Seasiders fall in four to the Red Storm

Photo by Loren Orr
Photo by Loren Orr

LAIE, Hawaii – Shih Ting (Stella) Chen recorded her 19th double-double of the season, but BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball fell to Dixie State in four sets (25-19, 25-16, 15-25, 25-19) on Friday at the Johnson Sports Center.

"It was a tough loss," BYU-Hawaii head coach Mona Ah-Hoy said. "We hoped to send the seniors off on a better note. Dixie State came ready to play tonight and disrupted what we wanted to do on our attack."

Chen finished with 23 kills and 15 digs with a .322 hitting percentage. Chen ended her career on top of BYU-Hawaii's (22-6, 18-2 PacWest) all-time kills list with 1,812 career kills.  Erh Fang (Ariel) Hsu added 11 kills and seven block assists on the night.

Dixie State took control early in the first set utilizing small runs to build a 10-6 lead. A crucial kill by Elizabeth Blake Solaita capped a 4-1 run by the Seasiders to tie the set at 11-11. However the Red Storm were able to respond with a small run to retake the lead at 17-13. Back-to-back blocks helped the Seasiders cut the lead to two, but it wasn't enough as the Red Storm took the first set with a 25-19.

Dixie State started the second set on fire building a 13-0 lead before a service error ended their streak. At 16-4 a kill by Chen sparked a small three-point run. When the game set was 17-8 a service ace from Solaita forced a Dixie State timeout. Kills from Chen, Sinamoni Tonga, Noel Pauga Wolman and Hsu kept the set alive, but the Red Storm would go on to finish the set 25-16 and give themselves a 2-0 set lead.

The Seasiders responded with their backs to the wall in the third set. Chen started a small three-point run with a kill and Solaita added an ace to build a 4-1 lead. BYU-Hawaii didn't stop there and extended the lead with another 3-0 run with a Dixie State error and a kill from both Chen and Kathleen Collette to make it a 7-2 set. The Red Storm tried to come back, but a kill by Collette stopped their advance short. A kill by Hsu followed by a service ace made the set 14-10 and ignited a five-point Seasider run. BYU-Hawaii utilized small runs to maintain the lead that they took all the way as a kill from Collette ended the set 25-15. Chen led the team during the set with seven kills as Hsu added five more kills and two service aces.

Dixie State bounced back in the fourth set with a 4-0 run to start thing off, but two consecutive attack errors gave BYU-Hawaii their first points of the set. Dixie State took the lead for the remainder of the set, but a kill from Chen to made it a 7-4 to keep the Seasiders in the match. Another kill from Chen later in the set decreased the Dixie State lead to five points. At 20-12, kills Collette bookended a five-point run in order for the Seasiders to climb back within three points. Unfortunately, it was not enough as Dixie State won their third and final set 25-19.

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