It took the right pin numbers for UC Irvine to cash in a 25-22, 26-24, 21-25, 26-24 volleyball victory over Hawaii last night in the Bren Activities Center in Irvine, Calif.
The Warriors served tough, received boosts from middle Brennon Dyer and opposite attacker Jonas Umlauft, and rallied from a six-point deficit in the fourth set.
But that was not enough to offset the Anteaters’ three pin attackers, who combined to hit .434.
Opposite attacker Carson Clark smashed 22 kills against four errors. Left-side hitter Jordan DuFault slammed a season-high 20 kills, and outside hitter Cory Yoder contributed 15 kills against one error.
"Their pin guys were unbelievable," UH coach Charlie Wade said. "We served really well. It didn’t matter. They bailed them out. Those three guys were really good."
Wade also noted that the Anteaters were able to chase down the ricochets off the Warriors’ block.
A few times, the Anteaters made one-armed saves of blocked shots.
Playing their third road match in five nights, the Warriors served aggressively.
"They had some guys who put some pressure on us," UCI coach John Speraw said. "They had some guys who can go back there (behind the service line) and get us in trouble. I thought the serving-and-passing (phase) was won by Hawaii. That’s what usually determines wins and losses."
But the Anteaters, who run one of the quickest offenses, consistently parlayed inconsistent passes into high sets to the corners.
Clark, DuFault and Yoder combined to take 87 percent of the Anteaters’ 130 swings.
"I felt good about our offense all year, and I felt we had room to improve," Speraw said. "Our hitting percentage was great. I still think there are some aspects of our game where we can continue to improve. We definitely got better, but we weren’t clean at times."
The Warriors scored three points in a row, the third on Joshua Walker’s ace, to tie at 19 in the second set. It was 21-all when Yoder, middle Scott Kevorken and DuFault produced consecutive kills. After UH scored, DuFault slammed set point.
The Warriors opened the third set with a unique strategy of substituting Sam Biscaro for middle Jarrod Lofy in the first rotation. That boosted the Warriors’ passing, which, in turn, gave them more offensive options. The Warriors coasted in the third set, and nearly pulled out the fourth, rallying from a 12-6 disadvantage and several subsequent four-point deficits.
Trailing 24-20, Walker scored on a crossing shot. Then Dyer served three consecutive points, including two coming after Anteaters timeouts, to tie it at 24. But Yoder finished the match with consecutive kills.
"That was a real positive," Wade said of Dyer’s serves. "If we serve like that every night, we’ll win a lot."
Then Wade added: "If (the Anteaters) hit like that every night, they’ll never lose."
|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 San Diego||3||7||.300||5 1/2||6-10|
UC Irvine def. Hawaii, 25-22, 26-24, 21-25, 26-24
Hawaii at UC Irvine, 4 p.m. HST
USC at Cal State Northridge
Pepperdine at Long Beach State
NO. 7 UC Irvine def. no. 10 Hawaii, 25-22, 26-24, 21-25, 26-24
Warriors (6-8, 4-5 MPSF)
Anteaters (9-8, 6-5 MPSF)
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 (8): Walker 3, Umlauft 3, Zemljak, Dyer. UC Irvine (5): DuFault 2, Kevorken 2, Clark. Service Errors — Hawaii (9): Walker 3, Dyer 3, Hunt, Zemljak, Biscaro. UC Irvine (20): Carroll 5, DuFault 5, Kevorken 4, Clark 3, Spittle, Yoder, Wynne. Assists — Hawaii (53): Zemljak 45, Walker 3, Castello 3, Hunt, Dyer. UC Irvine (62): Spittle 54, Kevorken 3, Montgomery 2, Carroll, DuFault, Clark. T — 2:14. Officials — Alvin Dong, Verna Klubnikin. A — 664.