HONOLULU – The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team extended its home win streak to 13 matches following a four-set victory over No. 11 UC Santa Barbara, Saturday to sweep the two-match Mountain Pacific Sports Federation series at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19.
The fifth-ranked Rainbow Warriors (10-2, 3-2 MPSF) hit .357 for the match with opposite Stijn Van Tilburg leading the way with a match-high 24 kills. UH won its fifth straight to improve to 10-2, its best record through the first 12 matches of a season since 2005.
UCSB was led by senior outside hitter Jacob Delson, who posted 23 kills, hitting .375 while Corey Chavers added 18 kills.
Kupono Fey recorded a season-high 11 kills and hit .435, his most productive match of the season. Libero Larry Tuileta had 13 digs and setter Jennings Franciskovic dished out 46 assists along with two aces and six digs.
UH jumped out to a 5-1 lead forcing the Gauchos to call an early timeout. UCSB tied it at 8 before the Warriors surged ahead 15-11 and then 18-13 after a van Tilburg ace. UH roofed Delson to make it 20-14 and ran away with the set, ending it with another van Tilburg kill off a ridiculous one-handed set by Franciskovic.
UCSB got the early advantage in Set 2 leading 10-6. But van Tilburg rallied UH back with six kills as the Warriors retook the lead at 16-15. The teams traded leads until the Warriors won a video replay challenge on a net violation to give them a 21-20 lead and followed that with a double-block by Hendrik Mol and van Tilburg. UCSB responded with three straight, then sided-out the rest of the way, including an Austin Matautia hitting error on set point.
Hawai'i changed up its lineup in Set 3 with outside hitter Brett Rosenmeier and middle blocker Dalton Solbrig entering the match. The eams went back and forth throughout the set with 20 ties and five lead changes and with neither team holding more than a two-point lead. Fey's 10th kill gave UH set point and UCSB's Henri Cherry hit wide ending it.
UH scored four straight for a 12-10 lead in Set 4 and extended it to 20-15 after stringing together five more off of Fey's serve. Rosenmeier's cross-court kill gave the Warriors match point and van Tilburg's 24th and final kill closed out the match.
Hawai'i will next embark on a four-match road trip with MPSF matches at UC San Diego, Feb. 10 and Cal Baptist, Feb. 11 and non-conference matches at McKendree, Feb. 14 in Linden, Ill., and Lindenwood, Feb. 15 in St. Charles, Mo.