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Hawai’i vs. USC: 6 takeaways for Rainbow Wahine Volleyball 2023 | Week 2

By: Tiff Wells, ESPN Honolulu Play-by-Play

1 – Milestone for Igiede. Her 9th kill in Set 3 on Saturday gave her 1,000 for her career. The All-American Middle Blocker becomes UH’s 21st player to reach that milestone. Over the nine sets played against USC, Igiede recorded 31 kills on 53 swings to hit .488, while in on 10 blocks and serving four aces.

2 – Sometimes numbers lie. Both nights USC outhit Hawai`i (.193 to .117 on Thursday, .307 to .279) and out-blocked the Bows (12 to 11 on Thursday and 11 to 6 on Saturday). More often than not a higher hitting percentage equates to a match win. Not the case on either night. Other facets of the game (digs, service aces) propelled UH to the 2-0 week against the Women of Troy.

3 – Resume boosted again. Yes USC wasn’t ranked at the time. But for a second straight week, UH added to it’s non-conference resume with quality wins and enters Week 3 with a 4-1 record. Keep in mind UH went 3-5 last year during the non-conference. Northwestern will get plenty of opportunities in the very tough Big Ten Conference to pick up some big wins. San Diego should do very well in the West Coast Conference to help UH’s RPI as well. And USC has multiple big matches in their season (at Purdue, home and home against both UCLA and Stanford in addition to a single match at Oregon) to earn resume building wins.

4 – Tali Hakas’ energy. The freshman from Israel plays with a ton of emotion and celebrates the success of everyone and the way in which she shows it can be seen by all. It’s contagious. Everyone on the floor and in the stands feeds off of her.

5 – Ace…Ace…Bows. Over 12 sets played during Week 1, UH had a total of only eight service aces. Against USC, the Rainbow Wahine chose placement over sheer power for their service strategy once again and in this two-match series, UH had a total of 24 service aces (including 14 in night two, their most since 2017) to just 15 service errors.

6 – Still seeking offensive efficiency. Through five matches, UH as a team is hitting .178 and has hit over .200 in just two of those matches (.220 against then No. 13 San Diego and .279 in night two against USC). Grinding out wins with the aid of their block, floor defense and service game have helped out UH when the hitting percentage hasn’t been that high. Yes it hasn’t been pretty at times and isn’t a recipe for continued success over the season, but the Bows have been able to grind out wins to start the season 4-1.