LAIE, Hawaii – BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball fell 22-25, 25-7, 25-18, 25-17 to Alaska Anchorage in the first game Thursday night in the Cannon Activities Center.
"I was really happy with the way we came out and won that first set," BYU-Hawaii head coach Mona Ah-Hoy said. "After that I felt like we stopped communicating and things broke down. That is something we are going to need to work on going into next week."
Leilani Adolpho led BYU-Hawaii (0-1) with a double-double of 11 kills and 22 digs. Sinamoni Tonga contributed nine kills and nine digs. Kayle Park and Sydney Bunker each added 14 assists, while Penina Sao recorded 22 digs.
Leah Swiss and Chrisalyn Johnson led Alaska Anchorage (1-0) with 12 kills each and Erin Braun finished with 11.
The Seawolves recorded 50 kills and 45 assists, holding BYU-Hawaii to 35 and 31, respectively. Alaska Anchorage had nine aces to the Seasiders' one.
The Seasiders started the first set strong with a 7-2 lead that included consecutive kills by Adolpho. Alaska Anchorage was able to close the gap to 8-6 with the help of Erin Braun's kills. The teams traded points, keeping the score close, until a service ace by Braun gave the Seawolves a 20-19 advantage. Offensive attacks combined with errors from their opponents led BYU-Hawaii to regain their lead 23-20. The set point had the crowd on their feet as an intense volley ended with a Seawolf error, giving the Seasiders a 25-22 win.
Alaska Anchorage took an early lead in the second set and went on a 7-0 run to make it an 11-2. A 6-point run, featuring four consecutive aces from Braun, extended the Seawolves' lead to 18-4. Alaska Anchorage continued to roll to take the set 25-7.
Two kills from Sofia Tonga gave the Seasiders a 5-2 advantage early on in the third, but the Seawolves were able to take a 6-5 lead. A 7-1 run from Alaska Anchorage allowed them to pull ahead to 14-9. They traded points, but the Seawolf offense held the upper hand as they finished the third set 25-18.
Two service aces by Keala Kaio-Perez aided a 5-point run by Alaska Anchorage, making the score 10-4, but four errors tightened the set at 11-8. A kill by Leah Smith sparked a 6-1 run, extending the Seawolves' edge to 17-9. The Seasiders went on a 5-1 run with four kills to close it to 21-16, but it wasn't enough as the Seawolves ended it 25-17.
BYU-Hawaii will return to the court on Thursday to play Montana State Billings in the Hawaii Invitational at 11 a.m. HST. Live stats and video will be available online.