By BILL O’REAR
Tribune-Herald sports editor
University of Hawaii at Hilo women’s volleyball coach Tino Reyes understands that it takes time and game experience to develop a young team.
And on Monday night, Reyes saw a lot of highs and lows as Academy of Art University fought past his Vulcans
25-19, 27-25, 25-14, 25-18 in a Pacific West Conference match in San Francisco.
“We’re going through growing pains,” Reyes said after watching his inexperienced Vuls lose their eighth straight PacWest match.
UHH slipped to 5-8 overall and 0-8 in conference, after opening the season with five straight wins.
Melissa Brum had 16 kills, Lindsay Elgin 14 and Caitlin Boring 12 to lead the Urban Knights (7-8, 3-4). Setter Rachel Smith had a match-high 57 assists.
Freshman Marley Strand-Nicolaisen led UHH with 17 kills in 59 attempts, with four errors, a .220 hitting percentage. Alee Johnson followed with 10 kills, hitting at a .240 clip.
But as a team, the Vulcans only hit .166 in the match.
The Vulcans return to Hilo to begin an eight-match homestand against PacWest teams, before finishing the season on the road.
UHH’s first match in the homestand is against Brigham Young University-Hawaii on Saturday night.
The Lady Vulcans fired a 311 in the first round and were in second place aftere the first day of the Western Washington Invitational. The two-day event is being played in Bellingham, Wash.
Sophomore Jade Salvador carded a 1-over-par 74 to lead UHH, which trailed tournament leader British Columbia Unversity by seven shots.
Two other Vulcans, St. Martin Invitational champion Kristen Sawada and Kacie Harada, shot 78s and were tied for ninth place. Rounding out the UHH scoring were Dayna Bersamin (T-29th, 81) and Erika Morihiro (T-42nd, 84).
BCU’s Stephanie Wong and St. Martin’s Jennifer Liedes both shot 71s and are tied for individual lead heading into today’s final round.