Friday, February 21, 2003



can’t keep up
with Cougars

Wilton wonders who will step it up
as UH gets swept at Provo

From staff and wire reports

PROVO, Utah >> The Hawaii Warriors volleyball team hit another bump in their stop-and-go season.

After a nice win last week against Cal State Northridge, the second-ranked Warriors were halted by Brigham Young yesterday. The fourth-ranked Cougars swept the Warriors 30-24, 31-29, 30-27 yesterday before 1,988 fans at Smith Fieldhouse.

The Cougars improve to 9-2 overall and 9-2 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Hawaii drops to 9-4 and 5-4.

It has not been a smooth season for Hawaii, and coach Mike Wilton thought it was time for his team to start making a run. Instead, the Warriors will try to avoid their first conference sweep. Hawaii needs to recover quickly, as the rematch is today at 4 p.m. at the Marriott Center.

"My assessment of the match is that we played well enough out to 20 in all three games," Wilton said. "And then everything that happened in BYU's favor after 20 just ignited their fans. They kicked it up a notch or two and we stayed the same or backed off.

"What was very disconcerting to the coaching staff was that we had nobody screaming for the ball. Nobody screaming 'set me' in transition. It was not inspiring."

Wilton said that he spoke with former BYU coach Carl McGown after the match and McGown said it was the best match the Cougars had played all season.

In spite of that, Hawaii and BYU were close statistically. The Cougars outhit the Warriors .398 to .378. But UH and BYU were about even in most of the other categories.

Hawaii setter Kimo Tuyay ran a balanced attack with Costas Theocharidis, Tony Ching and Pedro Azenha getting 12 kills each. Azenha was also the Warriors' best blocker, getting in on five stuffs.

Outside hitter Rafael Paal hit a whopping .607 and led BYU with 20 kills and two aces. Opposite Jonathan Alleman chipped in 11 kills.

"It was us and not them. We just couldn't finish," Wilton said. "And I'm quite concerned because it's becoming a pattern and only we can do something about it. We're not stepping up when we need to step up right now."

Theocharidis has usually been the one to hoist Hawaii on his back, but he was fairly quiet yesterday. The three-time All-American saw just 22 sets in the match, about three fewer per game than normal.

Theocharidis didn't see his first set until midway through Game 1, and his first kill landed with Hawaii leading 16-14. The Warriors held a slim lead most of the game but never managed to distance themselves.

UH's 20-19 advantage disappeared after an ace by BYU middle Michael Burke knotted the score. The Cougars went on a 6-2 run to pull away. Paal jump-served back-to-back aces to bring BYU to game point. Theocharidis staved off one with a kill but served long to end the game.

Hawaii had a chance to even the match at 1 but couldn't score one point. The Warriors led 29-25 but gave up six straight points to concede the game.

Alleman blasted a kill and went back to the service line and never left. The Warriors had no momentum after failing to put away the Cougars. The game ended on hitting errors by Delano Thomas and Theocharidis.

"I felt like all three of them, we didn't put away," Wilton said. "I thought we were in the driver's seat in all three games. When it came time to put the hammer down, we didn't do it.

"We do not have a player on the court who will say, 'This is unacceptable. Let's stop doing this and play our game.' We don't have anybody screaming for the ball in rallies or when the game is on the line. During that run in Game 2 when they came from behind, we had at least two transition sets where nobody would take a swing at it. We would bump the ball over the net."

Things didn't improve much in Game 3. Hawaii was discombobulated from the start. After opening with a kill by Azenha, the Warriors gave the ball back to the Cougars when the officials discovered Hawaii was out of rotation.

The Warriors competed early, but much like the first two games, Hawaii faded in the 20s. The Warriors had leads of 10-6 and 23-20, but couldn't hold them as they wilted down the stretch. Hawaii had one last chance to make a run when it tied the score at 26 off a kill by Theocharidis, but BYU closed out the match on a 4-1 run.

Note: Today's match will be in the 22,700-seat Marriott Center as the Cougars attempt to break the NCAA single-match attendance record of 14,156 they set in 1999 against the Warriors.

Brigham Young def. Hawaii

30-24, 31-29, 30-27
WARRIORS (5-4, 9-4 mpsf)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Tuyay 3 1 0 4 .250 1 0 4
Zimet 3 0 0 0 .000 0 1 3
Theocharidis 3 12 2 22 .455 0 1 2
Azenha 3 12 5 26 .269 1 4 3
Ching 3 12 3 19 .471 0 1 6
Nordberg 2 1 1 3 .000 0 1 0
Thomas 3 7 1 13 .462 0 2 3
Stanhiser 3 2 1 3 .333 1 2 0
Totals 3 47 13 90 .378 3 12 21

COUGARS (9-2, 9-2 mpsf)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Burke 3 5 0 10 .500 0 4 0
Moreno 3 6 0 8 .750 0 2 1
Gorny 3 7 4 14 .214 0 4 1
Mayol 2 4 5 9 -.111 0 0 4
Paal 3 20 3 28 .607 0 3 5
Alleman 3 11 1 22 .455 0 2 4
Olmstead 3 0 0 1 .000 0 0 7
Slabe 2 4 3 11 .091 0 2 0
Totals 3 57 16 103 .398 0 17 22

Key -- g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct.: hitting percentage; bs: block solos; ba: block assists; d: digs.

Aces -- Hawaii (3): Ching 2, Tuyay. BYU (5): Paal 2, Burke, Moreno, Alleman. Assists -- Hawaii (47): Tuyay 42, Zimet 2, Azenha 2, Ching. BYU (55): Moreno 48, Paal 2, Olmstead 2, Slabe 2, Alleman.

T -- 1:45. Officials -- Les Calles, Tom Given, Erin Yamashita. Attendance -- 1,988.

UH Athletics

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