Chen helps Seasiders remain unbeaten in PacWest play

Chen helps Seasiders remain unbeaten in PacWest play

LAIE, Hawaii – Shih Ting (Stella) Chen moved up the career kills chart again as BYU-Hawaii swept Point Loma Nazarene in straight sets (27-25, 25-16, 26-24) on Saturday afternoon in the Cannon Activity Center.

 "It was a close match against a great team," BYU-Hawaii head coach Mona Ah Hoy said. "I would have liked to see us start like we did the past two matches. I think fatigue affected both teams playing for the third day in a row. Kulia [Murray] and Janelle [Fink] were able to come in and allow us to rest some of our normal starters."

Chen had 15 kills to pass Arlete Silva for second all-time in career kills at BYU-Hawaii (14-3, 11-0 PacWest). With 1,618 kills, she is 170 behind Yu Chuan Weng for first place. Kalistina Takau added eight kills while Erh Fang (Ariel) Hsu finished with eight total blocks.

This was the Seasiders seventh consecutive sweep at home and 47th consecutive victory at home. The match was close throughout with 30 ties and 15 lead changes. BYU-Hawaii had 11 blocks, while holding Point Loma (12-9, 9-4 PacWest) to a .154 hitting percentage.

Point Loma took the lead early in the first set on a four point run to make it an 8-4 game. The Seasiders used a several small runs to cut into the Sea Lions lead. A kill from Elizabeth Blake Solaita gave BYU-Hawaii their first lead of the set at 14-13. A kill from Lange stopped a four point Point Loma run and fueled a five point run for BYU-Hawaii to take the 24-23 lead. The Sea Lions retaliated with two point of their own to get to set point, but an attack error tied things up again at 25-25.  A block assist by Chen and Takau gave the Seasiders set point and a final kill by Chen gave BYU-Hawaii 25-27 set victory.

Three consecutive kills by Chen early in the second set put BYU-Hawaii ahead by two points over Point Loma. The Sea Lions responded with four points of their own to retake the lead, but a kill from Hsu and two service aces from Solaita spearheaded a five point run to give the Seasiders an 11-7 lead. Point Loma was able to decrease the lead to 13-12, but it would be the closest they would get in the set. Three kills from Takau propeled the Seasiders ahead and forced the Sea Lions to take a timeout to regroup.  With the Seasiders leading 21-16, the Seasiders went on a four point run with a service ace from Solaita and a kill by Noel Pauga Wolman to end the set.

Like in the previous two sets, the third set began with Point Loma taking a lead, but the Seasiders responded and both teams traded points to a 16-16 tie. Two consecutive kills by Hsu gave BYU-Hawaii a small cushion, but Point Loma answered and tied the set at 19-19. Back-to-back kills by Takau and Solaita gave the Seasiders set point at 24-23, but the Sea Lions were able to tie once again at 24-24 and extend the set with a kill from Bethany Mandon. A kill by Chen gave the Seasiders the crucial lead and an assist block by Hsu and Lange gave BYU-Hawaii the two point lead to make it a 24-26 set and end the match.

BYU-Hawaii faces Holy Names Friday at 7:30 pm HST in the Cannon Activity Center. Live stats and video stream will be available online.

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