The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team pulled away late in each of the three sets in a sweep of Harvard, Friday, on the second day of the 22nd Outrigger Resorts Invitational at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-22, 25-21, 25-22.
In the first-ever meeting between the schools, the Rainbow Warriors (2-0) were tested early by the Crimson of the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, but in the end proved to be too much. The victory sets up Sunday's tournament championship against Lewis, winners over King (Tenn.) University earlier in the day.
Freshman opposite Stijn van Tilburg once again led the UH attack with a match-high 18 kills, including seven in the decisive third set. The Netherlands native hit .400 and tied for team-high honors with six digs. In his first two career collegiate matches, van Tilburg has 32 kills (5.33 avg.), hitting .560.
Senior outside hitter Sinisa Zarkovic added 12 kills while Kupono Fey posted eight kills and six digs. Middle blocker Hendrik Mol had two of the team's four aces. As a team, UH hit .372 compared to .325 for Harvard.
The Crimson (0-2) were led by Casey White's 11 kills. Branden Clemens and Alec Schlossman each posted 10 kills.
The Crimson held a late 21-20 lead in Set 1 before the Warriors rallied by scoring four straight, including back-to-back double-blocks by Mol and Jennings Franciskovic. Clemens failed to clear the net on set point, giving the Hawai'i the 25-22 victory.
UH scored four straight in the middle of Set 2 for a 15-12 lead. The Warriors pushed their lead to 19-14 before watching the Crimson close to within 23-20. van Tilburg's kill gave Hawai'i set point and McKellar finished it for a 25-21 victory.
van Tilburg continued his dominant play in Set 3 with five early kills for a 9-6 lead. The Warriors maintained their comfortable cushion until the Crimson narrowed the deficit to 20-19 following a UH rotation violation. Kills by van Tilburg and Fey on consecutive plays gave Hawai'i a 22-19 lead but the Crimson answered again to close to within 22-21. A critical Harvard service error followed by a Mol-Franciskovic block gave UH match point and two plays later Zarkovic ended it with his 12th kill.
In the day's earlier match, No. 8 Lewis swept King, 25-15, 25-18, 25-14, setting up Sunday's tournament championship match at 5:00 p.m. King and Harvard will meet in the day's first match at 2:00 p.m.
Hawaii Athletics Release
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