- #3 Hawaii Def. #5 UC Irvine 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 25-16)
- #3 Hawaii 9-1 (1-0 Big West); #5 UC Irvine 10-4 (0-1 Big West)
- Honolulu, O’ahu (Stan Sheriff Center/Big West Match)
- Box score
Honolulu, O’ahu – The inaugural Big West kicked off on the day with a meeting between #3 Hawaii and #5 UC Irvine capping the night. Playing in front of their home crowd, the third-ranked Rainbow Warriors served and used an efficient offense to down #5 UC Irvine in four sets.
While the Anteaters notched two more blocks and Hawaii had seven more digs in a match filled with offense, the key stat in the match had to be from the service line. Hawaii posted eight aces compared to nine serve errors while UC Irvine logged just two aces to 15 serve errors. The combination was good enough for a 12 point swing. It was only fitting that Hawaii book-ended the match with aces to start and finish.
Of course, Hawaii’s offense that hit .336 was important as well in keeping up with a UC Irvine attack that hit .318. Stijn Van Tilburg (21 kills, .372, five digs, two blocks, one ace) and Rado Parapunov (21 kills, .351, two blocks) carried the load offensively, as their 42 combined kills were just eight less than what UC Irvine had as a group.
Hawaii established that offensive rhythm early in the opening set hitting a blistering .526 with 11 first game assists from Joe Worsley (47 assists, six digs, four aces) and nine combined kills from Stijn Van Tilburg and Rado Parapunov.
That was matched in a back-and-forth second, as UC Irvine hit .545 with Dante Chakravorti (44 assists, nine digs) facilitating in the set. Aaron Koubi (17 kills, .500, five digs, three blocks) and Karl Apfelbach (14 kills, .219, five digs, two aces) would be the top options for Chakravorti, as UC Irvine overcame 14 ties and five lead changes to even the match 1-1.
A critical third would be even tighter, featuring 16 ties and three lead changes. The Rainbow Warriors still struggled to contain the Anteaters’ attack that would hit .448 for the set compared to a .394 mark from Hawaii, but it was enough when combined with a serving advantage to claim the set. The biggest point came on a block from Worsley and Patrick Gasman (10 kills, .533, four blocks), as it ended the teeter-totter of points for a 22-20 edge and eventually led to a Parapunov kill at 25-22.
Gasman came up large to start the fourth as well, as Hawaii jumped all over UC Irvine at 7-0 in the game. Two of the points came on Gasman kills, while four more were on UC Irvine attack errors that were not blocks. In fact, a combination of mistakes and defense led by Larry Tuileta (14 digs, four assists) constricted the Anteaters to a .033 hitting percentage in the game. The Rainbow Warriors never looked back and coasted to a 25-16 final set victory.
Next up, the two teams will get a rematch with each other as Hawaii once again plays host to UC Irvine on Sunday night.
Courtesy of Hawaii:
HONOLULU – The third-ranked University of Hawai’i men’s volleyball team made history Friday, winning its first-ever Big West Conference match in four sets over No. 5 UC Irvine at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 25-16.
The Rainbow Warriors (9-1, 1-0 BWC) also extended their home conference win streak to 14 matches and defeated the Anteaters for the fifth straight time in the series. Outside hitter Stijn van Tilburg notched his first 20-kill match of the season and sixth of his career, finishing with 21 kills on .372 hitting. Opposite Rado Parapunov added 21 kills, hitting .351.
The Anteaters (10-4, 0-1 BWC), who dropped their third straight match, was led by Aaron Koubi‘s 17 kills on .500 hitting. Karl Apfelbach added 14 kills.
UH libero Larry Tuileta had 14 digs while setter Joe Worsley dished out 47 assists and tallied four aces. Patrick Gasman had 10 kills and four blocks. Hawai’i hit .336 as a team compared to .318 for the Anteaters.
In Set 1, the Warriors used a 4-1 run to build a 17-14 lead. After a UCI point, UH reeled off six straight for a 23-15 lead as Gasman was part of four of them with two kills and two blocks. UH hit .526 in the frame and Worsley added two of the team’s three aces.
UCI scored four straight for a 20-16 lead in Set 2 capped by consecutive kills by Apfelbach. The Warriors answered back scoring four of the next five points to pull within one at 21-20 but the Eaters pulled away with consecutive kills by Koubi to even the match.
