The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team were pushed to the limit in all three sets of a straight-set win over No. 11 UC Santa Barbara, Friday in the first of two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-22, 30-28, 25-23.
The fifth-ranked Rainbow Warriors (9-2, 2-2 MPSF) extended their home win streak to 12 straight dating back to last season and have won three straight over the Gauchos (6-4, 3-4) in Honolulu.
The teams play again on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
UH opposite Stijn van Tilburg had a match-high 15 kills, hitting .300 and was the only Warrior in double digits. Middle blocker Hendrik Mol tallied six of the team's 12 blocks. Senior outside hitter Kupono Fey added six kills while sophomore Brett Rosenmeier came off the bench and steadied the UH passing game and finished with three kills, four digs, and three blocks.
UCSB's Jacob Delson had 14 kills while Corey Chavers added 10 kills and five digs.
Off the serve of Patrick Gasman, the Warriors reeled off six straight points for a 14-13 lead in Set 1. UH regained the lead at 21-18 before the Gauchos tied it at 22. From the there, Hawai'i's block came alive with back-to-back solo stuffs by Mol and setter Jennings Franciskovic to close it out as the Warriors scored the final three points to take the set.
UH trailed for much of Set 2 before taking a 16-15 lead with a 5-1 run. The teams then traded leads with the Gauchos surging ahead 21-20 with a block of van Tilburg. But van Tilburg answered back, helping Hawai'i regain the lead after a solo stuff and again on his 10th. His 11th kill gave UH set point but UCSB stuffed him again to tie it at 24. Hawai'i had four more set points but the Gauchos erased each one until UH's seventh try when van Tilburg put away his 13th kill.
In Set 3, Hawai'i took a three-point lead at 9-6 and maintained that cushion until the Gauchos blocked Kupono Fey to tie it at 16. UH took a 20-18 lead after a triple block and Rosenmeier's ace trickled off the tape for a 23-20 advantage. Initially, Denson hit long on match point but UCSB challenged the play and was reversed in the Gauchos favor. However, after a UH timeout, Hayden Boehle served into the net ending the match.
Hawaii Athletics Release
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