BYU-Hawaii sweeps Cal St. San Bernardino, advances to elite eight in Pensacola Dec. 6

BYU with West Region Trophy Courtesy BYU-Hawaii Sports Information 

LAIE, Hawai'i - The Brigham Young University Hawaii women's volleyball team swept its way to the NCAA II West Regional title on Saturday night, Dec. 1, by blanking Cal State San Bernardino 3-0.

The Seasiders overcame a shaky start in the first set to claim a 27-25, 25-18, 25-19 win and earn a trip to the NCAA II Elite Eight in Pensacola, Fla., starting Dec. 6.

BYU-Hawaii will face West Texas A&M on Thursday, Dec. 6, and 3:30 p.m. in Pensacola.

The Seasiders, now 24-3 for the season and tied for fifth in the AVCA National Coaches Division II Poll, struggled out of the gate as the Coyotes raced to a 7-2 lead in the opening set. The lead was bolstered by four BYU-Hawaii errors.

CSU San Bernardino increased its lead to six points at 13-7 before the Seasiders began chipping away at the gap.

BYU-Hawaii tied the score at 16-16 only to see the Coyotes move back in front 23-19, much to the disappointment of an energetic BYU-Hawaii crowd; however, the Seasiders refused to give in and scored three straight points to pull within one.

A kill by the Coyotes' Alexandra Torline gave CSU San Bernardino a set point, but Courtney Skaggs knocked one down and Shih Ting (Stella) Chen followed with another to tie the set at 24-24.

A BYU-Hawaii error gave the Coyotes a second chance to close out the set, but another kill by Chen knotted it again, while two CSU San Bernardino errors closed out the set for the Seasiders.

BYU-Hawaii took control early in the second set, sprinting out to a 5-1 lead behind a Ying Chun (Michelle) Chen service ace and four kills - two of them coming from Lauren Hagemeyer.

The Coyotes never inched closer than three points the rest of the set as the Seasiders took a 2-0 lead.

CSU San Bernardino battled back in the third set from an early 5-2 deficit to take a 12-9 lead, but the Seasiders reeled off seven straight points fueled by a pair of Hagemeyer kills to put an end to the Coyotes' hopes.

From the 16-12 lead the Coyotes closed to two points at 20-18 but could never get any nearer.

Senior outside hitter Hagemeyer powered 16 kills and hit .481 to lead the way for the Seasiders.

Stella Chen, Erh Fang (Ariel) Hsu and Tuli Tevaga each knocked down eight kills, while Skaggs added six for.

Sophomore setter Michelle Chen, the Daktronics Regional Player of the Year, set for 37 assists and Tevaga came up with 12 digs. Hsu, Skaggs, and Stella Chen each put up three blocks in the match, while Michelle Chen served both of BYU-Hawaii's aces in the match.

Danielle Newcombe had 10 kills to lead Cal State San Bernardino (24-9), and Torline who had nine. Newcombe and Arielle McCullough each had 11 digs in the loss for the Coyotes.

Following the match, Hsu, Hagemeyer, Stella Chen, and Michelle Chen were all named to the All-Tournament Team for the Seasiders. Hagemeyer averaged 5.09 kills per game for the tournament and hit .407.

Hsu hit .391 with 2.73 kills per game and led the Seasiders with 1.18 blocks per game for the three games. 

Stella Chen knocked down 4.36 kills per game and hit .245 with a team-high 3.91 digs per contest.

Michelle Chen average 14.36 assists per contest and came up with 3.55 digs per set.

Joining the Seasiders on the All-Tournament Team were Camille Smith, Mercedes Winchester, and Torline from Cal State San Bernardino.  Also making the squad were Marlayna Geary and Samantha Hutchinson of Western Washington, Kristen Preach and Mackenzie Phelps of Grand Canyon, and Iris Tolenada of San Francisco State.