Take a bow, Hanna Hellvig.
The freshman outside hitter had herself a career night, posting her first career double-double with 17 kills and 17 digs in the four set Rainbow Wahine (8-0) victory over the Utah Valley Wolverines at the Stan Sheriff Center.
“Hanna was [one of] the only ones that was putting the ball down,” head coach Robyn Ah Mow said of Hellvig. “She was going hard. She was the only one that was going hard.”
Taking on more of the scoring duty following the loss of teammate Jolie Rasmussen, Hellvig’s 17 kills and 17 digs were both career highs, surpassing her former best of 15 and 10 in those categories respectively. The 17 digs were the most from a single player on the court Friday night, with 7 of her digs coming in the fourth set following a move to the back line. Led by Hellvig, No. 18 Hawai‘i went on to take down Utah Valley by scores of: 25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 25-15. However, the one person not satisfied with the performance was Hellvig herself.
“It was shaky,” Hellvig said her overall performance. “I was trying to stay calm and steady, and keep pushing. Like coach [Ah Mow] said, we just have to stay focused during the whole game.”
After giving up the first point of the set to Utah Valley and trading blows early, the Wahine used a 4-1 run to take their first lead of the game. The Wolverines briefly snatched it back with a 3-0 run, but the ensuing 6-0 ‘Bows run gave Hawai‘i a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. The run was aided by four consecutive attacking errors committed by Utah Valley. Trailing 22-14 late in the set, the Wolverines fought back with a 6-1 run to make it 23-20, but back-to-back kills by outside hitters Hanna Hellvig and McKenna Ross sealed the 25-20 set one victory for Hawai’i. Hellvig led the team with 5 kills in the set.
Set two began much like the first had ended, with a Mckenna Ross kill. The Wolverines responded with a point of their own, but a 4-1 run gave Hawai‘i an early 5-2 lead. Later in the set, each team utilized a 3-0 run to take the lead for themselves, but Utah Valley looked to have taken the crucial late advantage. Trailing 17-20, the Rainbow Wahine made a strong rally, scoring the final 8 points of the set to clinch the 25-20 set two comeback victory. The rally was fueled by a 7-service scoring run by redshirt junior defensive specialist Rika Okino. Freshman middle blocker Amber Igiede finished with a team high 6 kills.
“[With my teammates backing me up], it made it easier for me to [keep going] back there to hit my serves,” Okino said of her service run.
Hawai‘i jumped on the board first in set three with a kill from Hellvig. However, things quickly fell apart from there. Okino couldn’t continue her serving hot streak, committing a service error. The Wahine watched helplessly as error turned into a 13-2 Wolverines run. He UVU run was aided by five Hawai‘i errors, as well as back-to-back service aces by Utah Valley. Not to be deterred, Hawai‘i fought back with a 16-9 run to cut the deficit to three points. The rally ultimately fell short, as the Wolverines scored on three of the final four possessions to take the 25-20 set three victory. The set win was the first of the tournament for Utah Valley, and it sent the game into set four. Hellvig led the team with 4 kills.
Following a sloppy set three, the Wahine were determined to not to let the game reach a fifth set. Set four began with a 5-2 Hawai’i run, followed quickly by another 6-2 run. Utah Valley was never able to gain traction in the set, as the ‘Bows raced out to a 20-14 lead. Hawai’i could taste victory at that point, wrapping up the set with a 5-1 run to seal a 25-15 victory. Hellvig and Van Sickle each had a team-leading 5 kills. Hellvig also racked up a game high 7 digs in the set.
With the win, Hawai‘i extends its unbeaten streak to 8 games. The Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Volleyball Challenge rolls on Saturday night as the ‘Bows take on UCLA in a match that will determine the tournament victor. Following the game, Hawai‘i Athletics confirmed that redshirt junior outside hitter Jolie Rasmussen will remain doubtful to play against the Bruins.
The Rainbow Wahine host UCLA at the Stan Sheriff Center for the tournament-deciding match on Sep. 14 at 7 p.m. HST.