The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team successfully opened the 2016 season with an easy straight set victory over King (Tenn.) University, Thursday night, on day one of the 22nd Outrigger Resorts Invitational at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-14, 25-14, 25-14.
In the teams' first-ever meeting, the Rainbow Warriors (1-0) needed only 81 minutes to dispatch of the Tornado of Conference Carolinas. UH hit .459 as a team and freshman opposite Stijn van Tilburg was nearly perfect with 14 kills, with no errors, on 15 swings, hitting .933 in his debut with the Warriors.
Senior outside hitter Sinisa Zarkovic added 13 kills while junior setter Jennings Franciskovic dished out 34 assists and had two aces. UH posted six aces and seven team blocks and limited King to .068 hitting.
The Tornado (0-1) out-blocked the Warriors with 7.5 team stuffs and was led by Jeff Sprayberry's eight kills.
After a sluggish start to Set 1, the Warriors reeled off eight straight points behind the serving of Hendrik Mol for a 15-8 lead at the media timeout. During that run, Zarkovic blasted two kills and Iain McKellar was in on a pair of blocks. UH ran away with the set 25-14 as van Tilburg went a perfect 5-for-5 in the frame.
UH again jumped out to an early advantage in Set 2 as consecutive kills by Zarkovic gave the Warriors an 8-4 lead. Hawai'i maintained its lead through the media timeout (15-9) and coasted to a 25-14 win, siding-out at 93 percent. van Tilburg went 5-for-6 in the set and through two sets, had nearly as many kills (10) as the entire King team (11).
The Warriors scored five straight for a 6-1 lead in Set 3. Freshman Brett Rosenmeier made his debut in the game and finished with four kills on four attempts as Hawai'i closed out the match with a 25-14 win.
In the day's earlier match, defending national runner-up No. 8 Lewis survived a five-set thriller against Harvard, rallying from a two sets to one deficit for a 25-19, 22-25, 23-25, 25-14, 15-8 victory.
On Friday, the Warriors will face Harvard at 7:00 p.m., preceded by Lewis versus King at 4:00 p.m.
Hawaii Athletics Release
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