HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Junior libero Malia Bolko recorded 25 digs while freshman setter Paloma Bowman added another 13, but UC Davis managed only .121 hitting in falling, 26-24, 25-17, 25-20, to Hawai'i in Big West Conference women's volleyball action at the Stan Sheriff Center Saturday night.
The Aggies fall to 8-7 for the year and 0-2 in league play. The Rainbow Wahine improves to 8-5 overall and remains unbeaten in Big West matches at 2-0.
Bolko, the conference's two-time defending Defensive Player of the Week, accounted for almost half of her team's 56 total digs. She had dig totals of eight, eight and nine from the first through third sets, respectively. Freshman outside hitter Mahalia White led the Aggies offensively with nine kills, while sophomore outside hitter Lauren Matias added another eight.
For Hawai'i, junior McKenna Granato led all players with 16 kills and a .324 average, while senior middle Emily Maglio added 12 kills, a .360 clip and three blocks.
UC Davis jumped out to an initial 7-5 lead in the first set, gave up four straight to fall behind by a 9-7 margin, then largely kept pace for most of the frame. The Aggies fell behind by a 20-17 deficit before three straight kills equalized to 20-20. Senior Kendra Koelsch then delivered a kill and a block assist amidst another 3-0 Hawai'i run, but UC Davis again answered with three straight to tie at 23-23. Kelechi Ohiri fought off one set point to keep the Aggies in the hunt, but a wide shot from the middle and a Granato kill down the line sealed the first set for the `Bows.
Hawai'i won the second set more decisively, despite a 5-1 Aggie start. Matias had two kills in that stretch, but UC Davis surrendered eight of the next 11 points to fall into a 10-8 hole. Koelsch posted a kill and a solo stuff in a later 5-1 run that made it 16-12 in favor of the Wahine. Matias and White put down back-to-back kills to close the gap to 16-14, but UC Davis never approached any closer than that two-point deficit.
The Wahine never trailed in the third, establishing a 9-5 lead after a pair of Aggie attacking errors. White, junior Brianna Karsseboom, Ohiri and Matias scored kills in a 4-1 comeback that brought UC Davis to within a 14-12 break, but UH responded with a 9-2 explosion to pull away to a 23-14 lead. Granato's 16th kill established a 24-15 match point before UC Davis fought for five straight points. Ohiri accounted for three in that run, teaming with Matias and White for blocks while winning a joust. Maglio ended the Aggie comeback and finished the sweep for Hawai'i.
As a team, the Aggies dipped to .079 hitting in the second set before reducing its attack errors to just four in the third set. Meanwhile, Hawai'i hit .286 (14-4-35) in the second and .255 (19-7-47) in the third.
UC Davis begins a three-match Big West Conference homestand on Friday against UC Irvine. Match time is 7 p.m.
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