BYU-Hawaii women’s volleyball bounces Western Washington 3-1, reaches regional finale

Shih Ting Chen Courtesy BYU-Hawaii Sports Information

LAIE, Hawai‘i - The Brigham Young University Hawaii women’s volleyball team played its way into the NCAA II West Region championship game on Friday night, Nov. 30, with a 3-1 win over Western Washington in the semifinals.

The Seasiders improve to 23-3 on the season.

BYU-Hawaii - tied for fifth in the AVCA Division II National Coaches Poll and the number one seed in the tournament - hit .315 for the match to advance into Saturday's title match with a 25-15, 23-25, 25-17, 25-18 victory.

BYU-Hawaii pulled away from an 8-8 tie in the first set and won going away, but Western Washington answered by overcoming an 18-14 deficit to claim the second set.

The Vikings then used their momentum to score the first four points of the third set before the Seasiders caught up at 6-6.

After the score was tied at 10-10, the Seasiders dominated the rest of the game to take a 2-1 lead. Game four was close early on and was tied 14-14 when BYU-Hawaii took over with an 11-4 run to close out the match.

Senior outside hitter Lauren Hagemeyer blasted 19 kills and hit .333 to lead the way for the Seasiders.

Stella Chen (Photo) matched Hagemeyer’s 19 kills and came up with a team-high 18 digs, while Ariel Hsu put down 13 kills and four blocks.

Tuli Tevaga also reached double-figures in kills with 15 to go with her 17 digs, complementing Courtney Skaggs who added six kills and three blocks.

Sophomore setter Michelle Chen, the Daktronics Division II West Region Player of the Year, set for a career-high 61 assists - one more than she had in Thursday night’s quarterfinal contest. She also conjured up 16 digs.

Melanie Manutai added 16 digs and Joyceann Feletoa produced 13 for the Seasiders.

Marlayna Geary had 21 kills to lead Western Washington, who finished the season with a 24-4 mark. Kayla Erickson had 12, while Samantha Hutchinson posted 29 digs in the loss for the Vikings.

BYU-Hawaii will meet number-three seed Cal State San Bernardino (24-8) Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7 pm HAST in the regional championship match.

The Coyotes advanced with a hard-fought 26-24, 25-21, 21-25, 25-27, 15-12 win over #2 Grand Canyon (24-6).