In a match as aesthetic as finger-painting, the Hawaii volleyball team scratched its way to a four-set road victory over Long Beach State last night in the Walter Pyramid.
The scores were 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23.
The Warriors, who improved to 9-6 in the MPSF, started the evening in fifth place. The 49ers, who are 9-5, dropped from fourth to fifth. The top eight teams qualify for the MPSF postseason tournament, with the top four hosting first-round matches.
"We worked really hard to get to where we are," UH coach Charlie Wade said. "As long as we keep working hard, we’ll keep moving up."
The Warriors relinquished 47 points on errors — 24 on errant attacks, 12 on missed serves, nine on net violations, and two on passing miscues.
"The match was pretty ugly on both sides," Wade said. "It wasn’t a really well-played match. But it was nice to see us gut out and win close (sets) and win a close match. It speaks of the evolution of us as a group. Good teams get wins on the road. We weren’t at our best, and neither was Long Beach, but we were strong mentally when it counted."
The Warriors received the usual offensive boost from pin hitters Jonas Umlauft and Joshua Walker. Umlauft pounded 22 kills, and Walker had 16 kills and hit .364.
Left-side hitter Steven Hunt, a primary passer, contributed 11 kills and six block assists.
Middle blockers Shane Welch and Jarrod Lofy combined for only four kills in 18 swings, but they were able to disrupt the 49ers’ attack. Welch, making his fifth consecutive start, had 10 kills.
The Warriors, meanwhile, scored 11 points on Lofy’s 17 serves, a success rate of 64.8 percent. It is considered good to score points on 35 percent of the serves.
"He did a great job," Wade said of Lofy. "He dug some balls and set some balls to keep his serve alive."
Opposite attacker Jim Baughman led the 49ers with 16 kills. And outside hitter Taylor Crabb, a Punahou alum who has been hot-and-cold this season, warmed up for 15 kills.
While the 49ers played well in spurts, they had difficulty navigating the Warriors’ active block. In the third set, Welch and Lofy traded spots in the rotation.
HAWAII DEF. LONG BEACH STATE 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23
|WARRIORS (11-9, 9-6 MPSF)|
|49ERS (10-9, 8-6 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 1 (Hunt). Long Beach State 2 (Baughman, Aguillard). Assists — Hawaii 52 (Zemljak 46, Hunt 2, Walker 2, Castello 2). Long Beach State 50 (Klipsch 43, Francis 4, Baughman, Crabb, Ornee). T — 2:01. Officials — Joe Aguilar, Alvin Dong. A — 749.
|Long Beach State||8||6||.571||51⁄2||10-9|
|UC Santa Barbara||9||7||.563||51⁄2||12-9|
|UC San Diego||4||12||.250||101⁄2||7-15|
Hawaii def. Long Beach State, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23
CSU Northridge def. BYU, 25-23, 25-21, 29-27
Pacific def. NYU, 25-20, 25-14, 25-15
Hawaii at Long Beach State, 4 p.m.
BYU at CSU Northridge
Cal Baptist at Stanford
Rutgers at Pepperdine
UC Santa Cruz at Pacific