tied for fifth in the AVCA Division II National Coaches Poll and the number one seed in the tournament, overcame a ragged second set to advance to the regional semifinals on Friday, Nov. 30, with a 25-21, 23-25, 25-17, 25-22 victory.

Except for the second game when BYU-Hawaii committed 11 attack errors and hit an uncharacteristic .081, the Seasiders were in control most of the match but could never quite shake the Tritons.

BYU-Hawaii led for all but the early points of the opening set, trailed all the way in the second, led most of the way in the third, and then came from an 11-10 deficit in the fourth set to open up a five-point lead that seemed to put the match away.

However, the Triton's did not go quietly, scoring five straight points to tie the set at 21-21.

Pacific West Conference Player of the Year Stella Chen took over, though, blasting kills on three of the last four points of the match to close out the win.

Senior outside hitter Lauren Hagemeyer hammered a career-high 21 kills and hit .436 to lead the way for the Seasiders. She also put up three blocks in the win.

Stella Chen matched Hagemeyer's 21 kills and came up with 16 digs, while Ariel Hsu put down nine kills and posted six blocks.

Tuli Tevaga powered her way to eight kills and Courtney Skaggs added six kills and five blocks.

Sophomore setter Michelle Chen, the Daktronics Regional Player of the Year, set for 60 assists, many of them of the spectacular variety, and led the team with 17 digs.

Melanie Manutai added 16 digs and Joyceann Feletoa 12 for the Seasiders.

Sophie Rowe had 20 kills to lead UC San Diego, who finished the season with a 20-11 mark, while Sara McCutchan had 11. Brittany Lombardi had 23 digs in the loss for the Tritons.

BYU-Hawaii will meet number-four seed Western Washington (24-3) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. HAST in the second regional semifinal match. The Vikings advanced with a 25-20, 25-18, 26-24 win over Sonoma State (22-9).

The earlier semifinal, to be played at 5:00 p.m. HAST, will pit number-three Cal State San Bernardino (23-8) against second seed Grand Canyon (24-5).

Cal State San Bernardino defeated Central Washington (21-8) in a tournament-opening nail-biter 25-16, 20-25, 24-26, 25-16, 15-13.

Grand Canyon also came from a 2-1 deficit to defeat San Francisco State (21-9) 25-20, 16-25, 18-25, 25-23, 15-6.

The winners of Friday night's matches will play for the regional title and a trip to the Elite Eight in Pensacola, Fla., at 7 p.m. HAST on Saturday, Dec. 1.