The microphone malfunctioned during the national anthem. The key to the visiting locker room was misplaced. There was no entertainment during the extended break between the second and third sets.
And the University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team also had a false start, losing its 2014 debut in four sets to Thompson Rivers University of Canada in the Stan Sheriff Center.
The scores were 25-19, 25-21, 13-25, 25-20.
There were two key factors in this exhibition: 1. The Rainbow Warriors were able to experiment with lineups and 2. the match did not count in any standings. The rematch is on Saturday night.
"It definitely was (about) knocking off the rust," UH middle blocker Nick West said.
Opposite attacker Brad Gunter led the WolfPack with 25 kills in 40 swings.
"He’s a great player," Thompson River setter Colin Carson said. "He played on the junior national team for Canada."
Carson, who braids his hair and his beard, kept the Warriors in knots with his quick and high sets to left-side hitter Casey Knight (10 kills) and Gunter.
Gunter, a left-hander who is 6-feet-6, can touch 11-7 in a single bound.
"He’s our go-to guy," Carson said. "You have to keep going where it’s going."
Gunter said: "I was feeling good. I was doing what I could to help our team."
Thompson River was able to adjust to the hecklers — the crowd of 1,060 was the largest it played in front this season — and to the NCAA’s heavier ball.
"A lot of people were shouting all sorts of things," Gunter said, smiling. "When you go back to serve, that’s when you’re isolated. I was pretty good at isolating it out."
Gunter served nine points on his serves, including four aces.
The Molten ball appears to be slightly heavier than the Mikasa volleyball used in Canada. Thompson River players said the Molten is favorable for spin-servers, such as Gunter.
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"I think we adjusted," Carson said. "It wasn’t too bad. We definitely can raise our level for serve and pass."
The Warriors, meanwhile, struggled in the transition phase. They sided out only 56 percent, including an implosive 45 percent in the first set.
The Warriors were without their best passer, libero Kolby Kanetake, for the half of the first set. Kanetake was treated at a hospital for an undisclosed problem, and wasn’t suited up until the Warriors had fallen behind 15-8 in the first set.
"He’s fine now, and that’s all I can say," UH coach Charlie Wade said.
Erratic passes led to connection problems throughout the match. Opposite attacker Brook Sedore led the Warriors with 14 kills, but five times he tipped sets.
"They were deciding whether to go fast or high, and vice versa," Wade said of the connection between Sedore and setter Joby Ramos.
Middle blocker Taylor Averill, who had played well during fall training, hit .000 with his five kills offset by five errors. He hit four out and one into a solo block.
"It was a little bit of an eye-opener for him," Wade said.
The Warriors entered the match in search of answers at the second middle and on the left side. West made a case for claiming a middle job with 13 kills in 20 swings and three blocks. He also had two digs.
"Stats don’t really matter," said West, who had been bothered by abdominal problems early last season. "If we came out with a win, it would been a little better."
Jace Olsen played well as a left-side starter, producing 11 kills and keeping alive plays with five digs.
Siki Zarkovic, the other left-side hitter, struggled with his accuracy, with five errors overshadowing three kills.
But Johann Timmer and freshmen Henrik Mol and Kupono Fey played well in limited time. Fey, who was brought in as a designated server, managed to dig two Gunter spikes.
Wade said the problems are correctable.
"We have to pass better to set the middle, and the (pin) hitters have to own it," Wade said. "They have to be better."
|THOMPSON RIVERS DEF. HAWAII|
|25-19, 25-21, 13-25, 25-20|
|RAINBOW WARRIORS (0-0)|
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 — Thompson Rivers 5 (Gunter 4, Carson). Hawaii 5 (Sedore 2, West, Averill, Timmer). Service errors — Thompson Rivers 15 (Knight 3, Ozari 3, Carson 2, Gunter 2, Tricarico 2, Wooldridge 2, Stoliker). Hawaii 14 (Sedore 4, Olsen 3, Zarkovic 2, Timmer 2, West, Averill, Fey). Assists — Thompson Rivers 45 (Carson 40, Krueger 4, Tricarico). Hawaii 46 (Ramos 40, Kanetake 6). T — 2:07. Officials — Ernie Ho, Wayne Lee. A — 1,060.