Sports Hawaii pushes No. 1 UC Irvine By Star-Advertiser staff Feb. 19, 2013 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Top-ranked UC Irvine held off Hawaii for a 21-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-17, 15-11 volleyball victory Monday night in the Bren Center. The Anteaters dominated the fourth set and then scored the first five points of the fifth set to coast to their ninth consecutive victory. The Anteaters, who regained their No. 1 ranking earlier in the day, improved to 13-3 overall and 10-3 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Warriors fell to 5-9 and 4-7. It was the Warriors’ ninth fifth-set match of the season, tying a program record since rally scoring was implemented in 2001, and second on this four-match trip that concludes with today’s rematch. Asked if fatigue was a factor, UH coach Charlie Wade said: "I don’t know. If you’re looking for an excuse, OK, we were playing three matches in four days and blah, blah, blah. But I don’t think that was the difference in the match. We were in position. You have to give Irvine credit. They’re good. No question." The Anteaters, who won the 2012 national title, are considered to run one of the quickest and most diverse offenses. Middle hitter Colin Mehring entered as the nation’s most accurate attacker (52.6 percent). Pin hitters Kevin Tillie, Jeremy Dejno and Connor Hughes make it difficult for defenses to pack the block. The Warriors were able to cover Dejno and Hughes, but that left Tillie and Mehring as poisons. Tillie had a match-high 22 kills and hit .419. Mehring blasted 13 kills (one error) in 15 swings and hit .800. "He does that every night," Wade said. "Their outsides are so good, you can’t just commit on (Mehring) or you’ll have no chance." The official statistics gave the Anteaters the advantage in point-scoring blocks. "I guarantee you we blocked more balls than they did," Wade said. "We were going on runs where we were blocking, blocking, blocking, and they were scrambling to cover them." For all of the Warriors’ success, they could not overcome early deficits in the final two sets. The Anteaters scored the first three points of the fourth set, then built leads of 10-4, 14-7 and 20-14. In the fifth set, the Anteaters scored the first five points, a run that could not be slowed even after a UH timeout. The Warriors closed to 13-10, but then Johann Timmer served long, setting up match point. Brook Sedore’s kill cut the UH deficit back to three, but then he hit long to end the match. Sedore led the Warriors with 20 kills and Siki Zarkovic added 15 kills. JP Marks contributed 13 kills, but was inconsistent in the final two sets. "I like how we competed," Wade said. "We’re playing the premier teams, according to the standings and rankings, and we’re right there. We’re improving and competing against the very best teams. We think we’re getting close." Previous Story Hawaii falls to No. 1 UC Irvine in five sets Next Story Pistorius: Lover caught in tragedy or killer?