The one who got away — junior middle blocker Futi Tavana — helped lead the way in Brigham Young’s 25-20, 26-28, 23-25, 25-22, 15-13 volleyball victory over Hawaii last night in Provo, Utah.
Before a boisterous crowd of 2,909 in the Smith Fieldhouse, Tavana contributed to the final three points of a match that lasted 2 hours, 37 minutes.
Tavana, a Kauai High School graduate, slammed a kill to tie it at 13 in the first-to-15 fifth set. He then collaborated on a triple block of UH opposite Jonas Umlauft to set up aloha ball.
After the Cougars made sprawling digs of two Warriors blasts, Tavana received a quick set to the middle. He buried the shot into the left corner to seal BYUs eighth victory in as many home matches this season.
The Cougars won both matches of the series in which the two teams entered tied for third place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. BYU (15-7, 12-6) is now alone in third, while Hawaii (12-11, 10-8) dropped to sixth.
Eight teams qualify for the MPSF postseason tournament, with the top four hosting first-round matches.
The Cougars had to repel a second effort from the Warriors, who suffered a three-set loss the night before. In that match, the Warriors put up little resistance against the Cougars quick-middle attack.
For last nights match, Brennon Dyer started in place of middle Jarrod Lofy. It was Dyers first start in eight matches after aggravating a sprained right ankle.
He has a nice arm, and we like to get him into the game, UH coach Charlie Wade said, adding that it was better to start Dyer than to have him stand around and risk the ankle tightening.
The Warriors scored eight points on Dyer’s serves, but he also had eight serving errors. The Cougars, meanwhile, gave away 23 points on service errors. Even more exasperating for the Cougars was trying to slow Umlauft, who had 28 kills and took 60 of the Warriors 107 swings.
He was pretty good, Wade said of Umlauft, a sophomore who earned his 1,000th career kill.
Umlauft is the 13th Hawaii player to reach the 1,000-kill mark. He is the third to do it in two seasons.
They were playing really well, Tavana said. Umlauft was going off. We had a hard time stopping him.
Tavana said the Cougars struggled with their focus following the 10-minute intermission between the second and third sets.
But somehow we gutted it out, Tavana said.
BYU opposite Robb Stowell had 26 kills and left-side hitter Taylor Sander added 17 kills and hit .484. Tavana had 13 kills.
The crowd played a huge role, Tavana said. Creating your own energy is kind of tough.
Smith Fieldhouse is widely considered to be the toughest stop in the MPSF. The stands are only a few feet behind the service area. Whats more, Provo is at a higher elevation. The Warriors are 3-18 in their visits and have lost eight straight dating back to a series split in 2003.
It was loud, and there was the elevation, and theyre really good, Wade said. For us to go in and battle and compete after the loss (Thursday) I think we all walked away thinking were pretty good and we can play with anybody, in any gym, even on the road. Thats pretty significant.
The Warriors were scheduled to return to Honolulu today. They face Cal State Northridge (6-17,4-12) this coming Friday and Saturday. The Matadors split their matches with BYU in Northridge, Calif., last weekend, with both teams winning in sweeps.
|Long Beach State||9||7||.563||512||11-10|
|UC San Diego||4||12||.250||11||8-15|
x-clinched MPSF tournament berth
BYU def. Hawaii, 25-20, 26-28, 23-25, 25-22, 15-13
USC def. Pepperdine, 25-17, 25-22, 28-26
Long Beach State def. Pacific, 25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21
Stanford def. CSU Northridge, 23-25, 25-22, 19-25, 28-26, 15-11
UCLA at UCSan Diego
Long Beach State at Stanford
CSUNorthridge at Pacific
Ohio State at UCIrvine
No. 3 BYU def. No. 8 Hawaii 25-20, 26-28, 23-25, 25-22, 15-13
WARRIORS (12-11, 10-8)
COUGARS (16-7, 12-6)
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). Service Aces Hawaii 2 (Dyer 2). BYU 4 (DaPron, Sagers, Sander, Stowell). Service errors Hawaii 18 (Dyer 8, Zemljak 5, Walker 4, Umlauft). BYU 23 (Stowell 7, Da Pron 6, Sander 5, Kauliakamoa 2, Sagers, Souza, Tavana). Assists Hawaii 58 (Zemljak 52, Biscaro 3, Hunt 2, Hartley). BYU 70 (Kauliakamoa 66, Tavana 2, Hiapo, Sander). T 1:34. Officials Maile Jewkes, Mike Farrish, Ashley Wallock. A 2,909.