SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calf. — The No. 8 University of Hawaii beach volleyball team completed an unblemished weekend at the Big West Challenge with three more wins Sunday at the Swanson Beach Volleyball Complex on the campus of Cal Poly. UH defeated Sacramento State and CSU Bakersfield by identical 4-1 scores, before capping things off with a 3-2 triumph over No. 12 Long Beach State.
UH (20-3) completed the two-day, round-robin competition with a perfect 6-0 mark and in the process extended its win streak to 18 straight matches, the second-longest win streak in program history.
UH opened the day with a 4-1 win over Sacramento State. UH shuffled its lineup against the Hornets with four different pairs altered and a pair of redshirt freshmen gaining a starting nod for the first time ever. Cami Loker paired with Sydney Miller at the No. 5 flight for a 21-18, 23-21 win over Caty Cordano and Hailey Plugge. Meanwhile, Kendall Kaelin played at the No. 2 flight with Kylin Loker and the pair engaged in an epic battle with Caitlin Volkmann and Ellie Tisko before falling 25-23, 16-21, 28-26. UH surrendered the final point but still cruised to its 16th straight win.
The ‘Bows again used a retooled lineup in its second match against CSUB in an eventual 4-1 win. UH jumped out to a 2-0 lead with dominate wins by the pairs of the Kaylee Glagau and Brooke Van Sickle at the No. 1 flight and Jaime Santer and Ilihia Huddleston at the No. 4 flight. UH however had to scrap for its final two points of the dual as three of the remaining courts went the distance. UH gained the clinching point when Chandler Cowell and Sophie Buschmann went on a match-ending 6-2 run to secure a 27-25, 13-21, 15-11 win over Pearl Moore and Megan Gilbert. UH improved to a perfect 9-0 all-time against the Roadrunners.
LBSU and UH met in the final match of the weekend, both undefeated in the Challenge and riding double-digit wins streaks – UH with 17 straight wins and the Beach with 12. The ‘Bows gained the advantage right off the bat with LBSU forfeiting the first point at Court No. 4 due to a pre-match injury. LBSU evened it, 1-1, with a straight-set win on Court No. 3. UH then took a 2-1 advantage with a straight-set win of its own by Chandler Cowell and Sydney Miller at the No. 5 flight that improved the pair to a stellar 14-1 this year.
The match would come down to the top two courts and once again it was the pair of Glagau and Van Sickle who would seal the deal. The duo battled past Sydney Stevens and Julia Westby 21-15, 27-25 as UH clinched the third and deciding point in its eventual 3-2 win. It secured UH’s third win over LBSU (15-9) this year and its seventh straight overall in the series. Glagau and Van Sickle finished 6-0 over the weekend to improve to a remarkable19-1 on the season. The tandem has won 16 straight matches for the fifth-longest streak in school history.
The BeachBows will remain in California for five more matches in the next week, beginning with a clash at No. 3 UCLA on Wednesday March 29. First serve is 3 p.m. PT/12 p.m. HT.
UH 4 Sacramento State 1
1. Van Sickle/Glagau (UH) def. Bridgette Smith/Kalani Hayes (SAC) 21-13, 21-14
2. Caitlin Volkmann/Ellie Tisko (SAC) def. Kylin Loker/Kendall Kaelin (UH) 25-23, 16-21, 28-26
3. Sofia Russo/Lea Kruse (UH) def. Ashlynn Archer/Greta Davis (SAC) 21-14, 21-11
4. Anna Maidment/Buschmann (UH) def. Tiya Kamba-Griffin/Carrie Crom (SAC) 21-18, 21-16
5. Miller/Cami Loker (UH) def. Caty Cordano/Hailey Plugge (SAC) 21-18, 23-21
Order of Finish: 3,1,5,4,2
UH 4 CSU Bakersfield 1
1. Van Sickle/Glagau (UH) def. Sophia Hladyniuk/Emma Erteltova (CSUB) 21-10, 21-13
2. Kruse/Riley Wagoner (UH) def. Sophia Brandstetter/Hana Makonova (CSUB) 21-16, 13-21, 19-17
3. Isabella Almeida/Hayley McCluskey (CSUB) def. Anna Maidment/Russo (UH) 17-21, 21-19, 15-11
4. Huddleston/Santer (UH) def. Alanna Shields/Emma Bubelis (CSUB) 21-10, 21-12
5. Buschmann/Cowell (UH) def. Moore/Gilbert (CSUB) 27-25, 13-21, 15-11
Order of Finish: 1,4,3,5,2
UH 3 Long Beach State 2
1. Van Sickle/Glagau (UH) def. Sydney Stevens/Julia Westby (LBSU) 21-15, 27-25
2. Malia Gementera/Taylor Hagenah (LBSU) def. Wagoner/Kylin Loker (UH) 16-21, 21-17, 15-8
3. Megan Widener/Natalie Glenn (LBSU) def. Russo/Kruse (UH) 23-21, 21-16
4. Santer/Huddleston (UH) def. Mari Molina/Christine Deroos (LBSU) 21-0, 21-0
5. Miller/Cowell (UH) def. Kate Stoughton/Emily Mattoon (LBSU) 21-19, 21-19
Order of Finish: 4,3,5,1,2