The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team fell victim to the nation's top-ranked team Long Beach State in straight sets, Wednesday, in the first of two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-19, 25-17, 25-20.
The Rainbow Warriors (10-6, 5-6 MPSF) have dropped five of their last six matches and saw their four-match win streak over the 49ers snapped. After extending their home win streak to 17 matches earlier this month, the Warriors have now lost two straight at the Stan Sheriff Center.
LBSU (14-2, 11-2) extended its win streak to eight matches behind freshman TJ DeFalco who flirted with a triple-double with a match-high 17 kills, 10 digs, and seven blocks, along with four service aces. As a team, the Beach posted 17.5 blocks compared to only 3.0 for the Warriors. The 49ers also hit .356 and no starter hit below .333 for the match.
UH was led by freshman opposite Stijn van Tilburg's 17 kills and seven digs. The Amsterdam, Netherlands native hit .324 and was the lone position player to start all four sets. Libero Kolby Kanetake had a match-high 11 digs, the third straight match in double figures for the senior.
Down 0-2, UH head coach Charlie Wade made wholesale changes to start Set 3, keeping only van Tilburg and Kanetake in the lineup. Senior outside hitter Brandon Hiehle made his first appearance of the season and finished with a career-high six kills. Middle blocker Dalton Solbrig made his second appearance and finished with one block, which was UH's first of the match and occurred during a third set spurt that gave the Warriors an 8-5 lead.
Freshman setter Joe Worsley ignited a rejuvenated offense which hit .353 in the third set. Worsley dished out 21 assists for the match and was a perfect 4-for-4 hitting. Outside hitter Brett Rosenmeier, who entered the match in the second set for a struggling Kupono Fey, finished with six kills, four digs, and two blocks. Middle blocker Nainoa Frank added five kills, hitting . 500 and two blocks.
LBSU's big block gave Hawai'i fits in the first two sets as the Beach recorded six stuffs in the first set and four in the second. But the Warriors rebounded in the third, using a 5-0 run midway through for a 17-14 lead which catapulted them to victory.
With the score tied at 11 in Set 4, the Beach reeled off five consecutive points, which included three straight aces by DeFalco for an insurmountable 16-11 lead.
The teams meet again on Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Hawaii Athletics Release
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