The easy road finally ended for the University of Hawaii volleyball team.
Emily Hartong’s match-high 25 kills weren’t enough Thursday night as the Rainbow Wahine suffered their first conference road loss in seven years, 30-32, 28-26, 20-25, 25-22, 15-10 at Cal State Northridge.
Losers of two of four, No. 8-ranked UH (16-3, 5-2 Big West Conference) also has its most league defeats since 1994 as it fell 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Matadors (17-4, 7-1).
Casey Hinger posted 16 kills and Cieana Stinson added 15 for Northridge, which surged ahead in the fourth set behind a 10-1 run, and then broke away from a 7-7 tie in Game 5 on Sydney Gedryn’s kill.
Hawaii entered with the No. 9 RPI while the Matadors were 55th, but each team hit .220 and made seven service errors. Northridge doubled up on UH with six aces.
Hartong notched career kill No. 1,300 in the losing effort, while Jade Vorster finished with a career-high 10 blocks. Tai Manu-Olevao and Nikki Taylor contributed 16 and 14 kills, respectively.
Hawaii continues its two-game stretch in Southern California against Cal Davis at 4 p.m. (HST) Saturday. A rematch with Northridge is scheduled for Nov. 3 in Honolulu in the teams’ regular-season finale.