Another 79 swings, another one-set deficit. Just a ho-hum night for Emily Hartong and the University of Hawaii volleyball team.
Hartong ripped 29 more kills and the No. 9 Rainbow Wahine needed every one of them Saturday night to rally past Cal Irvine 25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 25-22, 15-10.
Not a bad two-day California getaway for Hartong, who also added 16 digs and slammed five kills in the decisive set. Including Friday’s night four-set marathon victory against Long Beach State, the junior outside hitter tallied 63 kills on 158 swings with 31 digs.
Freshman middle blocker Jade Vorster (11 kills, .467 hitting percentage) and junior outside hitter Kaela Goodman (career-high nine, .667) each only made one attack error as the ‘Bows (19-2, 12-0 Big West) reeled off their 67th consecutive conference victory.
With six league matches left, Hawaii holds a four-game lead. Hartong will get a few days to rest her busy right arm before UH hosts Cal Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Marisa Bubica buried 21 kills as the Anteaters (10-15, 5-6) nearly turned the tables on the Rainbow Wahine after getting swept in Honolulu earlier in the season.
UH fell behind for the fifth consecutive match, but powered by Hartong it enjoyed its best hitting effort in the fourth set. Timely putdowns by Hartong and Goodman led Hawaii to a 22-18 lead, and Hartong finished the set with a kill and a service ace.
Freshman outside hitter Tai Manu-Olevao contributed eight kills and setter Mita Uiato compiled 54 assists and 13 digs as Hawaii hit .255.
Irvine, which also got 14 kills from Aly Squires, hit .234.