‘Bows volleyball returns to NCAA National Championship after sweeping UCSB
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The No. 1 ranked Rainbow Warriors volleyball team punched their ticket to the 2021 NCAA National Championship with a three-set sweep over Big West Conference foe UC Santa Barbara in the semifinal round in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday.
The ‘Bows dominated the Gauchos with final scores of 25-21, 25-18 and 25-23 to advance the final where they await the winner of the BYU-Lewis semifinal match taking place later Thursday afternoon.
In their fourth meeting of the season, UCSB got out to an early lead before Hawaii knocked off the rust and took set one thanks to AVCA National Player of the Year Rado Parapunov’s six kills and four digs — finishing the match with a total of 12 kills and 11 digs with five blocks.
After a quick victory for UH is set two, the Gauchos stormed back in set three to take a 12-11 lead, but the Rainbow Warriors would not be denied, completing the sweep and punching their ticket into Championship Saturday.
Along with Rocket Rado’s performance, the UH play makers showed up in the Buckeye state, Patrick Gasman and Colton Cowell combined for 20 kills, while Uncle Pat Gasman took the “Manoa Roofing Company” on the road with a match-high 6 blocks.
For UCSB, Punahou graduate Ryan Wilcox finished Thursday with four kills and 13 digs, while Ryan DeWeese had a match-high 13 kills — the Gauchos end their season at 16-5, UH snapping their 11 game win-streak.
Hawaii will face either BYU or Lewis, Saturday in the NCAA National Championship — first serve set for 2:00 p.m. Hawaii time, broadcast on ESPNU.
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