On Friday, Oct. 18, UC Riverside’s volleyball team (5-13) lost in a frustrating fashion to the University of Hawaii (15-3). The final result of the match was a 3-0 shutout. This marks not only their sixth straight loss but a six-game losing streak in which the Highlanders have not been able to take a set away from an opponent.
The University of Hawaii came out strong with an initial seven point rally in the first set. Hawaii freshman outside hitter Hanna Hellvig contributed six consistent serves to start up each point battle. The Rainbow Warriors offense then gave up four points and briefly allowed the Highlanders back in the game, 9-6. After a time out, the University of Hawaii responded with a 6-1 run. Once again in control of the set, the Rainbow Warriors closed out the set, 25-17.
The early stages of the second set saw both teams trade points constantly in an exciting back and forth sequence. The first half of the set had 11 score ties and four lead changes. With the score at 16-17, a timeout proved crucial once again for the University of Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors readjusted their game plan and took 10 of the final 12 points to close out the set, 25-18.
The third and final set saw total domination from the Rainbow Warriors as the Highlanders began to crumble defensively. Hawaii junior libero Kyra Hanawahine had a five-point serving streak early on, allowing Hawaii to increase their lead, 12-5. Senior setter Bailey Choy later had a six point serving run of her own, increasing Hawaii’s lead to 19-5. UC Riverside was unable to answer the offense surge and the University of Hawaii took the final set 25-12 with ease.
A bright spot for the game for UCR was junior outside hitter Ayla Fresenius. Despite the Highlanders’ offensive struggles, Fresenius constantly kept the Highlanders in the match, as she accumulated a total of seven kills and six digs. Junior setter Morgan Kline also contributed to the match with nine assists and sophomore setter Jade Dejah added seven assists of her own. UC Riverside will have to count on a grander team performance going forward, as they only registered 23 kills compared to Hawaii’s 40 kills.
Up next, UC Riverside will host Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (13-6) at the SRC Arena on Thursday, Oct. 24.