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Friday, January 9, 2004



[ UH VOLLEYBALL ]


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FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Jose Delgado made a dig in the backcourt during last night's match against Penn State at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Warriors lost in five games.


Warriors lose
opener in 5-game
marathon

Penn State outlasts Hawaii
in a match that goes on
for almost three hours


Fatigue? What fatigue?

Penn State overcame jet-lag and a five-hour time difference to upset host Hawaii 30-26, 36-38, 30-28, 27-30, 15-13 in last night's second match of the 10th Outrigger Invitational men's volleyball tournament.



PENN ST. 3
HAWAII 2

NEXT UP
vs. Manitoba today


A crowd of 3,715 at the Stan Sheriff Center saw Hawaii's hopes of winning this event for the first time since 1999 dim with the loss. Penn State, the only team besides UH to play in all 10 tournaments, snapped a five-match losing streak here.

In last night's opener, defending Canadian collegiate champion Manitoba swept its American counterpart Lewis 30-24, 30-27, 30-27. The Bisons dominated at the net with a 15-5 blocking edge against the Flyers, who did not use three of their returning senior starters.

Tonight, Penn State takes on Lewis at 5 p.m., followed by Hawaii against Manitoba. The round-robin tournament concludes tomorrow with Penn State and Manitoba in the 5 p.m. match and the Warriors taking on the Flyers.

"Wow, it's a quarter to 4 (a.m.) in State College," said Penn State coach Mark Pavlik after the 2 hour, 42-minute match. "I'm very pleasantly surprised. I expected us to have stretches of bad volleyball and we didn't have too many of those. We had two freshmen out there in Game 5 in Hawaii ... it's great for us. Anytime you can get on a court against a Warrior squad you're going to learn something about yourselves.

"Hawaii's going to be a very good team. They just need some time. As I told Delano (UH junior hitter Thomas) just keep swinging. And I told Brian (freshman setter Beckwith) I'm going to hate seeing him the next three years because he's going to be so good."

The growing pains were obvious for the Warriors with a new setter and new players at most positions.

"We're probably go though a few more of these nights," UH assistant Aaron Wilton said. "We have some players who haven't been in this situation at all, a freshman setter playing in front of this many people. There's some learning curves that these guys will have to go through, and as a team in general.

"It's good for us. Losing is hard to swallow, but there is a curve we'll have to get over. It won't be fun getting there, but once we're there, it will be OK."


FL Morris / fmorris@starbulletin.com
Hawaii's Arri Jeschke attempted a kill during last night's match against Penn State.


The Warriors had their work cut out for them from the beginning last night. The Nittany Lions dug Hawaii's best shots and blocked the poor ones.

The Warriors struggled early and often, never really finding a rhythm. Hawaii finally found some fire -- and success -- late in Game 2 as freshman setter Beckwith continued to connect with Josh Stanhiser.

Stanhiser had seven kills in Game 2, including three that helped Hawaii fend off five Penn State game points. Stanhiser's 11th kill of the match gave the Warriors their fourth game point at 37-36 and they wouldn't need another chance as Jose Delgado ended it with his third kill of the night.

Stanhiser tied his career high early in Game 3. Beckwith then went away from the middle, using sophomore Matt Bender on right-side, back-row attacks.

Bender had seven kills in Game 3 and the Warriors needed every one of them to stay with the Lions. It wasn't enough.

Hawaii had the lead at 28-27, but a service error by Thomas tied it at 28-28. A hitting error by Bender and sophomore Matt Proper's 14th kill gave Penn State the game.

Hawaii appeared to have Penn State on the ropes early in Game 4, jumping out to leads of 4-0, 8-2 and 17-12. The Lions roared back behind Proper to pull to 17-16.

The teams traded sideouts and leads with neither team taking more than a one-point advantage until Delgado's slam of a service overpass put the Warriors up at 27-25. Penn State closed to 27-26 and 28-27 before Stanhiser and Beckwith blocked freshman Aaron Smith twice to force Game 5.

It was another seesaw battle. Penn State finally took a two-point margin at 11-9 when Bender hit just wide. Proper served for two more points, including an ace, for a 13-10 lead.

Hawaii wouldn't fold. A block and an Arri Jeschke ace brought the Warriors to within 13-12.

Keith Kowal's 19th kill gave the Lions match point at 14-12. Thomas' 17th kill held off elimination briefly; the next swing the converted outside hitter took went wide to end the match.

Proper led Penn State with 20 kills. Also in double-figure kills were Nate Meerstein (14), Kevin Wentzel (13) and Smith (13).

