Win No. 1,109 didn’t come as smoothly as coach Dave Shoji would have liked.
Emily Hartong led the way with 12 kills and Kalei Adolpho added 10 on Thursday night as the University of Hawaii beat Portland State 25-21, 25-20, 25-14 at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
On the opening night of the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Volleyball Challenge, the No. 10 Rainbow Wahine (6-1) looked sluggish at times against the Vikings (3-5).
“We’re just not in sync,” Shoji said. “I’m not sure why.”
Shoji was happy the focus was back on his players. Last weekend, he became the all-time win leaders in Division I women’s college volleyball.
“Yes, I am glad it’s over,” he said. “It was a lot of media hype. We’ve got to just concentrate on volleyball.”
Hawaii used a 5-0 spurt —highlighted by two kills apiece by Hartong and Adolpho — to break a 16-16 in the first set, then fell behind by as many as four points in the second set.
Hartong’s kill helped UH dig you of a 11-7 hole, and the senior put down two more balls as her team took the lead for good at 14-13.
Hartong hit .333 with a match-high 13 digs, while Adolpho hit .700 and added a team-high five block assists. Tai Manu-Olevao compiled seven kills as Hawaii hit .237. Setter Mita Uiato registered 30 assists.
Kaeli Patton posted nine kills as Portland State hit .112.
The three-day tournament continues Friday as Hawaii takes on Northwestern (4-3) at 7:30 p.m. in a match that can be seen on OC16.