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Hawaii volleyball cruises past King

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    Hawaii opposite Rado Parapunov (19), right, embraces middle blocker Max Rosenfeld (13) after a point against the King Tornado during the second set today at Stan Sheriff Center. Hawaii won in three sets.

Senior hitter Stijn van Tilburg continued his climb up the career kills chart and No. 2 Hawaii (13-0) tied the program’s best start in sweeping King 25-8, 25-15, 25-7 in tonight’s second match of the 25th Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Invitational at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Van Tilburg put down five kills to move into 11th place all-time with 1,170, eight shy of passing Pono Ma’a (1,177) for 10th. The Rainbow Warriors extended their NCAA-record consecutive sets won to 39 with their 13th straight sweep.

Hawaii can surpass the 1996 team for the best start in program history with a victory over No. 15 Ball State in Friday’s 7 p.m. match. The Cardinals (9-9) were swept by No. 6 Pepperdine in 81 minutes, 25-13, 25-23, 25-21, in today’s opener.

The Waves (12-4) and Tornado (10-6) meet at 4 p.m. Friday. The round-robin event concludes Saturday.

Senior middle Dalton Solbrig had a match-high eight kills. The Warriors had 13 aces, three by junior hitter Colton Cowell.

Hawaii, the nation’s top team in hitting percentage (.478) coming into the week, finished at .540. The Set 3 score against the Tornado was the fewest points for an opponent this season, surpassing a record set two sets earlier. The best coming in was nine points by Lincoln Memorial in Set 1 on Feb. 17.

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