Henno dominant on offense, No. 5/5 UC Irvine sweeps No. 4/4 Hawai’i

Photo courtesy of UC Irvine athletics

There continues to be no answer to stop outside attacker Hilir Henno.

Henno led all players with 20 kills on a season-high .679 attack percentage as No. 5/5 UC Irvine swept No. 4/4 Hawai’i 25-20, 25-19, 25-21 on Friday in Irvine, California.

This was the eighth time this season that Henno had at least 20 kills in a match – and the second time to achieve the feat against Hawai’i. The outside attacker had a career-high 36 kills in a non-conference five-game loss to the Rainbow Warriors last month.

Henno had an attack error on the opening play against Hawai’i and then did not commit an attack error the rest of the conference match. Henno also closed out the match with a game-high nine kills in the third game to help the Anteaters secure the sweep in front of a home crowd of 2,058 people.


Setter Brett Sheward guided the UC Irvine offense to out-hit Hawai’i .425 to .204 in the opener of the two-match series. The Anteaters had a match-best .588 attack percentage in the first game and then committed one error and hit .481 in the third game.

Along with Henno, opposite Nolan Flexen had nine kills and Maxim Grigoriev contributed six kills on a .455 attack percentage.

Grigoriev also finished with a match-high six blocks. Sheward, who played for Hawai’i before transferring in the offseason, added five blocks against their former team.

Sheward and Grigoriev teamed up for three consecutive blocks to cap off an 8-2 run late in the second game.

UC Irvine ended the match with 10 blocks – seven more blocks than Hawai’i.

Opposite Aaka’i Todd in the loss led Hawai’i with 12 kills on a .333 attack percentage. Todd, though, was the only Rainbow Warrior to have both more than three kills and hit more than .300.

UC Irvine with this victory remains one-match behind first-place No. 1/1 Long Beach State in the Big West standings. In addition, UC Irvine can clinch a bye to the Big West Tournament semifinals and a top-two seed for the tournament if it beats Hawai’i in the series finale on Saturday.