No. 3 UCLA Outlasts No. 11 Hawai`i


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Honolulu, Hawai'i - The 11th ranked University of Hawai`i men's volleyball team dropped a five-set heartbreaker to No. 3 UCLA tonight 30-24, 28-30, 30-24, 22-30, 11-15 in the final match of the 14th Outrigger Hotels Invitational in front a tournament-high crowd of 3,071 (issued) at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The two teams felt each other out in the beginning of the first set until a UCLA attack error gave UH a 7-6 lead. The Warriors (1-2) built a six-point lead, 21-15, and played side out ball the rest of the way. Setter Sean Carney got the offense rolling spreading the wealth around allowing UH hitters to post a .355 hitting percentage, which was higher than any of the team's previous seven sets in the tourney. Jacob Schkud led the way for the Warriors posting four kills in seven swings.

UCLA (2-1) toughened its serving up to begin the second set providing the Bruins with an early 5-1 advantage and increased it to 10-5. But UH rallied and pulled to within one at 11-10 on Schkud's block. UH finally tied it at 13 on a double-block by Schkud and Matthew Rawson and took their first lead on the ensuing serve on a Bruin hitting error. The Warriors went up by a pair on a James Clar ace and then Clar split the middle ending a marathon rally.

But the Bruins would respond taking the next three points on an obstruction play where a UH player got in the way of a UCLA player trying to make a save. Then the Bruins would take advantage of a hitting error and a block to go up 25-24. UH would knot it up at 28 on a Keali`i Frank kill, but the Bruins would take the next two points to close out Game 2, 30-28.

UH went up two games to one taking the third, 30-24. The Warriors' Nejc Zemljak kill broke a two-all tie and allowed UH to race out to a 17-9 lead. UCLA would claw its way back into the set, pulling to within three, 24-21, on a UH attack error. Nevertheless, UH would seize the next three points and hold on to win.

In the fourth set, UCLA had its most productive set hitting .471 (18-2-34). The set teetered with UCLA holding an 18-16 lead. Then the Bruins reeled off two quick points and increased it to as many as eight winning, 30-22, forcing the tournament's only fifth set.

The fifth and deciding set saw UCLA keep the hot hand offensively. It was UH with an early advantage at 4-3, but the Bruins tallied the next three points, increasing it three at 8-5 at the halfway point and increased it to four, which was the final margin of victory, 15-11.

Penn State won the Outrigger Hotels Invitational title with a perfect 3-0 record. Second place went to UCLA (2-1), third to Hawai`i (1-2), and Ball State (0-3) completed the field.

The all-tournament team was announced following the UH-UCLA match. The seven-member team consisted of six players plus the tournament's most outstanding player. The group consisted of Hawai`i's Sean Carney and Jim Clar; UCLA's Garrett Muagututia and Jamie Diefenbach; and Penn State's Max Holt, Luke Murray and the Most Outstanding Player Matt Anderson.

Article courtesy of Hawai'i athletics.

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