Vuls dom­i­nate hap­less Holy Names

It’s nice to breathe easy on road

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - SPORTS -

Col­lege vol­ley­ball sea­sons can turn into a grind, es­pe­cially on road trips, and the drudgery only height­ens when a team is play­ing for a fourth con­sec­u­tive day.

So it’s nice when a team can get through its busi­ness quickly as UH-Hilo did Wednesday.

Down­trod­den Holy Names was the per­fect op­po­nent con­sid­er­ing the cir­cum­stances, and the Vul­cans breezed to a 25-17, 25-15, 25-22 vic­tory in Oak­land for their third win in four nights and fourth in five matches over­all.

The only loss dur­ing the span came in non­con­fer­nce ac­tion Tues­day in three sets against Cal State East Bay, but UH-Hilo quickly bounced back against the win­less Hawks, with Siera Green pound­ing 15 kills to help lift the Vul­cans (8-8, 5-4 Pa­cific West) above .500 in con­fer­ence play for the first time all sea­son.

At .208, UH-Hilo man­aged to clear a .200 hit­ting per­cent­age for the first time in seven matches thanks in large part to Green (.303), Ki­ley Davis (six kills, .357, four blocks) and Evelin Soly­omvari (six, .364).

Set­ter Ba­sia Sauni en­joyed a nice all-around ef­fort with 22 as­sists, 14 digs and two aces.

There haven’t been many nice things to hap­pen to Holy Names (0-17, 0-8) so far this sea­son. The Hawks were swept for the 13th time – twice by the Vuls – and they’ve only man­aged to win four sets.

Sierra Allen led way with eight kills, but Holy Names only hit .020.

Green now has 61 kills on the road trip, in­clud­ing a ca­reer-high 23 on Mon­day, to help UH-Hilo reach to top half of the PacWest in a tie for sixth.

Be­fore head­ing back to the Big Is­land, the Vul­cans visit Fresno Pa­cific on Fri­day. The Sun­birds (7-10, 5-3) won in four sets Sept. 23 in Hilo.

Cross-coun­try: On the path to the PacWest cham­pi­onships, the Vul­cans ap­pear to be on the up­swing.

In their fi­nal tune-up last Saturday on Oahu, Anna Baker-Mikkelsen took her cus­tom­ary spot as the top UHH run­ner, fin­ish­ing third at the HPA In­vi­ta­tional, and Beatriz Duarte was sev­enth, one spot ahead of Meghan Lang­behn.

Baker-Mikkelsen fin­ished the grass course in 20:14, 20 sec­onds bet­ter than she ran on the same course ear­lier this sea­son at the Big Wave In­vi­ta­tional.

Duarte’s 20:37 was 31 sec­onds faster than the be­gin­ning of the sea­son (21:08), Lang­behn im­proved by eight sec­onds and Lizette Gar­cia was 46 sec­onds bet­ter.

Reyna Gar­cia Lopez pulled out be­fore the race with what a school re­lease called a “slight in­jury,” so the Vul­cans did not com­pute a team score.

“Anna ran a good race, by her­self most of the time,” head coach Jamie Guerpo said. “All four run­ners im­proved from the last time we were here a month ago, and that’s what we are look­ing for as we try to peak in two weeks at the con­fer­ence cham­pi­onships.”

The fi­nal run is Oct. 21 in Bel­mont, Calif.

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