No. 4/5 Hawai’i fights off resilient No. 5/6 UCSB to complete sweep

Photo courtesy of Hawai’i athletics

No. 4/5 Hawai’i sure made it interesting.

Hawai’i after blowing a six-point lead in the third game to No. 5/6 UC Santa Barbara recovered in time to complete the sweep in overtime 25-16, 25-23, 28-26 on Friday in Honolulu.

The Rainbow Warriors already up two games led 19-13 before the Gauchos went on an 8-1 run to take the lead. In addition, Hawai’i trailed 23-21 but scored three consecutive points to retake the lead and then in overtime converted on its fourth match-point opportunity.

Hawai’i (19-5, 4-3 Big West) secured the series opening win after UC Santa Barbara was called in the net attempting to set an out-of-system pass from a serve by Hawai’i setter Jakob Thelle.


Thelle playing with an injured knee finished with two aces and guided the offense to out-hit UC Santa Barbara .278 to .242.

Two Rainbow Warriors had double-digit kills in the victory that moved the team into sole possession of second place in the Big West. Opposite Dimitrios Mouchlias contributed 10 kills and zero errors on a .500 attack percentage, while outside attacker Spryos Chakas added a team-high 11 kills.

UC Santa Barbara outside attacker Ryan Wilcox led all players with 15 kills. Wilcox, though, hit the negative for the first half of the match before rebounding in the third game to finish with a .229 attack percentage.

Outside attacker Dayne Chalmers in the loss also had eight kills and zero errors on a .421 attack percentage.

UC Santa Barbara out-blocked Hawai’i 8.5 to 6 with middle attacker Brandon Hicks having a match-high six blocks.

Hawai’i in all three games had leads of at least six points. However, UC Santa Barbara along with its game three performance almost pulled off a comeback in the second game.

The Gauchos (16-7, 5-3 Big West) had an 8-3 run to tie the second game at 23-23. Hawai’i responded with back-to-back points on a Filip Humler kill and a Cole Hogland block to take a two-game lead.

With this victory, the Rainbow Warriors remain undefeated at home this season and it ends the team’s two-match losing streak. Hawai’i entered this series following two road losses to No. 2/1 Long Beach State last week.