LAIE, Hawaii – BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball fell 17-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-17 to Montana State Billings in the opening game of the Hawaii Invitational Tournament on Thursday in the Cannon Activities Center.
"I give a lot of credit to Montana State," BYU-Hawaii head coach Mona Ah-Hoy said. "They really hustled to keep several rallies alive today. As a team we need to come together and trust one another. We have started both matches this year strong and looked like we have seen in practice, but we are still trying to find that chemistry for a full match."
Sinamoni Tonga finished with a double-double of 10 kills and 10 digs, while Leilani Adolpho ended with 12 kills. Sydney Bunker recorded 16 assists and Kayle Park contributed 15. Penina Sao led in digs with 15.
Ashlynn Ward led MSU Billings (1-0) to victory with 13 kills at a .440 hitting percentage. Angala Jensen finished with 38 assists.
BYU-Hawaii (0-2) recorded nine service aces to MSU Billings' four. The Yellowjackets ended with a .203 hitting percentage, holding the Seasiders to .101.
Kills by Lacy Lange and Leilani Adolpho followed by Brittany Waite's service ace allowed the Seasiders to jump ahead early 6-0 in the first set. The Yellowjackets closed the gap to 9-6, but BYU-Hawaii answered back with a 10-3 run featuring an ace by Sinamoni Tonga and several errors by MSU Billings, making the score 20-10. Despite offensive efforts from the Yellowjackets, Sydney Bunker's kill ended the set 25-17.
Two kills from Lexa de Jesus and Stormy Siemion put MSU Billings ahead 8-3 to start the second. Adolpho and Lange added kills to come within one at 10-9. The Seasiders took a 17-15 lead on an 8-1 run powered by Adolpho and Lange, but it wasn't enough as the Yellowjackets came back to finish it off 25-20.
MSU Billings took a 4-2 edge to kick off the third set, but the Seasiders quickly gained a 6-4 advantage. Both teams went on small runs to trade leads several times before an attack error tied the set 12-12. They continued to trade points until the Yellowjackets recorded three consecutive kills to take the set 25-23.
A 6-2 start to the fourth set gave MSU Billings the momentum. Two kills by Risha Alaiasa made it an 11-6 set, but the Yellowjackets answered with a 4-0 run to take a 15-6 advantage. Kills by Waite and Adolpho sparked a small streak to close the gap to 15-11. Seesaw scoring continued until a final 6-1 run gave MSU Billings the 25-17 win.
The Seasiders return to the court tonight to play Cal Poly Pomona at 7 p.m. HST. Live stats and video will be available online.