UC San Diego stuns No. 5/3 Hawai’i in sweep

Photo courtesy of UC San Diego athletics

Setter Gabriel Dyer late in the third game ran almost halfway across the court to chase down an errant pass that was heading towards the scorekeeper table.

The setter got to the ball in full stride and had few options other than doing a bump set over the head. The set ended up being in a near perfect location for opposite Anthony Cherfan, who was able to deliver an out-of-system kill from the back row.

It was just that kind of night for UC San Diego.

Dyer guided the offense to a .352 attack percentage as UC San Diego upset No. 5/3 Hawai’i 27-25, 25-21, 25-20 on Saturday in La Jolla, California.

The Tritons capped off the sweep committing one attack error and hitting a match-best .611 in the final game. In addition, UC San Diego playing in front of a home crowd of 1,921 people had a combined four errors in the final two games.


All three of UC San Diego’s pin-hitters had more than a .300 attack percentage against the defending Big West champions.

Outside attacker Sebastian Lara finished with a match-high 14 kills on a .478 attack percentage. Lara had the game-winning kill to end the first-game overtime and then in the second game led all players with six kills.

Cherfan contributed 13 kills on a .310 attack percentage, while outside attacker Josh Schellinger had seven kills and hit .333. Schellinger in the first game also had a kill to fight off of a Hawai’i game-point and force overtime.

UC San Diego had five players with an ace and finished with nine aces – five more aces than Hawai’i. Jim Garrison had match-high four aces highlighted with back-to-back aces in the second game, and Cherfan added two aces.

Along with running the offense and having an ace, Dyer led all players defensively with 10 digs.

Hawai’i in the loss hit .337 and had a team-best .478 attack percentage in the final game.

Outside attacker Keoni Thiim had both a team-high 12 kills on a .455 attack percentage and three aces. Outside attacker Chaz Galloway coming off the bench in the second game finished with seven kills and hit .429.

This is the first time the Tritons have defeated a top-five nationally ranked team since 2022.

Both Hawai’i and UC Irvine entered this regular season finale having already secured their seeds for the upcoming Big West Tournament. Hawai’i will be the No. 3 seed, while UC San Diego will be the No. 4 seed.

The loss, though, does hurt Hawai’i in the race for a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament if it loses in the Big West Tournament. Hawai’i after this loss to UC San Diego is projected to fall behind No. 6/7 BYU in the selection criteria category of KPI rankings, according to the latest Off the Block bracketology.