The Eaters jumped out to a 10-7 lead to start Set 3. UCI’s big block came alive as Scott Stadick was in on three stuffs. UH came roaring back with a 6-2 run for a 13-12 lead. From there, a reversal of points led to a strange occurrence of two media timeouts. The teams traded points until a Gasman-Worsley double-block gave UH a 22-20 lead. The Warriors closed out the set with back-to-back kills by van Tilburg and Parapunov.
The Warriors used that momentum to score the first seven points of Set 4. UH jumped out to a 12-2 lead and the closest the Anteaters would get was six.
The teams meet again Sunday at 5:00 p.m.
Courtesy of UC Irvine:
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Outside hitter Aaron Koubi had an impressive offensive performance, but it was not enough as No. 5 UC Irvine fell 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 25-16) at the hands of No. 3 Hawaii in the first Big West Conference men’s volleyball match at the Stan Sheriff Center Friday night.
Koubi led UCI (10-4, 0-1) with a season-high tying 17 kills, hitting .500 (17-3-28). The outside hitter also added five digs and three block assists. Opposite Karl Apfelbach added 14 kills, while setter Dante Chakravorti totaled 44 set assists and a team-high nine digs. Middle blockers Scott Stadick and Austin Wilmot led UCI at the net with five and four total blocks respectively. Outside hitter Joel Schneidmiller had eight kills and three block assists.
Serving was key as the Rainbow Warriors held an 8-2 advantage in aces and UC Irvine committed 15 service errors to Hawaii’s 9.
Hawaii (9-1, 1-0) was led by Stijn van Tilburg and Rado Parapunov with 21 kills each. Patrick Gasman had 10 kills, while Joe Worsley had 47 set assists, four aces and six digs.
Hawaii started Big West play off with bang, scoring the first two points on service aces by Joe Worsley. The Anteaters caught up 5-5 on a block by Scott Stadick and Joel Schneidmiller. UCI did not make a hitting mistake (10-1-14) until 15-13 to cause a media timeout. A UCI service error and a block opened a 17-14 lead for the Rainbow Warriors. After a Hawaii service error, UH scored six unanswered to build a 23-15 advantage. The teams would trade points until an Anteater service error gave Hawaii the 25-17 victory. UCI committed six service errors in the set.
In the second set, a kill by Dante Chakravorti and a block by Stadick and Schneidmiller helped the Anteaters to a 7-5 lead. Two UCI errors plus another Worsley ace put Hawaii on top 9-8. The teams remained close until UCI scored four straight on Hawaii service and hitting errors and a pair of Apfelbach kills, 20-16. With UCI leading 21-17, UH scored three straight to force a UCI timeout, 21-20. The timeout worked as the next Hawaii serve went in to the net. Koubi then tapped two consecutive kills off the block to move UCI back in front 24-20. After a delay of two points, a Hawaii attack went wide to give UCI the 25-22 victory.
A kill and solo block by Stadick gave UCI a 10-7 advantage in the third set. Hawaii would chip away and take the lead 12-11 on a UCI error. The teams would match each other point for point with Hawaii finally making a move on a kill by Rado Parapunov and a block by Worsley and Patrick Gasman, 22-20. The teams would trade points until the Rainbow Warriors put away back-to-back kills to end the set, 25-22.
Hawaii opened the fourth set with a 7-0 lead and never looked back going on to win the set 25-16 and the match 3-1. The final set was not pretty as Hawaii hit .172 (12-7-29) and UCI hit .033 (7-6-30).
The two teams will square off again on Sunday (Feb. 23) at 7:00 p.m. PT.
NOTES: This is the second time this year Koubi has led the Anteaters in kills…Koubi also had 17 kill against BYU on Jan. 27…It is the fourth time this year he has hit .500 or better…Wilmot had a career-high three kills (3-0-5) to go with his career-best four blocks…UCI’s 15 service errors is the second most this season and Hawaii’s 9 service errors is the second fewest by an opponent…UCI held a 9-7 advantage in blocks, the 10th time the Anteaters have out-blocked its opponent 10 times…It is the fifth consecutive loss to Hawaii.