AZUSA, Calif. – BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball kept things close, but were unable to close out sets falling in three (29-27, 25-20, 25-18) to Azusa Pacific on Saturday.
"We took a step back today with many unforced errors," BYU-Hawaii head coach Mona Ah-Hoy said. "Those are points you can't afford to give up to a great team like Azusa Pacific. It's a hard way to end a road trip, but we will look to fix things next week before our home matches."
Sinamoni Tonga led all players with 18 kills while Malary Reid added 10 kills at a .409 hitting percentage. Kathleen Collette Kalougata contributed 10 digs, seven kills and three blocks for BYU-Hawaii (8-8, 6-2 PacWest). Ying Chun (Michelle) Chen finished off a remarkable week of matches with 38 assists and seven digs.
Mattie Shelford and Natalie Klapp led Azusa Pacific (8-8, 4-4 PacWest) to victory with nine kills each.
Reid began the first set with four of BYU-Hawaii's first five points to give the Seasiders a 5-3 lead. The score remained close and Azusa Pacific's first lead of the set came from a kill by Ally Gonzalez at 10-9. BYU-Hawaii then used a 4-0 run to regain a 15-11 lead. The Cougars battled back again with a four-point run powered by two kills each from Klapp and Crystal Deeds to close the gap to 21-20. Despite BYU-Hawaii's attempts to stay ahead, several attack errors gave Azusa Pacific the lead and the 29-27 win.
The teams began to trade points in the second set, but the Cougars slowly gained a 13-7 lead. Tonga ignited a 7-1 run with four kills to bring the Seasiders back and tie the set at 14-14. Reid then had an ace to put the Seasiders up 18-17, but it wasn't enough as Azusa Pacific's consistent attack gave them back the lead and they closed out for a 25-20 victory.
Three kills by Tonga helped BYU-Hawaii take an early 4-1 lead in the third set, but three errors gave the 10-7 advantage to the Cougars. The teams continued to trade points with no run greater than a three. Azusa Pacific held strong to end the match with a 25-18 third set victory.
The Seasiders will return home to face Fresno Pacific on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. HST. Live stats and video will be available online.