Tonga's career night gives Seasiders the victory

Tonga's career night gives Seasiders the victory

BELMONT, Calif. – Junior Sinamoni Tonga set a new career high in kills to lead BYU-Hawaii to a four-set victory (21-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20) over Notre Dame de Namur Thursday at Walter Gleason Gym.

Tonga led all players with 26 kills with a .345 hitting percentage and added 16 digs. Leilani Adolpho added a double-double of 16 kills and 13 digs. Kayle Park had her third-consecutive double-double for the Seasiders (3-11, 1-4 PacWest) with 29 assists and 18 digs, both career-highs.

Bianca Alvarez led the Argonauts (3-10, 1-4 PacWest) with 25 kills and 12 digs, while Margaret Billingsley finished with 45 assists.

BYU-Hawaii finished with a season-best .282 hitting percentage and added seven blocks, while holding NDNU to a .224 hitting percentage.

The Argonauts took a quick 7-4 lead in the first set, but Kayle Park retaliated with a kill out of the timeout to keep the Seasiders within striking distance. BYU-Hawaii tied the score at 12 and Tonga collected four kills over the next six Seasider points to keep the match tied at 18. The Argonauts found some momentum off several BYU-Hawaii errors during a 6-2 streak to reach game point and held on for the 25-21 victory.

BYU-Hawaii jumped to an early start in the second set when Kayle Park served up an ace and Tonga put down a kill to take a 5-1 lead. The Seasiders increased their lead as Lacy Lange and Nu'umau Coleman recorded kills of their own before capitalizing on some Argonaut errors to lead 10-3. Adolpho had an ace and Tonga added a kill to take a commanding 23-13 lead on a 4-0 run. BYU-Hawaii cruised to a win 25-17 and tie the match at one set apiece.

Alvarez jump started the Argonauts offense in the third set with three kills to give them the 6-3 lead. Tonga and Lange answered with kills of their own to help the Seasiders tie the set at 9 moments later. After trading several side-out points, Leilani Adolpho led a 5-1 run with two kills and an ace to give BYU-Hawaii some breathing room at 18-14. It was all the room they would need as the teams traded small runs until a 25-21 Seasider victory.

After only recording two kills in the third, Tonga found her offensive groove again in the fourth set with two quick kills and Brittany Waite added two service aces to give BYU-Hawaii the 8-1 lead. Alvarez led the charge for the Argonauts as they attempted to dig out of the early hole, recording two kills during a 5-1 run that closed the gap to 17-14. Tonga bookended a kill by Lange with two of her own to give the Seasiders the 21-15 lead and BYU-Hawaii was able to hold on for the 25-20 victory.

The Seasiders finish their road trip against Holy Names on Saturday at 3 p.m. PDT in Oakland, California. Live stats and video will be available online.

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