The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team witnessed firsthand one of the nation's top blocking and hitting teams in a straight set loss to No. 2 BYU, Wednesday, in the first of two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-20, 25-20, 25-23.
The Rainbow Warriors (10-8, 5-8 MPSF) became BYU's 11th consecutive straight-set victim and dropped their fourth straight home match. UH is in the midst of seven losses in its last eight matches during its toughest stretch of the season.
The Cougars (15-2, 11-2) won for the 11th straight time and ninth against an MPSF team. Ranked No. 2 nationally in hitting percentage, BYU finished the match hitting .464 led by opposite Ben Patch, who recorded a match-high 22 kills, with just one error, in 30 swings, for a .700 clip. Also ranked No. 2 in blocking, the Cougars put up 14 blocks, led by Price Jarman's nine.
In the loss, outside hitters Sinisa Zarkovic and Kupono Fey tallied 12 and nine kills, respectively, for the Warriors who hit .190. Libero Kolby Kanetake recorded five digs to move into fourth all-time on the school's career digs list. Opposite Stijn van Tilburg added five kills, six digs, and three blocks.
The Cougars used a 7-1 run to take a 15-8 lead in Set 1. The Cougars went 11-for-13 in kill attempts before the Warriors put up three straight blocks and eventually pulled within 17-16 after a van Tilburg ace. But that would be as close as they'd get as Patch and the Cougars took it 25-20. Patch finished with nine kills.
BYU broke open a tight Set 2 with three straight points for a 14-11 lead and that would be enough of a cushion. The Cougars maintained their lead throughout while hitting .476 and recording 7.0 blocks in the set with the 25-19 victory.
With a new line-up that included middle blocker Dalton Solbrig and setter Joe Worsley, the Warriors jumped out to an 8-5 lead and stuffed Patch for his first error of the night on his 22nd attempt. UH held the advantage until the Jake Langlois' overpass kill put the Cougars on top 15-14 at the media timeout. UH pulled within 23-22 after a BYU hitting error but Langlois gave the Cougars match point with a kill and Patch ended it with his 22nd kill.
The teams play again on Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Hawaii Athletics Release
Hawaii News Now
420 Waiakamilo Road, Suite 205
Honolulu, HI 96817
Main (808) 847-3246
News (808) 847-1112