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Saturday, January 31, 2004



[ UH VOLLEYBALL ]


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FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Mauli'a LaBarre had three kills against UC San Diego last night in a sweep at the Stan Sheriff Center.


Warriors sweep Tritons


It has been lopsided. Incredibly lopsided.

Technically, the series between the Hawaii and UC San Diego men's volleyball teams has had only one side. And that has belonged to the Warriors.

Totally.

Last night will go down as another win for Hawaii, its 31st against UCSD. But last night was anything but easy.

The fourth-ranked Warriors had to dig deep for their 24th sweep of the Tritons, using a season-high 14 1/2 blocks in a 30-21, 31-29, 32-30 victory at the Stan Sheriff Center. A turnstile crowd of 3,420 saw UH improve to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, while No. 15 UCSD fell to 4-4, 2-3.

Freshman setter Brian Beckwith ran a balanced attack that saw four players with at least nine kills, led by Pedro Azenha's 13. UCSD, a Division II program, got nine kills each from Kevin Keyser and Adam Toren.

"UH is a great team and it's a tough place to play," said Triton junior setter Nate Jones. "Too bad we couldn't pull it out. We played pretty well the last game. I don't know what we would have needed to force Game 4. At the end, they were pretty strong.

"After the first game, our heads were down, but we started to build some momentum in the second. By the third game, we felt we could play with them. They're a big team and it's intimidating sometimes. But we're a program on the rise and this year we're hoping to fight for a playoff spot."

That would be the first for UCSD, which has never won more than two conference games in a season. Last night, the Tritons had two swings to force a Game 4, the first at 29-28 on Andy Rupp's fifth kill.

But 6-foot-10 UH middle Josh Stanhiser pounded his 10th kill off the head of the Triton blockers, sending the ball into the stands and tying it at 29.

"Brian told me he was going to go to me, so I just jumped and hit as hard as I could," said Stanhiser, finishing with 10 kills and hitting .643. "We felt that we were capable of winning the game and that we needed to pick it up. Our defense came together."

Toren's kill gave UCSD game point at 30-29 only to have Mauli'a LaBarre's third kill tie it at 30-all. Then Hawaii's block came up big, big time.

A triple block by LaBarre, Delano Thomas and Jose Delgado stuffed Toren for match point. LaBarre and Thomas then blocked Jones to end it after 96 minutes.

"It was a fun match," said Beckwith, who connected on 41 of his 42 attempts (.976). "That was a good test for us. I know we're going to see a lot of teams where we'll have to really dig and find some heart. We found that tonight and pulled through."

The key to Game 1 was an efficient offense and an even more efficient Stanhiser. The senior buried all six of his swings, including four during a 6-0 run that helped Hawaii pull away to a 25-16 lead.

The Tritons wouldn't go quietly, hanging tough in the last two games. They trailed in Game 2 at 28-26 and then held off two game points to tie it at 29.

Stanhiser's sixth kill gave the Warriors another chance at the game and it was all they would need. Toren netted his attempt to end it, preventing the Tritons from taking a game off Hawaii for the first time since 2000.

The Warriors are 91-8 in games against the Tritons since the series began in 1980.

"It was a good comeback by our guys," said Warrior coach Mike Wilton. "They had good resolve when it counted.

"This was good. They (UCSD) played much better and we stepped up and met the challenge. If you had told me Wednesday morning that we would walk out of here with six straight game wins, I would have said, 'Whoo, that would be nice.' "

Hawaii takes a break from conference play next, hosting Ball State in 7 p.m. matches next Wednesday and Thursday.


Hawaii def. UC San Diego

30-21, 31-29, 32-30
TRITONS (4-4, 2-3 MPSF)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Waller 3 8 7 20 .050 0 1 5
Tai 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 8
Urton 3 8 4 17 .235 0 2 4
Keyser 3 9 3 18 .333 0 2 1
Daze 1 0 1 1 -1.000 0 0 0
Rusch 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Toren 3 9 7 23 .087 0 2 6
Jones 3 2 2 5 .000 0 2 1
Rupp 3 5 0 10 .500 0 3 1
Dierdorff 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Oksenendler 2 0 0 0 .000 0 0 1
Totals 3 41 24 94 .181 0 12 27

WARRIORS (4-2, 3-1 MPSF)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Delgado 3 9 4 15 .333 0 4 3
Jeschke 2 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Beckwith 3 3 0 5 .600 0 4 3
Reft 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 7
Azenha 3 13 6 29 .241 0 2 3
LaBarre 3 3 2 9 .111 0 5 3
Thomas 3 9 4 23 .217 1 5 5
Stanhiser 3 10 1 14 .643 0 7 2
Totals 3 47 17 95 .316 1 27 26

Key -- g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct.: hitting percentage; bs: block solos; ba: block assists; d: digs.
Aces -- UCSD (3): Jones 2, Rupp. Hawaii (4): Thomas 3, Beckwith. Assists -- UCSD (35): Jones 31, Dierdorff 2, Tai, Urton. Hawaii (45): