Jan. 9, 2010

 

Courtesy of Hawaii Athletics

HONOLULU –
The No. 12 University of Hawai‘i Warrior volleyball team (2-1) won the Outrigger Hotels Invitational with a four-set victory over the No. 1 Southern California Trojans (2-1) 30-21, 24-30, 30-28 and 30-23 in front of a crowd of 4,023 in the championship match of the Outrigger Hotels Invitational at the Stan Sheriff Center Saturday.

Hawai‘i won the tournament by virtue of the set differential tie-breaker, after the Warriors, Trojans and Penn State all finished with identical 2-1 records.

Joshua Walker had a match-high 24 kills, hitting .447, to lead the Warriors while earning Outrigger Hotels Invitational Most Outstanding Player honors. Gus Tuaniga added 11 kills and seven digs while hitting .421 with Matt Rawson hitting .467 with nine kills and four blocks. Jonas Umlauft had 14 kills and eight digs, also earning all-tournament honors, with Steven Grgas hitting .538 with eight kills. Ric Cervantes had a team-high 12 digs with Nejc Zemljak posting 41 assists.

The Warriors jumped out to a 7-5 edge to start the first set, only to see four-straight by the Trojans get it to 9-7. Hawai‘i nickel-and-dimed their way back into a tie at 14-14 before a huge 11-2 run, capped by consecutive aces by Walker, put the Warriors out 25-16. UH needed only to side out the rest of the way, taking the first set 30-21.

The Trojans came out dominant in the second set, taking an early 13-5 lead. USC got it to 24-13 before the Warriors started to make a huge comeback. Five straight points on the serve of Walker got it to 25-18 before USC again seized control at 28-20. Hawai‘i was able to add a three-point run before the Trojans finally closed the set 30-24.

USC jumped out early in the third set, going ahead 5-2. But UH had a ferocious run, scoring nine of the next 10 points to go ahead 11-6. The Warriors kept their advantage between three and five points until the Trojans used a 5-1 spurt to cut it back to 26-25. The two teams traded side-outs the rest of the way with Walker putting away a kill to end it 30-28.

Hawai‘i jumped ahead 6-3 to start the fourth set. USC responded with a couple of points, then eventually tied it at 11-11. A 6-2 Warrior run got it to 19-15, with UH later capping a three-point run with a huge triple block, getting it to 27-20. The Trojans were able to hold it off for a couple points before a kill by Rawson ended it 30-23.

The Warriors next head on the road for two matches at No. 3 Stanford on Jan. 15 and 16, before playing at Pacific on Jan. 19 and 20.