So much for No. 4/4 Hawai’i historically not being able to win big matches on the road.
Setter Jennings Franciskovic guided Hawai’i to more than .300 attack percentage as it defeated No. 6/6 UCLA 26-28, 25-23, 25-21, 25-18 on Friday at the John Wooden Center to clinch a home match for the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.
The Rainbow Warriors secured the No. 3 seed for the upcoming MPSF Tournament and will be guaranteed their third postseason home match this decade. In addition, the victory in the opener of this two-match series keeps Hawai’i in control of the final at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, according to the latest Off the Block bracketology.
Hawai’i out-hit UCLA .304 to .244, including having a match-best .500 attack percentage in the third game.
Outside attacker Kupono Fey had a team-high 13 kills, while freshman opposite Rado Parapunov coming off the bench to replace Stijn van Tilburg contributed nine kills. van Tilburg entered this weekend second in the nation with a 4.47 kills per game average but finished the match with seven kills and a .250 attack percentage in two games.
Libero Larry Tuileta led the Rainbow Warriors defensively with 13 digs. Middle attacker Patrick Gasman also finished with a match-high five blocks against the Bruins.
UCLA All-American outside attacker Jake Arnitz had a match-high 20 kills on a .395 attack percentage.
With this loss, UCLA is locked into the No. 5 seed for the MPSF Tournament will travel to play No. 5/5 UC Irvine in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals next week.
Check out the video highlights of this conference match filmed by Off the Block special contributor Brandon Johnson.