ELLENSBURG, Wash. – No. 21 BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball dropped a five-set heartbreaker 23-25, 23-25, 25-13, 25-19, 15-3 to No. 14 Alaska Anchorage.
Sinamoni Tonga led the Seasiders (2-5) with a match-high 20 kills in the match and Ying Chun (Michelle) Chen chipped in 38 assists. The Seawolves (7-0) were led by Katelynn Zanders' double-double of 19 kills and 16 digs.
BYU-Hawaii jumped off to a quick 2-0 lead over the Alaska Anchorage (7-0), but errors plagued the Seasiders as they committed 38 throughout the match. The Seawolves capitalized on the errors committed to take the final 3 sets and the match.
BYU-Hawaii started the first set slow as Alaska Anchorage began the match with a 3-0 run. A pair of kills by Tonga and one by Leilani Adolpho answered the run to tie the set. The teams continued to trade points until Brittany Waite put down two kills and Kathleen Kalougata added a service ace jumpstarted a 5-1 run to give the Seasiders the 20-18 lead. The Seawolves battled back to tie the set at 23-23, but Tonga ended the set with a kill and ace to put BYU-Hawaii up 1-0 in the match.
The beginning of the second set was controlled by the Seasiders, as Tonga had three kills in a row to put BYU-Hawaii up 6-2. Alaska Anchorage was able to climb back and tie the game at 8-8 and the teams traded leads, as BYU-Hawaii went on another 6-2 run to put them up 22-17. The teams traded more side-out points, but errors by the Seawolves and an additional kill by Tonga secured the win for the Seasiders.
Tonga started the third set with another kill. The score remained back and forth until the Seawolves went on a 4-0 run that BYU-Hawaii struggled to recover from. Alaska Anchorage held the lead for the rest of the set, winning 25-14.
The fourth set was a close contest as the Seawolves held a slim 12-11 lead at the halfway point. Alaska Anchorage then used several small runs to build a 20-15 lead and cruise the rest of the way to tie the match at two sets each. The Seawolves rode the momentum of winning the third set recording 16 kills and only committing 2 errors.
Alaska Anchorage dominated the fifth and final set from start to finish. The Seawolves took the fifth set 15-3, as BYU-Hawaii committed 6 errors with 0 kills in the final set.
The Seasiders will be back in action Saturday at 7:30pm PST, as they take on host Central Washington. Live stats and video will be available online.