No. 14 Hawai'i Comes Back To Beat No. 12 Southern California


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Los Angeles, Calif. - The No. 13-ranked Hawaii men's volleyball team-behind 15 kills from Brennon Dyer and 14 kills and 6 blocks by Joshua Walker-came back to defeat No. 12 USC, 30-28, 16-30, 17-30, 32-30, 17-15, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Saturday (March 22) at USC's Galen Center.

Hawaii improved to 10-11 overall and 7-9 in the MPSF, while USC-which defeated the Warriors on Friday (March 21) in 4 games-fell to 10-13 and 7-10.

Hawaii, which scored just 33 points in the second and third games, rallied back behind the bench play of Nejc Zemljak (27 assists) and Keali'i Frank (6 kills, 3 blocks). The Warriors opened up an 18-13 lead in the fourth game and held off the Trojans, who were down 29-26 before tying the game at 29-29, by scoring the game's final 2 points on a USC blocking error and a kill by Dyer (Hawaii hit .415 in that game). Then, Hawaii went up 2-0 in the final game and led all the way to 14-12 before USC knotted the score at 14-14, but a combination block by Frank and Nemljak and then a Trojan hitting error gave the Warriors the match.

The first game was tight throughout, with Hawaii pulling it out at the end on a combo block by Dyer and Steven Grgas followed by a USC hitting error.

In the second game, USC used a pair of 5-0 runs to open up 8-3 and 17-7 leads and the Trojans coasted in while hitting .536. USC forged a 13-10 lead in the third game on a pair of aces by Tri Bourne sandwiching a Murphy Troy kill and the Trojans steadily pulled away.

For USC, Troy had a 32 kills (a career best) for the second consecutive night and added 11 digs and 5 blocks, while Juan Figueroa had 27 kills (hitting .391) with 12 digs and 3 aces and Bourne had 12 kills, 12 digs and 3 aces. Jimmy Killian posted 12 digs and 5 blocks, Luke Morris had a match-best 16 digs and Jimmy Hirschmann came off the bench to get a team-high 6 blocks in his first action of 2008. USC served 10 aces and had 70 digs.

Grgas had a match-leading 8 blocks and Ric Cervantes added 16 digs for the Warriors, who had 19.0 blocks.

USC next has its final homestand of the season when it hosts Pacific on Friday (March 28) at 7 p.m. and then No. 6 Stanford on Saturday (March 29) at 5 p.m. (the match was originally set for 7 p.m.) in a pair of MPSF matches in the Galen Center.

Article courtesy of Southern California athletics.

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