Aggies battle in four-set loss to No. 7 Hawai'i

Malia Bolko led all players with 23 digs in Sunday's matinee with No. 7 Hawaii.
(Mark Honbo, Athletics Communications)
Nov. 15, 2015

Final Stats

DAVIS, Calif. - Senior outside hitter Kaylin Squyres tallied 19 kills and freshman libero Malia Bolko picked up a match-high 23 digs but UC Davis ultimately fell to seventh-ranked Hawai'i in four sets during Big West Conference women's volleyball action at the Pavilion Sunday afternoon. The Rainbow Wahine won by set scores of 23-25, 25-17, 25-22 and 25-17.

The Aggies fall to 13-15 overall and 8-6 in conference play. The 'Bows improved to 23-1 for the year and stay unbeaten atop the Big West standings at13-0.

Squyres posted her 19 kills in 52 swings, narrowly missing a double-double with her nine digs. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Kelechi Ohiri and true freshman opposite Nicola Moore each had five blocks while junior Allie Wegener served up three of her team's eight aces.

For Hawai'i, junior opposite Nikki Taylor led all hitters with 21 kills while seniors Tai Manu-Olevao and Olivia Magill added totals of 11 and 10, respectively. Magill also had six total blocks, including two solo stuffs, to lead the Wahine's team total of 10. Hawai'i leads all NCAA teams in blocks per set.

UC Davis overcame a 15-10 deficit to claim the opener. Freshman Emily Allen posted a kill then teamed up with Ohiri on a block to cut the deficit to 17-16, then Ohiri and junior Kendall Walbrecht combined for a stuff to equalize at 17-17. The Wahine took four of the next five points to move ahead by a1 21-18 margin until the Aggies answered with three straight to forge the set's fourth tie at 21-21. Sophomore Aima Eichie pounded down a one ball and Wegener served up an ace to put UC Davis up 24-23 for its first lead since drawing first blood in the match. Aima struck again for the winner, giving the Aggies the initial match lead.

The Aggies went from a respectable .206 in their first-set win to a .021 clip in the second, in part due to Hawaii's 23 team digs in the frame. Meanwhile, Kalei Greeley helped serve up a run of seven unanswered to propel the Wahine to a 12-4 start. UC Davis managed to close the gap to five at 17-12 and again at 19-14, but UH tacked on four straight to pull away. Bolko was a bright spot for the Aggies in the second with her nine digs.

In each of the third and fourth sets, UC Davis forged early leads only to have Hawai'i rally later. Squyres had six kills in the first nine Aggie points to start the third, and held a 12-9 lead on a Nicola Moore kill. Manu-Olevao, Taylor and Magill scored consecutive kills to tie the frame at 12-12, then Manu-Olevao's tool put the Wahine into the lead. In all, UH scored six straight in that run to take the lead for good. The Aggies cut the margin to two on three different occasions down the stretch but could not equalize. A service error and an attack into the net provided UH with its 24th and 25th points.

Similarly, Wegener served up two aces to highlight the Aggies' 9-4 start to the fourth, but the 'Bows eventually whittled away, tying the frame on Magill's solo stuff at 10-10. Squyres scored a kill to put UC Davis back up by one, but a Magill kill and a service ace from setter Tyler Higgins provided UH with its first lead at 12-11. Hawai'i later enjoyed a 7-1 run, including back-to-back aces from Greeley, to pull away to a 22-15 edge.

Taylor hit an errorless 7-for-11 in the final set to help the Wahine finish off the win.

The Aggies return to action on Saturday for their final road match at UC Irvine, then host Cal Poly for their season finale on November 24.