Junior opposite Rado Parapunov put down 12 kills with no errors and second-seeded Hawaii swept third-seeded UC Irvine 25-17, 25-16, 25-15 in tonight’s second semifinal of the Big West men’s volleyball tournament at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Rainbow Warriors (26-2) will face top-seeded Long Beach State (26-1) at 8 p.m. Saturday for the tournament championship and the Big West’s automatic bid in the NCAA tournament.
In tonight’s first semifinal, the 49ers turned back UC Santa Barbara 25-19, 21-25, 25-18, 25-17.
Also tonight, Hawaii senior setter Joe Worsley moved into ninth place on the program’s all-time assists list with 2,590.
Senior opposite Karl Apfelbach had 12 kills for UC Irvine (18-11).
Senior opposite Kyle Ensing put down 18 kills with just one error for top-seeded Long Beach State. Senior hitter TJ DeFalco added 11 kills and three the team’s seven aces for the 49ers in the match that lasted 2 hours and 10 minutes.
Senior hitter Corey Chavers led the Gauchos (18-10) with 13 kills and sophomore middle Brandon Hopper added 10. Conference freshman of the year Ryan Wilcox (Punahou) finished with seven kills and six digs.