One of the key elements to winning a volleyball match that is constantly stressed by coaches is serving. Particularly at critical times. Especially in tight matches.
Service errors are free points for the opponent and Hawaii gave away 17 of those to UCLA last night. The Bruins continued their mastery of the Warriors, winning for the seventh consecutive time, sweeping Hawaii 25-21, 25-22, 28-26 at Pauley Pavilion.
Kyle Caldwell put down 11 kills to lead No. 7 UCLA (8-7, 3-6 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) to its second sweep of No. 10 Hawaii (5-7, 3-4) in four weeks. The Bruins also won in straight sets during last month’s Outrigger Hotels Invitational.
"We could have won any of those (sets)," Hawaii coach Charlie Wade said. "Again, we outhit and outblocked a team but missed too many serves.
"It was a matter of not keeping the pressure on them. We were playing good enough to win, just didn’t create enough chances."
The Warriors missed their biggest chance in Set 3 when leading by as many as six (16-10). The Bruins chipped away until an ace by Thomas Amberg gave UCLA its first lead of the set — and what would be the first of four match points — at 24-23.
Hawaii held off three match points but also gave UCLA the ball back quickly on three consecutive service errors.
Jeremy Casebeer ended it after 90 minutes on his lone kill of the night, extending UCLA’s series lead against Hawaii to 56-19.
Senior hitter Joshua Walker led the Warriors with 14 kills with no hitting errors in 23 swings. Sophomore opposite Jonas Umlauft, who didn’t have a kill until Set 2, also finished with 14.
While Walker had a good night offensively, his usual solid serve-receive didn’t show up. The Bruins had six aces, four given up by Walker.
"We don’t normally give up a lot of aces, especially by Walker," Wade said. "Those free points add up."
Service errors and giving up aces are two of the things Wade hopes to fix in tomorrow’s rematch (5 p.m. Hawaii time).
"The good thing is that we got a feel for Pauley," he said. "We didn’t get a chance to practice in here in the two days we’ve been here and some of the players, like Jonas, have never played in here.
"It’s a different energy. It’s a pretty cavernous place, especially when there’s not of lot of people (663 official attendance)."
Umlauft, the AVCA Newcomer of the Year last season, had another slow start (no kills on eight attempts in Set 1) but Wade said he wasn’t all that concerned.
"Some of the problem early was the connection with Nejc (setter Zemljak)," Wade said. "And a lot of it is teams are gearing on him, setting up their defense for him but he came through."
Junior middle Jarrod Lofy was in on four blocks for Hawaii, including three solo.
|Long Beach State||5||3||.625||2||6-5|
|UC Santa Barbara||6||5||.545||2 1/2||8-6|
|UC Irvine||4||5||.444||3 1/2||7-8|
|UC San Diego||3||5||.375||4||6-8|
|CSU Northridge||2||5||.286||4 1/2||3-9|
UCLA def. Hawaii 25-21, 25-22, 28-26
BYU def. UC Santa Barbara 15-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-20
USC def. Stanford 25-15, 25-14, 25-21
CSU Northridge at UC Irvine
BYU at UC Santa Barbara
Long Beach State at UC San Diego
Pacific at Pepperdine
Hawaii at UCLA, 5 p.m. Hawaii time
Pacific at USC
CSU Northridge at UC San Diego
Stanford at Pepperdine
NO. 7 UCLA DEF. NO. 10 HAWAII 25-21, 25-22, 28-26
Key — s: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct: hitting percentage; d: digs; bs: block solo; ba: block assists; pts: points (kills plus blocks plus aces)
Aces — Hawaii (2): Hunt, Zemljak. UCLA (6): Quiroga 2, Dunlap, Page, Amberg, Casebeer. Service Errors — Hawaii (17): Hunt 4, Dyer 4, Walker 3, Biscaro 3, Zemljak 2, Lofy. UCLA (13): Caldwell 3, Quiroga 3, Page 2, Amberg 2, Dunlap, Scattareggia, Casebeer. Assists — Hawaii (36): Zemljak 33, Hunt, Walker, Castello. UCLA (41): Scattareggia 37, Hastings 3, Dunlap. T — 1:30. Officials — Tony Chan, Verna Klubnikin. A — 663.