By Cindy Luis
UH plays No. 1 USC at 7 a.m. HST. SandBows loss came at No. 4
The No. 4 seed University of Hawaii sand volleyball team won its opening match at the AVCA National Championship Friday morning with a 4-1 decision over No. 5 Florida International. The Rainbow Wahine will next face top-seed USC in a match slated to start at 12:00 p.m. CT
The winner of the UH-USC earns a spot in Saturday's national championship semifinals. The loser of the match is still alive due to the double-elimination format and will still have a chance to make the semifinals with a win later in the day. USC (22-1) handed UH one of its three losses earlier this year with tight 3-2 decision in Honolulu on March 19.
Making its first-ever team appearance at the nationals, UH rolled out of the gates fast against FIU (14-3) with straight set wins on four of five courts over the Panthers. The win was UH's 19th of the year and the Rainbow Wahine have now one 15 of their last 16 dual matches.
AVCA Sand Nationals
May 1, 2014 Gulf Shores, Ala.
#4 Hawai'i def. #5 Florida International, 4-1
1. Brittany Tiegs/Karissa Cook (UH) def. Jessica Gehrke/Marina Boulanger (FIU) 21-9, 21-16
2. Katie Spieler/Nikki Taylor (UH) def. Aren Cup/Tina Toghiyana (FIU) 21-18, 21-13
3. Ali Longo/Ginger Long (UH) def. Jessica Mendoza/ Ksenia Sukhareva (FIU) 21-19, 21-18
4. Martyna Gluchowicz/Kristine Monforte (FIU) def. London Chow/Olivia Urban (UH) 21-10, 21-17
5. Karlee Riggs/Mikayla Tucker (UH) def. Camila Rosado/Maja Rosko (FIU) 21-18, 21-17