|No. 4 Hawai`i too much for Idaho|
MOSCOW, Idaho - The University of Idaho volleyball team hosted Hawai'i on Thursday night, and the Rainbow Wahine showed why they are the No. 4 team in the country, beating the Vandals 3-0 with 25-20, 25-7 and 25-19 set victories.
The loss drops Idaho to 10-11 on the season and 5-5 in Western Athletic Conference play, while Hawai'i improves to 17-1 and 7-0 in the WAC.
"It's great to have them in our conference," Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said. "They play great volleyball, they're very respectful, all of those things. You want to be able to bring tough teams in here. You want to be able to compete. We're going to keep getting better."
Hawai'i hit .343 in the match while holding the Vandals to a .058 hitting percentage. Allison Walker had a team-high seven kills for the Vandals, while Alex Sele finished with five kills and hit a team-high .364 hitting percentage. Kelsey Taylor had four kills and four blocks for Idaho, and Alicia Milo had four kills, seven digs and three blocks. Cassie Hamilton led the Vandals with 14 digs.
"I was really excited to play Hawaii, I think that they're a great team," Walker said. "It's a great challenge, and I like it. We did some good things, we just need to fix some of the things that we didn't do so well."
Jenny Feicht and Ryann Carter each played in two games at setter for the Vandals, and Feicht finished the match with 13 assists, while Carter tallied eight.
"She (Carter) is steadily getting better, she's making some improvements in practice and she's been great for us," Buchanan said. "We have kids on the bench that are right there, they're close and it's competitive."
The Vandals fought in the first game, and trailed by just three at 20-17, but Hawai'i finished strong to win 25-20 and go ahead 1-0.
Idaho gave up runs of five and seven points early in game two to find itself down 16-4, a hole too big to climb out of.
"I thought the first game we competed, we sided out, we were aggressive, and we went after it," Buchanan said. "Game two, we didn't pass as well and we definitely made a few more errors, and you can't do that. When you play a tough team who is fourth in the country, you have to be able to stay with them. You can't let eight or nine points go, because you can't recover. They're too good for that."
The Vandals had a little momentum on their side in game three, leading 15-12, but again Hawai'i stormed back. The Rainbow Wahine pulled ahead 19-16 on the way to their 25-19 match-clinching victory.
The Vandals will have two full weeks off before playing again, as Idaho's next match is Nov. 4 at Nevada. The Vandals will travel to Utah State to face the Aggies on Nov. 6, before hosting three of their final four WAC matches of the season.
"A little bit of recovery time here, and then we're right back at it next week," Buchanan said. "I feel like we are getting better, we are improving, and we're going to continue to get better until the end of the year."