POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 23, 2011
The Hawaii volleyball team did the math.
But the Warriors were left puzzled at how a statistically dominant performance added up to a 27-25, 20-25, 25-23, 28-26 loss to UC Irvine last night in the Bren Activities Center.
After playing their fourth road match in five nights, the weary Warriors head home 6-9 overall and 4-6 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
The Anteaters improved to 10-8 and 7-5.
"To get to seven wins is important," UCI coach John Speraw said of the MPSF schedule in which every member plays 22 league matches. "It's about making the playoffs at the end of the year. This put us in a good position to do that. It seems like 10 (MPSF victories) is the magic number, although with everyone in the picture, maybe you have to get to 11. In the past, it seems like 10 wins gets you in. We're getting closer."
The Anteaters moved into favorable position with last night's mystifying outcome, completing a two-match sweep of the Warriors.
The Warriors controlled the net (12 to 3.5 advantage in blocks), and corner attackers Jonas Umlauft, Joshua Walker and Steven Hunt combined to hit .511. Umlauft had 25 kills.
"Our stat line would confuse anybody," Speraw said. "There was only one area where we outplayed them, and that was at the service line. I can't explain it from the stat box."
The Anteaters, who slammed 13 aces and forced several over-passes, used effective serving to overcome deficits of 24-22 in the first set, 22-15 in the third, and 24-22 in the fourth. The Anteaters scored 10 of the final 11 points in the third set.
"To give up 13 aces is pretty disturbing," UH coach Charlie Wade said. "We looked like a team that has been on the road for a week."
Wade said the Warriors "fought the entire match," but it appeared the trip took its toll on their passing. Wade said fatigue leads to improper footwork, which impacts the "platform" — the extended forearms — of the passers.
"When the ball is served really hard, and they do that, the (ball) goes five rows into the stands," Wade said.
Opposite attacker Carson Clark, who has trained with the U.S. national team, led the Anteaters with 20 kills. Left-side hitter Jordan DuFault, who added 18 kills, and middle blocker Kevin Carroll, a converted outside hitter, each had four aces.
Speraw said the Anteaters focused on their serving in practices leading to this two-match series. Every Anteater used a jump serve, including setter Anthony Spittle, who usually float serves.
"They were crushing serves," Wade said.
|Brigham Young||7||3||.700||1 1/2||11-4|
|Long Beach State||6||3||.667||2||7-5|
|UC Santa Barbara||7||5||.583||2 1/2||9-6|
|UC Irvine||7||5||.583||2 1/2||10-8|
|UC San Diego||3||7||.300||5 1/2||6-10|