HONOLULU – The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team emptied the bench in a four-set victory over Nittaidai of Japan, Friday, in the first of two exhibition matches at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-19, 25-19, 21-25, and 25-23.
The Warriors (6-9, 3-7 MPSF) are taking a break from Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action after facing No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 UC Irvine over the last two weekends. UH and Nittaidai will play again Sunday at 5:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.
UH head coach Charlie Wade used 18 players and numerous lineup combinations in the match. The Warriors hit .409 for the match and did not commit a hitting error until their 50th swing, which occurred late in the second set.
Senior outside hitter Steven Hunt led all attackers with 16 kills and just one error in 26 swings. The Toronto, Ontario native had 11 kills through the first two sets before sitting out the third and returning in the fourth to propel the Warriors to victory.
Middle blocker Nick West had 11 kills, with no errors, in 13 attempts and three blocks while outside hitter JP Marks added 10 kills.
Shohei Yamamoto had 14 kills to lead Nittaidai, more commonly known as the Nippon Sports Science University. Shuzo Yamada had 13 kills.
The Warriors were nearly unstoppable in Set 1 against the much smaller Japanese team. UH hit .720 with 18 kills and no errors in 25 attempts and had three blocks. Hunt had six of his kills in the set on eight attempts.
UH scored five straight in the middle of Set 2 to take a 20-12 lead. Sophomore middle blocker Shane Welch made his first appearance of the season and had two aces during that run.
In the third set, Wade sat his starters and the Japanese responded with a 25-21 victory. But most of his starters returned in the fourth and the Warriors erased a late two-point deficit to pull out the match 25-23.