Thomas led the Warriors with 17 kills, while Stanhiser finished with 13 kills and nine blocks. Bender finished with 13 kills, Delgado 12 and Pedro Azenha 10.

"I think we needed some experience at the end," Stanhiser said. "Some of these guys haven't been in this kind of situation before. They played hard, played well, went all out. Experience is what kills you sometimes."

Manitoba 3, Lewis 0: Mike Munday kept telling his Bison teammates there was plenty of volleyball to go and not get overly excited. It was about the only error the senior setter made against the Flyers during the 1 hour and 52 minutes.

"I thought we had some spurts where we looked pretty good," Manitoba coach Garth Pischke said. "I give Lewis a lot of credit. They're not the team they could be, missing at least three starters. Give them credit for the depth they have."

Lewis coach Dave Deuser sat out three seniors by design and necessity. Middle James Elsea is still recovering from double knee surgery, while setter Jose Martins and opposite Fabiano Barreto sat to give their younger counterparts some experience.

"It's a long three-day tournament and we wanted to go hard," Deuser said. "Our second team has been working really hard. You have a (junior opposite) Matt Mueller who has sat behind Fabiano for four years and Brandon (sophomore setter Sisk) virtually has no court time because he's sitting behind an All-American (Martins).

"If I'm ever going to get those guys a high-pressure experience, it was tonight. It's high pressure and an exhibition that doesn't count on our record. Where else can you find that combination?

It's about as rare as the statistics from Game 1. The Bisons controlled most of the despite putting down seven kills.

Nearly half of Manitoba's points came on seven blocks and six Lewis serving errors.

Murray Laidlaw, who put down 11 kills, jump-started Manitoba's spurt midway through Game 1. The Bisons were trailing 15-11 when Laidlaw put down a kill then served for six consecutive points to take an 18-16 lead.

At 23-22, Manitoba closed it out with a 7-2 run, including their seventh block of the game.

The Bisons had four blocks during a 6-0 run to open Game 2. Manitoba got its offense going, putting down its seventh kill in taking a 17-10 lead.

Lewis rallied to within 28-26 and 29-27, but a Flyer service error ended it.

Lewis tied Game 3 at 15 only to have Laidlaw again go off from the service line. The senior, who took last year off, had an ace during the run that put the Bisons ahead for good at 20-15.

Laidlaw also had 10 of the team's 45 digs.

For the Flyers, sophomore middle Enrique Escalante had 15 kills, hitting .545. Mueller added 13 kills and Jeff Soler had 10.

"I was really happy with some of our performances," Deuser said. "That was a young, inexperienced group of guys out there. And it made me feel good when Garth said, 'You have a heck of a team if your second group can play like that.' "


Penn St. def. Hawaii

30-27, 36-38, 30-28, 27-30, 15-13

Nittany lions (1-0)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Mattei 5 0 0 0 .000 0 0 17
O'Dell 5 4 2 6 .333 0 5 10
Masterson 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Proper 5 20 9 42 .262 0 4 6
Rojas 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Walthall 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Wentzel 4 13 3 24 .417 0 2 7
Smith 5 12 10 27 .074 0 1 2
Gutor 4 4 1 6 .500 0 1 2
Meerstein 5 14 3 21 .524 1 6 4
Kowal 5 19 3 28 .571 1 4 1
Mowrey 5 0 0 0 .000 0 0 1
Totals 5 86 31 154 .357 2 23 50

WARRIORS (0-1)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Kalima 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Delgado 5 12 3 23 .391 0 3 4
Jeschke 4 1 0 12 .083 0 1 2
Beckwith 5 2 1 4 .250 0 5 3
Reft 5 0 0 0 .000 0 0 8
Azenha 3 10 6 27 .148 1 1 0
Bender 4 13 3 24 .417 0 0 4
LaBarre 5 8 2 17 .353 1 1 2
Thomas 5 17 10 41 .171 1 1 6
Rasay 2 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Stanhiser 5 13 1 23 .522 0 9 1
Totals 5 76 26 171 .292 3 21 30

Key -- g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct.: hitting percentage; bs: block solos; ba: block assists; d: digs.
Aces -- PennSt. (4): Proper, Wentzel, Smith, Gutor. Hawaii (6): Jeschke 2, LaBarre 2, Azenha, Thomas. Assists -- Penn St. (83): O'Dell 79, Mattei 2, Wentzel, Gutor. Hawaii (67): Beckwith 64, Reft 3.
T -- 2:42. Officials -- Ernest Ho, Jesse Martinez. A -- 4,982.


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