Sophomore hitter Siki Zarkovic put down a career-high 22 kills to lead No. 14 Hawaii past No. 11 Penn State 20-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-21 tonight in the 20th Outrigger Hotels Volleyball Invitational at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Senior hitter Jace Olsen, playing against his former team, added a career-high 15 kills as the Rainbow Warriors (2-0, 2-0 OHVI) snapped a five-match losing skid against the Nittany Lions (0-2, 0-2).
Hawaii goes for its seventh OHVI title — and first since 2010 — when facing No. 7 UCLA in Saturday’s 7 p.m. finale. The Bruins (2-1, 2-0), who lost to the Rainbow Warriors in five in last season’s tournament, are seeking their fourth consecutive OHVI title and ninth championship in 14 appearances.
Hawaii outblocked Penn State 7-5 with senior middle Nick West in on four. West finished with nine kills and no errors in 15 swings.
Junior opposite Nick Goodell led the Nittany Lions with 19 kills and junior hitter Aaron Russell added 16. Junior libero Connor Curry had 11 of the team’s 37 digs. .
Hawaii controlled for most of Set 3, enjoying a 17-12 margin. Penn State rallied to tie at 19 and again at 24 when holding off two set points.
The Rainbow Warriors closed it out on kills by Sedore and Zarkovic.
Tied at 10, Hawaii used a 4-1 run to pull away for good at 14-11. Penn State closed to 14-13 and, after trailing by as much as 22-16, rallied late to within 22-20 and 23-21.
The Rainbow Warriors finished it out with two kills by Zarkovic.
In today’s first match, UCLA made quick work of No. 12 Ohio State, sweeping the Buckeyes 25-14, 25-23, 25-21 in 75 minutes. Ohio State (0-2, 0-2) meets Penn State in Saturday’s 4 p.m. third-place match.
Senior opposite Robart Page put down 12 kills and senior Gonzalo Quiroga added 10 kills and five of the Bruins’ nine aces.
Junior opposite Andrew Lutz led the Buckeyes with nine kills.