No. 1/1 Hawai’i bounced back from its first loss of the season – and in a big way courtesy of opposite Dimitrio Mouchlias.
Mouchlias led all players with a season-high 22 kills on a .390 attack percentage as Hawai’i defeated No. 2/2 UCLA 29-27, 21-25, 25-22, 28-26 to conclude the Outrigger Invitational on Saturday in Honolulu.
The opposite opened the non-conference match with a game-high nine kills in the first game, including having the game-winning kill in overtime. Mouchlias also had eight kills in the final game with one of those kills coming in overtime and was on the service line when Hawai’i (17-1, 0-0 Big West) converted on the match-winning point.
This victory came a day after Hawai’i’s bid at undefeated ended with a four-game home loss to No. 3/3 Penn State.
Hawai’i out-hit UCLA .273 to .268 and had a match-best .500 attack percentage in the final game to end the Bruins’ 10-match winning streak.
Mouchlias, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, was the only Rainbow Warrior with double-digit kills against UCLA (19-2, 4-0 MPSF). Outside attacker Spyros Chakas had nine kills and was limited to a .138 attack percentage, while freshman middle attacker Kurt Nusterer had five kills and zero errors on a .833 attack percentage.
Opposite Ido David in the loss had a team-high 21 kills and hit .325.
This was the second time that David had more than 20 kills during the Outrigger Invitational. David opened the three-day tournament with 21 kills in a five-game victory against Penn State (17-2, 4-0 EIVA).
Along with David, freshman outside attacker Zach Rama came off the bench at the start of the third game and finished with 12 kills on a .526 attack percentage. Middle attacker Merrick McHenry contributed 11 kills and zero errors on a .647 attack percentage.
UCLA despite the loss out-blocked Hawai’i 11.5 to 9.5 with McHenry having five blocks. Outside attacker Ethan Champlin led the Bruins with six blocks.
Hawai’i middle attacker Guilherme Voss had a team-high six blocks, and Chakas added five blocks. The Rainbow Warriors also won the fourth game in overtime with a block from setter Jakob Thelle and Nusterer.
UCLA had an opportunity to force a decisive fifth game.
Rama’s ninth kill of the fourth game gave the Bruins a 24-23 lead, but Chakas on the following play had a kill for the Rainbow Warriors to force overtime. UCLA was unable to convert on another game-point in overtime and committed four errors in the overtime, including back-to-back attack errors to finish the match.
Thelle early in the third game from the service line had an ace and spearheaded a 7-0 run to give the Rainbow Warriors a five-point lead.
UCLA rallied to tie that game at 20-20 with a 4-0 run that featured McHenry serving Hawai’i out of system on multiple points. Hawai’i, though, regained the lead with three consecutive UCLA errors, and Thelle had a setter dump game-winning kill.
The Rainbow Warriors trailing the second game 22-16 went on 4-0 run with Thelle on the service line. David stopped the Thelle’s serving run with a kill, and then UCLA was able to close out the game with a kill from Alex Knight and a triple block on back-to-back plays.
UCLA in the victory to even the match limited Hawai’i to a .080 attack percentage.
Hawai’i erased a three-point deficit late in the first game and had a game-point opportunity, but a David kill forced overtime. UCLA fought off three more game-points during the overtime before Mouchlias converted on a kill to win the opening game.
This was the first meeting between UCLA and Hawai’i since the two teams split a two-match non-conference series in 2018 in Honolulu.
Penn State due to the UCLA and Hawai’i match result won the Outrigger Invitational championship.
Penn State swept Purdue Fort Wayne on Saturday to finish the tournament at 2-1, the same record as UCLA and Hawai’i, and won the championship via a tiebreaker.
This is the third time the Nittany Lions have the Outrigger Invitational championship and first time they have won the title since 2009.
One Reply to “Season-best performance from Mouchlias lifts No. 1/1 Hawai’i past No. 2/2 UCLA”
Awesome game in front of a sellout of 10.300 fanatic fans. What a tournament!
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