HONOLULU — Hawaii ended a decade-worth of frustration in a thrilling five-set victory against No. 5 UCLA on Saturday during the final day of the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Volleyball Invitational at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 20-25, 25-23, 20-25, 26-24, 16-14.
The Warriors (1-4), who played their third five-set match in as many days, snapped a 10-match losing streak to the Bruins in the tournament and snapped a 12-match losing streak dating back to last season. UH also put an end to a 10-match home losing streak.
UCLA (5-2), which played its seventh fifth-set match in as many matches this season, was led by Robart Page’s 18 kills. Gonzalo Quiroga added 15 kills in his first game of the tournament, while Dane Worley had 12 kills, eight digs and five blocks. Worley was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player while Page was all-tournament.
The Warriors, who entered the match having lost their first four matches to start the season for the first time in school history, were led by JP Marks’ 18 kills and Sinisa Zarkovic’s 17 kills. Libero Matthew Cheape had a team-high 12 digs. Both Marks and Cheape were selected all-tournament along with Penn State’s Aaron Russell and Taylor Hammond and Ohio State’s Michael Henchy.
UH played the match with back-up setter Joby Ramos, who finished with 50 assists and one service ace. Johann Timmer came in to serve the final four points in the final set to spur the Warrior comeback.
The Warriors fended off UCLA in the second set, scoring the final four points for a 25-23 victory. The Bruins led 2-1 entering the fourth set.
In the fourth set, the Warriors battled back from an early 9-6 deficit to take a 16-15 lead. The teams traded blows until the very end when Taylor Averill stuff blocked Spencer Rowe and Quiroga hit long.
In the fifth set, the Bruins took an early lead. UCLA led 13-10 and had match-point at 14-11 after Quiroga’s 15th and final kill. However, the Warriors erased three match points, twice with kills by Zarkovic.