HONOLULU – Hawaii went toe-to-toe with No. 2 Pepperdine on Friday, and pulled off a thrilling five-set victory in the first of two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches at the Stan Sheriff Center with scores of 19-25, 25-18, 22-25, 25-21, 15-11.
The Warriors (2-6, 1-4 MPSF) snapped a 12-match MPSF losing streak in playing their fifth five-set match of the season. UH also put an end to a nine-match MPSF home losing streak while defeating Pepperdine at home for the third consecutive time.
UH played its fourth five-set match at home in as many outings and beat a top-five team at home for the second time in a row. The Warriors rallied past fifth-ranked UCLA two weeks ago during the Outrigger Invitational.
UH was led by freshman Sinisa Zarkovic, who notched a career-high 19 kills and hit .441with two aces and five digs. Sophomore Brook Sedore chipped in a career-high 17 kills on .419 hitting and served four of the team’s eight aces. JP Marks added 12 kills and a career-high 16 digs while Davis Holt had six kills, hitting .429, and a team-high five blocks.
As a team, the Warriors hit a season-best .364 against one of the top blocking teams in the country. Pepperdine finished with 14.5 blocks and hit .278 as a team. Maurice Torres had a match-high 20 kills for the Waves (3-2, 3-2).
In the fifth set, the teams traded points until Taylor Averill’s kill tied the score at 11. With Zarkovic at the service line, the Waves hit long on back-to-back points. Zarkovic’s second ace gave the Warriors match point and Averill put down a kill to end it.
The Warriors evened the match at one after wiping out Pepperdine 25-18 in set two. Set three was much like the second as the Warriors led 19-13 with 10 kills in 14 swings until the Waves rallied, scoring seven in a row — which included four UH hitting errors — for a 20-19 lead. Pepperdine went on to out-score Hawaii 12-3 to win it 25-22.
The teams traded points for the better part of set four until Sedore took over with a block and consecutive kills, giving UH a 21-18 lead. A Sedore ace put UH on top 23-19. Moments later, Pepperdine’s Josh Taylor hit long forcing a fifth set.