FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton gave No. 7 Hawai'i all it could handle, but the Rainbow Wahine prevailed, 3-2, clinching the fifth and deciding set to hold off any hopes of a Titan upset on Saturday night at Titan Gym.
A season-high crowd of 805 witnessed the Titans erase a two-set deficit, by winning games three and four before UH claimed game five.
It took Hawai'i (10-2, 3-0) five sets (25-12, 25-15, 26-28, 25-27, 15-12) to remain undefeated in the Big West Conference, while the Titans (6-9, 0-2) suffered their second loss in BWC play.
For the second night in a row, Bre Moreland and Kayla Neto recorded double-doubles for the Titans. The pair had identical marks in kills (14) and digs (13), respectively.
Emily Hartong led Hawai'i with a match-high 21 kills, while Jane Croson contributed 16 kills and 16 digs as the Rainbow Wahine hit at a percentage of .191 on the evening. Mita Uiato ran the offense for UH with 41 assists whole Alyssa Long contributed 22 digs.
The Titan defense was led by Gabrielle Dewberry's 20 digs, while CSF totaled a match-high 15 blocks led by Leah Best's mark of three solo efforts and four assists. On offense, Kaylynne Taeatafa totaled 31 assists.
After trailing Hawai'i by two sets, CSF executed a comeback in game three. Trailing 14-11, CSF completed a 7-1 run to take an 18-15 advantage. After that mark, UH never regained the lead despite tying the score on eight occasions.
Cal State Fullerton took that momentum on to set four, scoring the first six points of the set, a hole the Rainbow Wahine could not climb out of.
In the fifth and final set, Cal State Fullerton scored the first point, but that was the Titans' only lead in the set.
Hawai'i completed its first road trip of the season with wins over Cal State Northridge, UC Riverside and the Titans.
After a six-match homestand, the Titans will play their next three matches on the road beginning with Pacific on Friday and UC Davis on Saturday.
Notes: With 14 kills on Saturday, Kayla Neto moved into fifth place on Cal State Fullerton's all-time kill list with a total of 1,291…the Titans have now lost five consecutive matches…CSF remains winless against the Rainbow Wahine in 28 tries.