#5 Hawaii Beats #6 UC Irvine to Finish California Road Trip 1-2

  0 Braden Keith | January 22nd, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, MPSF, News

Match Stats

  • #5 Hawaii def. #6 UC Irvine 3-1 (25-16, 25-23, 15-25, 25-23)
  • Hawaii moves to 6-2 (1-2 MPSF); UC Irvine falls to 6-2 (3-2 MPSF)
  • Brent Events Center, Irvine, California
  • Attendance: 1,410
  • Match Stats

“Men’s Volleyball Salvages Road Trip With Win At UC Irvine.”

Thus read the headline of the University of Hawaii’s press release following their 3-1 win over 6th-ranked UC Irvine on Saturday.

When the Rainbow Warriors boarded their 5-plus hour flight to the Mainland early last week, they were 5-0, ranked 5th in the country, and were riding a wave of momentum after winning their second-straight home Outrigger Invitational.

That momentum ground to a hault on Wednesday and Friday, however, when they were beat in back-to-back games by Long Beach State, putting them in a tough early 0-2 deficit in MPSF play, including a manhandling on Friday where Hawaii didn’t have a single block nor ace.

On Saturday, however, UH headed up the coast to play UC Irvine, and there they managed to pull out a tough win to make sure they weren’t completely winless heading back home.

There was a concerted effort by Hawaii to correct the two statistical categories where they struggled so heavily against LBSU earlier in the week. The result was 13 blocks (including a season-high 24 assists) and 7 aces (their best total since 13 against Erskine in their season opener).

Hawaii also went on a tear offensively, hitting .314 in the game – 120 points higher than they did in their last outing against LBSU, and their first time hitting over .300 against a ranked opponent this season.

The team was led, as they have been all season, by sophomore Dutchman Stijn van Tilburg, who had 19 kills on 22.5 total points, hitting .485 in the game. As the team’s best-known player, he also made a statement with a season-high 5 blocks, setting the tone for a much better day in nearly every facet than their last go-around.

The Rainbow Warriors may have found a spark that will help them for the rest of the season in the 4th set. Freshman outside Austin Matautia stood out early this season, recording 56 kills in just 17 sets in the team’s first 6 games this season. He’s struggled the last two, however, and was hitting -.062 through 3 sets on Saturday before being pulled for the 4th.

Sophomore Brett Rosenmeier was there to pick him up, however, and may have shown that Hawaii has more depth than their young roster initially indicated. He played only 2 sets on the day, but had 3 kills, all in the final set with Matautia on the bench, on 5 swings.

For UC Irvine, Thomas Hodges paved the way with 23 points – including 21 kills (.444 percentage). UC Irvine out-hit Hawaii (.324-.314) and blocked well (9 blocks), but gave the game away at the service line – they had 15 errors to just 5 aces.

Press Releases

Courtesy Hawaii Athletics: 


Courtesy UC-Irvine:

IRVINE, Calif. – UC Irvine’s Thomas Hodges posted a career-high 21 kills, but it wasn’t enough as No. 5 Hawaii beat the sixth-ranked Anteaters 3-1 (25-16, 25-23, 15-25, 25-23) in front of 1,410 fans at the Bren Events Center Saturday.

The Anteaters suffered their first home loss and go to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the MPSF, while Hawaii wins their first league match (1-2) and are also 6-2 on the season.

Hodges recorded a career-high 21 kills as well as a team-best six digs to pace UC Irvine. Senior Tamir Hershko added 10 kills, while senior Michael Saeta recorded five kills, 36 set assists and three aces. Freshman Scott Stadick hit .533 (8-0-15) and had a team-high four blocks.

Stijn van Tilburg led Hawaii with 19 kills, hitting .485 (19-3-33). Kupono Fey added 10 kills, while Jennings Franciskovic had 36 set assists, five kills and five digs.

Hawaii won the first set 25-16, taking control 16-10 on a kill by Jennings Franciskovic, a block and a pair of kills by Stijn van Tilburg.

UCI led 22-20 in the second set before two kills by Kupono Fey and an ace by Stijn van Tilburg gave Hawaii its first lead of the set. Following a Warrior service error, back-to-back Anteater attack errors, the last courtesy of a block, handed Hawaii the 25-23 victory.

A 6-0 run that was ignited by a Karl Apfelbach ace and ended by a Michael Saeta block put UCI in front 8-4. UCI controlled the rest of the set and ended with the final four points, including three kills by Scott Stadick, 25-15.

Despite hitting .480 (14-2-25), UCI fell in the final set 25-23. A slight two point swing by UH to sneak ahead, 11-9 was the margin they would need to hold on to the victory. UCI closed to 23-22 and 24-23 on a kills by Hodges, but an Anteater service error gave Hawaii the set, 25-23 and match.

UCI travels to BYU next week for a pair of matches.


Leave a Reply


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!