Chen’s career-high gives Seasiders thrilling five set victory

Chen’s career-high gives Seasiders thrilling five set victory

FRESNO, Calif. – Shih Ting (Stella) Chen lead No. 4 BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball team with a career-high 30 kills to defeat Fresno Pacific University in five sets (18-25, 26-24, 21-25, 28-26, 15-9) on Wednesday night.

"We had to move some players around because of injuries," said BYU-Hawaii Head coach Mona Ah Hoy.  "A lot of players played in different positions, but they adjusted and did well. Stella was just amazing. There are a lot of things that we ask of her and she stepped up when we needed her."

Chen kill total was the third highest in NCAA Division II in a five set match this season. Chen also got her fifth double-double this season with 30 kills and 19 digs. Ashley Mataele kept balls alive with 26 digs in the match.

"We needed help on the right side tonight, so we put Ashley in," Ah Hoy said. "She dug a lot of balls for us and played excellent defense. She did really well for us."

In the first set, Fresno Pacific (7-6, 1-3 PacWest) went on a 3-0 run to make the set 9-5. BYU-Hawaii (7-3, 4-0 PacWest) was able to cut the lead to 13-11, but Fresno Pacific answered with a 4-0 run to take the decisive win in the set.

The second set started close with both teams battling to an 8-8 tie, when a kill by Chen sparked a 4-0 run to give the Seasiders the lead. Fresno Pacific kept coming back, using a 5-0 run to tie the set at 15. The teams traded points until back to back kills by Lacy Miyahira Lange and Chen gave the Seasiders the set victory.

The Sunbirds used an 8-1 run to start fast in the third set and to build a 10- 3 lead. BYU-Hawaii tightened things up getting within four at 13-9, but another 3-0 Fresno Pacific run kept the lead at seven. The Seasiders never gave up, getting within two points, but the Sunbirds were able to close out a 25-21 set victory.

 After another close start in the fourth set, a 6-0 run gave BYU-Hawaii a 12-6 lead. Fresno Pacific cut things back to one with a 5-0 run and eventually took the lead at 19-18. Ah Hoy used a timeout to rally her troops and regain a 22-20 lead. The Sunbirds took the lead one more time at 26-25 and looked to secure the match, but the Seasiders scored three straight to send the match to a fifth set.

Things looked bleak for BYU-Hawaii after Fresno Pacific jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the fifth set. Noel Pauga Wolman stepped to the service line as the Seasiders used a 7-0 run to take the 9-7 lead in the decisive set. Chen powered the match ending 6-1 run to keep BYU-Hawaii undefeated in the PacWest.

The Seasiders head to San Rafael, Calif., to take on Dominican (Calif.) Friday at 7 p.m. PDT. Live stats and video will be available online.

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