The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team continued its unbeaten streak to start the 2017 season with a convincing straight-set victory over Grand Canyon, 26-24, 25-21, 25-23, Wednesday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Rainbow Warriors (4-0) and 'Lopes (1-2) will meet again on Friday in the rematch of a two-match non-conference series.
Opposite Stijn van Tilburg led the Warriors with a match-high 15 kills, hitting .333. Freshman outside hitter Austin Matautia added 13 kills and five blocks while senior Kupono Fey tallied nine kills. Middle blocker Patrick Gasman posted seven kills and four blocks and libero Larry Tuileta had 12 digs.
GCU featured a balanced attack with outside hitter Shalev Saada and middle blocker Austin King leading the way with seven kills.
A back and forth first set went the way of the Warriors midway through as they strung together three straight for an 18-15 lead. Moments later, a Matautia ace followed by a van Tilburg-Gasman double block gave UH its largest lead at 22-17 before the 'Lopes rallied to tie it at 23 with a 6-1 run. van Tilburg's fifth kill gave the Warriors their second set point and the 'Lopes failed to clear the net on the ensuing rally, giving UH the first set victory.
GCU raced out to an early 15-10 lead in Set 2 with the help of four UH hitting errors. The 'Lopes maintained their lead until a GCU hitting error gave the Warriors a 19-18 advantage. GCU regained the lead at 21-20 only to see UH run off the final five points as Matautia closed out the set with back-to-back kills from the pipe.
The 'Lopes doubled up the Warriors early on in Set 3, 10-5, before UH rallied to tie it at 18. The score was tied three more times before Fey's kill gave Hawai'i match point at 24-22. After a GCU point, Gasman put away aloha ball.
First serve for Friday's match is 7:00 p.m., at the Sheriff Center.
Hawaii Athletics Release
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