SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2013) – The No. 2 seed BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball team overcame a slow start to beat the No. 7 seed Alaska Anchorage Seawolves 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-17) in the opening round of the NCAA West Regional Tournament on Thursday afternoon.
BYU-Hawaii (25-1) hit at a solid .383 percentage to overcome 13 service errors. Shih Ting (Stella) Chen posted a match-high 14 kills while Erh Fang (Ariel) Hsu added nine kills on an efficient .692 hitting percentage. Noel Pauga had eight kills and one solo block and Lacy Miyahira put in eight kills of her own.
"[Chen] is a very important part of our team, no doubt about it,'' she said. "A few of the girls were nervous, but she got us going and set the tone," head coach Mona Ah-Hoy said. "We passed very well and that more than made up for our poor serving. I thought we did a good job of overcoming that aspect of our match.''
A slow start made the Seasiders work extra hard the first set. BYU-Hawaii trailed 12-9 before going on a 7-0 to retake the lead and never look back. The Seasiders controlled the set at 18-13 and cruised to a 25-19 victory to take an early 1-0 match lead.
BYU-Hawaii went up early in the second set but still suffered from too many service errors, even with a 14-11 lead. The team was able to power through it and keep a 16-12 lead. The Seawolves responded with a run to tie things up 16-16. Stella Chen got the Seasiders back on track with a kill, sparking a 6-3 clip to push the lead to 22-18, giving some cushion. BYU-Hawaii took the second set by an identical 25-19 score.
The third set was all Seasiders. After racing out to a 9-3 lead, BYU-Hawaii kept up the advantage at 18-13.Miyahira finished off Alaska Anchorage with a kill for a 25-17 win and 3-0 match victory.
The Seasiders move on now to face UC San Diego, the No. 3 seed on Friday at 5 p.m. PT (3 p.m. HT). Watch and follow live HERE.