Torwie unstoppable late in fifth game, leads No. 2/1 Long Beach past No. 1/2 Hawai’i

Photo courtesy of Long Beach State

Middle attacker Simon Torwie took over at the net in the most critical moment of the match.

Torwie had three blocks late in the decisive fifth game as No. 2/1 Long Beach State defeated No. 1/2 Hawai’i 25-20, 20-25, 25-23, 24-26, 15-13 on Saturday in Long Beach, California.

The middle attacker after getting a kill to give Long Beach a 11-10 lead in the fifth game delivered a solo block to extend the lead. Torwie also had back-to-back blocks to cap off a 4-1 late-game run and put the Beach at match-point.

Torwie finished with a season-high 10 blocks to help the Beach complete the two-match series sweep against the Rainbow Warriors.

Long Beach State playing in front of a home crowd of 4,062 people had a season-best 20.5 blocks – 12 more blocks than Hawai’i. Along with Torwie, middle attacker DiAeris McRaven contributed eight blocks and opposite Sklyer Varga had six blocks.

Long Beach State in the victory out-hit Hawai’i .279 to .248 and for the series held the Rainbow Warriors to less than a .250 attack percentage in both matches. Hawai’i entered this series with a nation-best .397 attack percentage this season but was All-American outside attacker Spyros Chakas, who suffered a season-ending injury last week.

Outside attacker Sotiris Siapanis led Long Beach State with 17 kills on a .333 attack percentage, including having the game-winning kill. Varga added 15 kills to help Long Beach State extend its winning streak to eight matches.


Both Siapanis and Varga were the only Beach players with more than six kills.

Siapanis defensively also had a team-high 11 digs.

Hawai’i outside attacker Keoni Thiim in the loss had a match-high 20 kills. Thiim was inserted into the starting lineup this weekend following the injury to Chakas.

Freshman pin-hitter Louis Sakanoko came off the Hawai’i bench and contributed 19 kills, while opposite Alakai Todd had 16 kills.

Along with running the Hawai’i offense, freshman setter Tread Rosenthal led all players with 15 digs.

Hawai’i outside attacker Chaz Galloway, who suffered a lower-body injury in the series opener, was pulled following the first game but reinserted into the lineup for the decisive game. Galloway helped the Rainbow Warriors overcome a 6-3 deficit and had a kill to give the team the lead midway through the game.

The Rainbow Warriors trailed again after the Beach’s late-game run. Hawai’i, though, fought off two match–points before Long Beach State converted to close out the match.

Hawai’i rallied from a three-point deficit midway through the fourth game and fought off a match-point to force overtime.

Voss and Rosenthal teamed up for a block on the first play in the overtime to give Hawai’i the advantage. Long Beach State then committed an attack error on the next play to give Hawai’i the game and create a decisive fifth game.

Long Beach State trailed the third game 22-21 but responded with a 3-0 run that featured a kill from Varga and a block from Torwie. Torwie had a game-high three blocks and with the game on the verge of overtime delivered the game-winning kill.

Thim led all players with five kills in the second game to help the Rainbow Warriors tie the match. Sakanoko also was inserted into the lineup for the start of the second game and finished with four kills, including the game-winning kill.

Long Beach State in its opening-game win committed one attack error and had a match-best .500 attack percentage.

Hawai’i and Long Beach State were tied at 17-17 before the Beach went on an 8-3 run to close out the game. Varga during the run had back-to-back aces and another serve that resulted in an overpass kill for the Beach.

Long Beach State with this victory moves into a tie with No. 5/5 UC Irvine for first place in the Big West.