SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (Dec. 6, 2013) – In three competitive games, the BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball team downed UC San Diego 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-22) to advance to the finals of the NCAA West Regional Tournament.
The team will play host-school Cal State Bernardino Saturday at 7 p.m. PT (5 p.m. HT). Click here to watch and follow tomorrow's match.
The Seasiders (26-1) faced a pesky UCSD (26-6) squad that battled back every time BYU-Hawaii made a run. Leads of eight or nine points were never comfortable with the Tritons coming back to make games interesting. The Seasiders showed their resiliency and controlled when they needed too, matching any run with one of their own.
A group effort from BYU-Hawaii made the team tough to beat with five players logging at least seven kills. Shih Ting (Stella) Chen had a match-best 16 kills while Erh Fang (Ariel) Hsu added nine kills, Noel Pauga had eight and Erica Willes and Lacy Miyahira posted seven apiece.
BYU-Hawaii took advantage of some early mistakes by the Tritons to get out to 9-5 lead in the first set. UCSD kept hanging around an cut the lead to 14-12. BYU-Hawaii couldn't thwart a comeback and the Tritons went ahead 20-19. The lead changed back and forth five times before the Seasiders went up 24-23. Pauga slammed one to the floor to win the first set for BYU-Hawaii 25-23.
The Seasiders were more in control in the second set. BYU-Hawaii doubled up the Tritons at 16-8 midway through the set. The lead shrank to 19-15 but the Seasiders had enough cushion to keep command of the set. UCSD didn't get any closer than four and BYU-Hawaii won 25-20 in set two.
Set No. 3 started out rocky with the Tritons racing out to 7-3 lead. The Seasiders battled back to tie things at 8-8. BYU-Hawaii retook the lead with back-to-back aces, giving the Seasiders a 12-10 lead. A 5-0 run made things 20-14 in favor of BYU-Hawaii. UCSD wasn't about to quit as the Tritons rallied to make it a one-point game 23-22. The Seasiders put away any further threat and won the third set 25-22 and the match in three sets.
The No. 2 seed BYU-Hawaii will play in the NCAA West Regional Championship against Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT (5 p.m. PT). The winner will advance to the NCAA Division II Volleyball Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Dec. 12-14.