No. 3/3 Hawai’i delivers dominant performance, sweeps No. 1/1 Grand Canyon

Photo courtesy of Hawai’i athletics

Kurt Nusterer after serving back-to-back aces in the third game pointed at Charlie Wade, walked across the court and gave the head coach a jubilant high five.

It was an emphatic celebration during a timeout that matched the emphatic performance for No. 3/3 Hawai’i in its biggest non-conference match of the season.

Hawai’i finished with a .449 attack percentage as it swept No. 1/1 Grand Canyon 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 at the Outrigger Invitational on Friday in Honolulu.

Freshman setter Tread Rosenthal guided the offense in the second game to hit a match-best .650 and commit one attack error. Hawai’i (17-1, 0-0 Big West) in the third game also had a .462 attack percentage and following three early errors went 32 consecutive points without an attack error.


Outside attacker Spyros Chakas led Hawai’i with 15 kills on a .478 attack percentage, including having a game-high five kills in the final game. Opposite Alakai Todd contributed 11 kills and hit a team-best .692 in front of a home crowd of 8,422 people.

Along with the offensive performance, Hawai’i had eight aces and ended with one more ace than service errors. Nusterer led all players with three aces, while Chakas and Todd each added two aces.

Nusterer also had a match-high six blocks highlighted with back-to-back blocks that capped off a 6-3 run to open the game.

Grand Canyon (15-2, 6-0 MPSF) in the loss finished with a .304 attack percentage.

Opposite Camden Gianni finished with a match-high 16 kills on a .429 attack percentage. However, Gianni was the only Antelope to have both more than five kills and hit more than .250.

This loss comes a day after Grand Canyon suffered a five-game loss to No. 5/5 UC Irvine to end its 15-match winning streak. The Antelopes entered the Outrigger Invitational as the only remaining undefeated team in the nation and climbed to No. 1 in the national rankings for the first time in program history.

Hawai’i with this victory currently holds the longest winning streak in the nation at 16 matches. In addition, Hawai’i can clinch the Outrigger Invitational championship if it can beat No. 5/5 UC Irvine in the tournament finale on Sunday.