No. 8 Hawaii squeaks to victory
Rainbow Wahines need five sets to defeat New Mexico State
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – In front of a nationally televised audience on ESPNU, Hawaii defeated New Mexico State in a five-set thriller, 17-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-27, 15-5.
UH improves to 16-1 overall and 6-0 in the WAC while NMSU fell to 16-5 overall and 5-1 in conference.
Kanani Danielson posted team-high 22 kills, with Jane Croson recording 17 kills and 12 digs. Emily Hartong added 11 kills and Brittany Hewitt had a match-high nine blocks.
Meredith Hayes led New Mexico State with 22 kills.
Set one went to the Aggies, as NMSU opened with a 10-3 run and the 'Bows never recovered. Hawai'i cut the lead to 17-16 on kills by Croson and Kalei Adolpho (4 K, 2 B), but an 8-1 run by the Aggies sealed the win.
UH responded and evened the match with a 25-22 set two win. The set was close throughout with UH responding from an early deficit to take a 7-6 lead, a lead they would never lose. With the set tied at 18-18, the 'Bows went on a 5-1 run and held on for the win. Adolpho recorded the final two kills for UH.
Set two was the Croson (five kills) and Danielson (seven kills) show. The pair had 12 combined kills to help the 'Bows to a 25-20 win. This time Hawaii grabbed control early and paced to the win. Danielson recorded three consecutive kills to give UH an 11-5 lead, and later slowed an Aggie run with a pair of scores. UH used an 8-1 run to break a 15-15 score and cruised to the win.
The Aggies evened the match in an exciting fourth set, 27-25. NMSU narrowly led much of the way, and appeared to pull away when they pushed to a 22-16 lead. UH rallied to take a 25-24 lead, as Hartong got in on the action with a kill and a block. Kelsey Brennan (11 K) would tie the score, and a pair of UH attack errors led to the Aggie win.
Facing their first WAC regular season loss in 42 matches, the 'Bows responded with a dominating 15-5 set five win. They wasted no time in taking control of the set, running off 10 consecutive points to roll to the win. Chanteal Satele (five kills) recorded the match-winning kill.