Chen
BYUH

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- BYU-Hawaii defeated Seattle Pacific 3-1 on Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. 

The Seasiders overcame the stubborn Falcons in a 25-21, 25-21, 15-25, 30-28 win to improve to 19-3 overall and move into Friday’s regional semifinal.  The win was the 16th in a row for the Seasiders.

The Seasiders broke away from an 18-18 tie in the opening game while hitting .312 for the game to just .137 for the Falcons. BYU-Hawaii followed a similar pattern in the second set by pulling away from a 16-16 tie to win with a .286 hitting mark to .156 for the Falcons. However, the Seasiders’ hitting failed in game three as BYU-Hawaii made 11 hitting errors for a .000 percentage to hand the set to Seattle Pacific.

BYU-Hawaii started quickly in the fourth game, going up 8-1 and looking like they were going to run away with the set. However, the Falcons battled back to tie the game at 13-13 before pulling out to an 18-15 lead. The Seasiders tied up the game at 19-19 but the Falcons pulled back into the lead. Seattle Pacific held set point at 24-23 but Stella Chen knocked down a kill to tie up the set. The Falcons had a second set point at 25-24 but Chen once again put down a kill to tie the score. The Seasiders then squandered a pair of set points at 26-25 and 27-26 before Seattle Pacific got a third chance to win the set at 28-27. Lauren Hagemeyer pounded a kill for the Seasiders to knot the score a final time before Ariel Hsu put away a step-out kill and Courtney Skaggs served an ace to win the match.

Stella Chen finished with 21 kills and 25 digs to lead the Seasiders. Hagemeyer knocked down 20 kills and Hsu finished with 11 kills and no hitting errors for a .478 percentage. Losaline Pula came up with 25 digs to match Chen and Michelle Chen had 13 digs to go with her 50 assists and two service aces. Tajana Santiago got 12 digs and Aika Becker ten for BYU-Hawaii. Skaggs led the way at the net defensively with four blocks for the Seasiders.

Seattle Pacific, who finished the season at 21-7, got 24 kills from Lindsey Wodrich and 46 digs from Anna Herold.