Playing without All-America setter Jakob Thelle, the top-ranked University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team opened a three-match road trip with a 25-20, 25-21, 25-17 sweep of Queens University today in Charlotte, N.C.
UH outside hitter Spyros Chakas put away a match-high 16 kills and posted 10 digs and opposite Dimitrios Mouchlias added seven kills on .385 hitting and served up two of UH’s seven aces.
UH coach Charlie Wade said Thelle, who had offseason knee surgery and started the Rainbow Warriors’ first four matches, did not make the cross-country trip “out of an abundance of caution” and sophomore Austin Buchanan made the first start of his UH career.
Buchanan distributed 25 assists in two sets before junior Brett Sheward moved from libero to setter to start the third set. Sheward, a setter earlier in his UH career, finished with 12 assists and seven digs.
Daniel Leitao led Queens with 14 kills on 33 attacks and the Royals (1-4) posted six of their nine blocks in the second set.
UH (5-0) continues its first road trip of the season on Thursday at Belmont Abbey at the Wheeler Center in Belmont, N.C.
UH led throughout the opening set, but Queens closed to 19-17 before Chakas scored from the right side and followed with an ace. Mouchlias’ second ace gave UH set point at 24-19 and Chaz Galloway ended the set with a kill down the line.
Queens went ahead 5-4 in the second set and opened up a 12-8 cushion for force a UH timeout. The Warriors caught the Royals at 17-17 and trailed 20-19 before Chakas put down a kill then went on a four-point service run with Mouchlias putting down two kills and teaming with Guilherme Voss on a block that gave UH set point. Mouchlias then ended the set with his seventh kill.
Wade went to the bench to start the third set with Sheward moving to setter and ‘Eleu Choy replacing him at libero. Keoni Thiim also entered at outside hitter and Alaka’i Todd took over at opposite.
With UH up 14-13, Todd served up two aces in a 7-0 run that included two kills from Thiim and a block by Sheward and Cole Hogland. Sheward connected with Voss in the middle to end the match.
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