HONOLULU - The No. 1 University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team swept No. 15 Stanford, 25-16, 25-12, 25-17 Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. UH improves to a 23-3, 18-2 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Record, extending to a 16-match winning streak.
A season-high crowd of 7,296 fans came out in all white to support the Rainbow Warriors on Senior Night for UH's best home attendance since February 28, 2004 (UCLA, 8,114). Following the match Ryan Leung, Garrett Komisarek, Alex Jones, Scott Hartley, Davis Holt, Taylor Averill and Brook Sedore were honored in Senior Night festivities.
UH posted a solid defense all night at the net, with Holt leading the Rainbow Warriors with eight blocks (two solo), while Averill tallied a team-high nine kills hitting at .818 (9-0-11). Meanwhile, Madison Hayden recorded a match-high 12 kills for the Cardinal (10-16, 7-13 MPSF). The 'Bows overtook Stanford set after set, outhitting and out-blocking the Cardinal .408 (35-6-71) to .033 (25-22-92) and 13 to two, respectively.
Middle-blocker Averill surpassed Costas Theoharidis (2000-'03) for fifth all-time total career blocks after finishing the night with four blocks. Additionally, junior libero Kolby Kanetake dished out 10 digs to add to a season-total of 249, good enough for fifth-best in program rally-scoring era single-season records.
Following two service errors in a row by the Cardinal and an ace by Averill, UH broke off to a 15-10 advantage midway through Set 1 and extended to a 10-3 run to follow, gaining a commanding 23-13 lead. The Cardinal picked up a slight momentum after two kills in a row by Honolulu-native Gabriel Vega and a service ace, but it wasn't enough as Jennings Franciskovic (26 assists, three blocks) and Averill denied Stanford's final attempt. The Warriors ended the set without committing a single attack error and dished out six blocks.
The 'Bows continued to hit without error through the majority Set 2 and dominated the Cardinal for a 16-7 lead to start. UH continued momentum all the way until the end, committing its first attack error of the night 38 attempts in. Seniors Alex Jones and Ryan Leung stepped onto the court in the final stretch, with Leung dishing out the set-winning kill to end it in a landslide 25-12 for UH.
UH continued to control the pace throughout Set 3. The Cardinal brought themselves within four-points after a 3-1 run in an attempt to inch back, but the Warriors quickly responded with five unanswered points, Sedore dishing out two service aces towards the run capped off by a kill by Hartley for a 24-16 lead. Despite a service error by Sedore to follow, junior Sinisa Zarkovic instantly hammered one down to end it 25-17 for the 'Bows.
The Rainbow Warriors will wrap-up regular-season play at BYU, April 17-18 in Provo, Utah before returning to the Stan Sheriff Center to host the MPSF Quarterfinal on April 25. Tickets for the quarterfinal match are set to go on sale April 14.