POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 29, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 2:08 a.m. HST, Jan 29, 2011
Three was not a good number last night.
For the third time this season, No. 11 Hawaii dropped a five-set match.
And, for just the third time in their program's history (44 meetings), the Warriors lost to UC San Diego.
The 15th-ranked Tritons made it three in a row against the Warriors last night, outlasting the visitors 25-23, 16-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-8 in 2 hours and 15 minutes at the RIMAC Arena in La Jolla, Calif.
Sophomore opposite Jonas Umlauft continued his dominance, finishing with a match-high 27 kills, nearly half of Hawaii's 59. But the Warriors couldn't contain Calvin Ross, who got hot with five kills in Set 5 to finish with 17 while hitting .577. Carl Eberts added 13 for the Tritons (4-5, 2-2).
Senior hitter Joshua Walker added 12 kills and junior hitter Steven Hunt 11 for the Warriors (1-5, 1-2), who will try to pick up their first road win when the teams meet again today at 5 p.m.
"We had chances to win the match," Hawaii coach Charlie Wade said. "We could have won it in three, won it in four. But we need to close it out.
"Our passing wasn't real sharp. We didn't get our middles involved, which passing dictates. We just never got our offense going."
While Hawaii previously had lost close Set 5s to Penn State (16-14) and Stanford (17-15), last night was a nightmare. The Warriors only trailed 7-6 when a kill by Phil Bannan gave the Tritons an 8-6 lead when the teams switched sides.
The momentum stayed with UCSD, as the Tritons scored another two points on an ace by Sebastian Brady and a kill by Ross.
A kill by Umlauft closed it to 10-7, but the Warriors never got closer. Two aces by Bannan — one considered questionable — and Ross' final kill helped set up match point at 14-7.
Umlauft's 27th kill held off the inevitable for one point. Nejc Zemljak was called for a service foot fault, an anticlimactic end to what had been an evenly played match until the final 20 minutes.
What disappointed the Warriors the most was that they outplayed the Tritons in almost every phase of the game ... until late. Hawaii outhit UCSD .325-.266, won the block battle 12.5-10 and had a 44-35 advantage in digs.
"We outhit, outdug, outblocked them," Wade said. "But we got predictable. "We need to pass better tomorrow."
Last night, the match was decided from the service line, where the Tritons — who led the league in aces — had five to the Warriors' two.
Hawaii appeared in control of the match when overwhelming Division II UCSD in Sets 2 and 3. But the Tritons tied the match in the fourth, rallying from 22-20 to outscore the Warriors 5-1 in the final minutes.
A kill by Umlauft gave Hawaii a 23-22 lead, but Bannan tied it with one of his nine kills. Walker was blocked by Ross and Mike Brunsting and Ross sent it to Set 5 with his 12th kill.
Not helping Hawaii's psyche was having to go with a different lineup. Freshman middle Shane Welch did not make the trip due to illness, giving junior middle Jarod Lofy his first start of the year. Lofy, who had played in only one previous match for two sets, had two kills and was in on four blocks.
"Lofy hits the 3 (quick set) well, but we didn't give him enough chances," Wade said. "We need to pass better to do that, to run our offense."
Senior middle Brennon Dyer led Hawaii in blocks with two solo and three block assists. Hunt had one solo and three block assists.
|Long Beach State||4||1||.800||1 1/2||5-3|
|UC Santa Barbara||3||3||.500||3||5-4|
|UC San Diego||2||2||.500||3 1/2||3-5|
|UC Irvine||2||3||.400||3 1/2||4-5|
|CSU Northridge||1||4||.200||4 1/2||2-6|
Hawaii at UC San Diego, 5 p.m. Hawaii time
Stanford at Long Beach State
Pacific at CSU Northridge
UC Irvine at BYU
USC def. UC Santa Barbara, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22
UCLA def. Pepperdine, 25-21, 25-20, 25-20
UC San Diego def. Princeton, 25-21, 25-23, 25-16
Aces -- Hawaii (2): Hunt, Zemljak. UCSD (5): Brunsting 2, Bannan, Brady, Eberts. Service Errors -- Hawaii (12): Hunt 3, Walker 3, Zemljak 3, Umlauft 2, Lofy. UCSD (17):Eberts 5, Bannan 4, Brunsting 4, Brady 2, Davidson, Iorfino . Assists -- Hawaii (54): Zemljak 51, Castello 2, Dyer. UCSD (63): Bannan 32, Brunsting 26, Eberts 3, Davidson, Frishman. T -- 2:15. Officials -- Tom Saunders, Jesse Martinez. A -- 420.