LONG BEACH, Calif. >> Senior hitter Kupono Fey put down a team-high 14 kills, but it was not enough to help third-seeded Hawaii overcome the loss of senior middle Hendrik Mol tonight as the Rainbow Warriors fell to top-seeded Long Beach State 17-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-23 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation volleyball tournament championship.
Mol went down with an apparent right ankle injury with Hawaii trailing 19-15 in Set 2, leaving with three kills, an ace and a block.
The Warriors (26-5) will learn their postseason fate Sunday during the NCAA selection show (7 a.m.) on ncaa.com. Hawaii is expected to receive an at-large bid, its second in three years. BYU is also expected to receive an at-large bid.
Also to be announced Sunday is where and when the two play-in matches will be held. The options are at campus sites on April 29, or on May 2 at Ohio State.
Sophomore opposite Kyle Ensing had a match-high 15 kills and sophomore hitter TJ DeFalco added 12 for the 49ers (27-3), who finished 16-0 at home this season. It was the first MPSF tournament title for Long Beach State, which will receive the MPSF’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
Also advancing with automatic bids are defending national champion Ohio State (MIVA), Penn State (EIVA) and Barton (Conference Carolinas).
Fey and sophomore opposite Stijn van Tilburg were named to the all-tournament team along with Long Beach State’s Josh Tuaniga and Ensing, BYU’s Leo Durkin and UC Irvine’s Scott Stadick. DeFalco was named the most outstanding player.