SAN DIEGO – Senior setter Ying Chun (Michelle) Chen finished one kill short of a triple-double to lead BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball over Point Loma 3-2 (25-21, 17-25, 18-25, 25-16, 15-13) on Thursday night in the Golden Gymnasium.
"I think we started strong on our attacks, but we were able to close out the match with our blocking," BYU-Hawaii head coach Mona Ah-Hoy said. "Michelle had a great night all over the floor. We needed her tonight to overcome a great Point Loma squad."
Chen finished with nine kills, 15 digs and 58 assists, coming close to her career-high 65 assists for a single match. Sinamoni Tonga led all players with 21 kills and added 13 digs. Malary Reid added 19 kills and five blocks and Elizabeth Solaita ended with 23 digs.
Heather Leavitt and Bethany Mandon led the Sealions (8-7, 3-4 PacWest) with 17 kills each, while Mandon added four blocks.
BYU-Hawaii (8-7, 6-1 PacWest) finished with 76 kills on a .273 hitting percentage. Point Loma had a .327 percentage on 67 kills.
A service ace by Solaita and a kill by Reid gave the Seasiders an early 2-0 advantage, but the teams began to trade leads through the early part of the first set. A service error by the Sea Lions and two kills by the Seasiders put them up 15-11 halfway through the set. Point Loma closed the gap to one at 21-20 with a 3-0 run, but BYU-Hawaii was able to close out on a 4-1 run led by two kills from Reid.
Three consecutive kills from Reid put the Seasiders up 5-3 in the second set, but a 5-0 run by Point Loma gave them the 9-7 lead that they held for the rest of the set. The Sealions extended their lead to five after a 3-point run led by Kelli LeClair. The teams traded points for the remainder of the set with only a few small runs to give Point Loma the 25-17 set victory, tying the match.
The seesaw scoring continued into the third set with neither team getting ahead by more than a few points until Mandon led the Sea Lions on a 4-point run with two kills to make it 19-15. The Seasiders answered back with two kills from Chen, but Leavitt led the charge in a set ending 5-1 run with two kills to give Point Loma the 2-1 set advantage.
A 4-point run at the beginning of the fourth set gave the Seasiders an 8-5 edge to regain some momentum. Another 4-0 run featuring a service ace from Chen pushed BYU-Hawaii up 16-10. The Seasiders continued to ride the momentum as Reid had two blocks and a kill during 7-0 run to make it 23-11 as the Seasiders were able to force a fifth set.
Tonga had three of BYU-Hawaii's first four points in the fifth set came, but Point Loma was able to build a two-point advantage. The teams continued to trade points until Reid powered a 4-0 run with two kills to give the Seasiders the 11-10 advantage. Reid then led a 3-0 run with a block and a kill to give BYU-Hawaii match point and Tonga shut the door on the comeback attempt by Point Loma with a kill to give the Seasiders the 15-13 victory.
BYU-Hawaii wraps up its southern California road trip at Azusa Pacific on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. PDT. Live stats and video will be available online.