Tonga powers Seasiders past Sunbirds

Tonga powers Seasiders past Sunbirds

LAIE, Hawaii – Sinamoni Tonga recorded her sixth double-double to propel BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball to a 3-0 sweep (25-21, 25-20, 25-14) of Fresno Pacific on Thursday night in the Cannon Activities Center.

"We started slowly in the first set, but were able to put together several strong runs throughout," BYU-Hawaii head coach Mona Ah-Hoy said. "Tonight we were able to see the Sina [Tonga] that we see in practice. She was hitting the spots on all her attacks and provided strong play on the back line."

Tonga led all players at 16 kills with no errors and added 14 digs on the night. Leilani Adolpho and Brittany Waite contributed 11 and seven kills, respectively. Ying Chun (Michelle) Chen recorded 40 assists and five kills.

BYU-Hawaii (9-8, 7-2 PacWest) finished with 50 kills on a .254 hitting percentage to go with 55 digs. Fresno Pacific (4-9, 4-4 PacWest) outblocked the Seasiders 7-3 at the net.

A series of errors from both sides caused the teams to trade leads to begin the first set. Three kills from Adolpho powered a 7-point run to put the Seasiders up 12-6. Tonga hit several powerful kills to give BYU-Hawaii the momentum they needed to go on a 5-1 run, pushing the lead to 17-9. The Sunbirds answered back with a 7-1 run to close to close the gap to 23-19, but their comeback fell short as a kill from Chen ended the set 25-21.

The Sunbirds took an early lead in the second set, but a 6-2 run by the Seasiders gave them a small 9-7 advantage. Fresno Pacific went on a 6-2 run of its own to reclaim the lead at 13-11. Eight kills from BYU-Hawaii sent it on a 10-3 run, putting them ahead 20-14 late in the set. Fresno Pacific attempted to climb back into the set, but the Seasiders held them off for the 25-20 set victory.

BYU-Hawaii started the third set strong, but held a slim 8-6 lead early. The Seasiders then used an 8-0 run to wident the gap to 16-7. It was all the room BYU-Hawaii needed to end the match.

BYU-Hawaii will play Notre Dame de Namur on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. HST. Live stats and video will be available online.

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