Tigers Fall to Cincinnati To Open Verizon Volleyball Challenge
Manoa, Hawai'i – The Pacific Tigers women's volleyball team opened the Verizon Volleyball Challenge Thursday night, falling 3-0 to Cincinnati despite 12 kills from sophomore middle blocker Jennifer Sanders.
The Tigers (5-2) fall for just the second time this season, as the Bearcats, just outside the Top 25 posted game scores of 25-22, 25-23 and 25-22.
Sanders posted 12 kills on 20 attempts for a .550 hitting percentage, while freshman Hanna Levanen added nine kills. Senior hitter Samatha Missa and junior setter Hannah Clancy each added five for the Tigers. Clancy posted 30 assists to go with a team-high nine digs, while freshman middle Gillian Howard added four kills on five attempts and a pair of digs. Returning to their native Hawaii, senior libero Rebeka Torres posted seven digs, sophomore Koala Matsuoka added four and Misa four.
The Bearcats balanced attack was paced by Jordanne Scott with 10 kills, while Missy Harpenau added nine and Emily Hayden and Megan Turner each recorded eight.
Cincinnati hit .299 for the match (44 kills on 97 attempts with 15 errors) while holding Pacific to a .238 hitting percentage (40 kills on 105 attempts with 15 errors).
Pacific fell behind in set one, as the Bearcats stretched a 6-5 lead into a 20-15 advantage. But the Tigers avoided five-straight set points, clawing from 24-17 to within 24-22 as Sanders posted a pair of kills to force a Bearcats timeout. Out of the break, the Tigers kept Cincinnati out of system, as the Bearcats committed a pair of attacking errors. But Hayden recorded a cross-court kill to end the Tigers comeback, 25-22.
In set two, the Tigers raced out to a 9-2 lead, but the Bearcats slowly whittled the lead down, pulling to within 17-16 of a block from Hayden and Scott.
Cincinnati posted back-to-back points for their first lead of the set at 18-17. The Bearcats led by three before Howard recorded a pair of kills, but a Pacific service error and two kills from Scott gave UC the 25-23 win headed into intermission.
The Tigers fell behind 10-6 in set three, and after Cincinnati stretched the advantage to 19-10, Pacific battled back. Howard posted a kill and them teamed with Levanen for a block before Clancy recorded a service ace to cut the deficit to four at 19-15.
Following kills by Misa and Levanen, the Tigers fought back to 22-20, but the Bearcats posted a kill from Missy Harpenau to set up set point. After Clancy kept the Tigers alive with a kill, the Pacific serve was into the net as UC picked up it's sixth-straight win.
The Tigers will be back in action on Friday, taking on host No. 12 Hawaii in a 10 p.m. Pacific Time match (7 p.m. Hawaiian).