The Cal Baptist women’s volleyball team’s highly touted front line was as advertised Wednesday night.
Outside hitter Kim McCalmont put down 17 kills on just 29 swings, and Ingrid Carmona added 13 as the first-place Lancers swept the University of Hawaii at Hilo 25-19, 25-20, 25-23 at UH-Hilo’s gym.
Behind McCalmont’s .414 attack percentage, Cal Baptist (14-2 overall, 7-0 Pacific West Conference) hit .316, plenty good enough to overcome a shaky serve-receive game.
The Vulcans finished with nine service aces, four by junior Kelia Parrilla. Freshman outside hitter Bria Morgan smacked 16 kills as UH-Hilo (4-14, 4-6) lost its third straight match, all of them sweeps.
The Lancers entered with the second-best hitting percentage in the league, while the Vulcans were 13th, and the contest lived up to the statistical mismatch. Carmona (.345), the league’s reigning player of the week, made only three errors on her 29 swings at rightside hitter with 11 digs, and rightside hitter Faith Steinwedell (.294) added eight kills. In the first set, Cal Baptist put on a hitting clinic: 15 kills, one error.
UH-Hilo took seven more swings in the match yet produced 13 fewer kills, hitting .114. Sophomore Abbey Wade moved from middle blocker to rightside hitter and provided a spark, with six kills on eight swings. But the Vulcans once again had to rely on a two-pronged attack. Morgan (.113) took the bulk of the swings with 53, while senior Patty Snel finished with five kills to go along with 11 digs.
Spurred by Morgan, UH-Hilo made things interesting in a third set that featured 11 ties. The Vulcans took a 22-21 lead on a rare miscue by McCalmont, but Cal Baptist regrouped after a timeout, and hits by McCalmont, Carmona, and Steinwedell helped the Lancers’ to their ninth straight victory.
A half-game ahead of Fresno Pacific and BYU-Hawaii atop the PacWest, Cal Baptist will face Chaminade on Friday on Oahu before a showdown Saturday with the Seasiders.
UH-Hilo finishes its three-match homestand at 7 p.m. Monday against Azusa Pacific (3-5, 11-7).