The season has come to a bittersweet end for the UH Rainbow Wahine women’s volleyball team, which was bounced out of the NCAA Final Four on Thursday by the Stanford Cardinal. Second-ranked Hawaii lost to third-ranked Stanford 25-30, 27-30 and 24-30, and is now heading home 34-2 for the season.
Stanford is also responsible for the only other loss the Wahine suffered this year. Thursday’s rematch was the seventh time Hawaii advanced to the national semifinals.
Hawaii led Stanford only once in the first game, 4-3. The Cardinal led by as many as six points, and won the game 30-25. In game two, Hawaii held on to a two point lead until Stanford overtook them 7-6. The Wahine then seemed to hit their stride, leading 17-12, then again at 26-24. The Cardinal struck back, though, taking the game 30-27.
Hawaii fought hard in game three, at one point leading 7-3, but Stanford quickly tied it and then answered Hawaii nearly point for point until a tie at 23. The Cardinal then surged ahead to end it 30-24.
In addition to saying goodbye to the championships, the Wahine now also say farewell to three seniors: Jennifer Carey, Margaret Vakasausau and Hedder Ilustre.
Stanford moves on to defend its national title, playing USC tomorrow.