When it mattered most, Emily Hartong stepped up and played like an All-American.
Hartong smacked seven of her match-high 20 kills after the University of Hawaii volleyball team was pushed to a decisive set Friday, and the No. 7 Rainbow Wahine overcame No. 23 Creighton 25-17, 25-16, 19-25, 20-25, 15-9 in Wichita, Kan.
For the second consecutive day at the Shocker Volleyball Classic, sophomore Tai Manu-Olevao notched a career high in kills with 14, while Kalei Adolpho added 13 on .480 hitting.
But in the fifth set, Hawaii (10-1) relied on its star senior. Hartong took over, putting down consecutive points to spark a 3-0 run that gave her team a 10-7 lead, and her final two kills of the match secured UH’s first five-set victory of the season.
Ali Longo contributed a match-high 23 digs and Hartong added 16 in her seventh double-double of the season for the Rainbow Wahine, who have won eight in a row heading into today’s match against Wichita State to close the tournament.
Leah McNary led Creighton (7-3) with 12 kills, including five in the third set as the Bluejays started to fight back. Creighton hung around, in part, on the strength of a 16-5 advantage in blocks.
Hawaii hit .225, but only .069 in the third set. Nikki Taylor had eight kills and Jade Vorster added five. Setter Mita Uiato finished with 46 assists to help push coach Dave Shoji’s all-time Division I career win total to 1,113.
Jess Bird (12 digs) and Lauren Smith each posted 10 kills as the Bluejays hit .155. Kelli Browning had six kills and seven block assists.
On Thursday, Hartong and Manu-Olevao shared the load with 13 kills apiece as UH swept South Dakota to open play at the round-robin tournament.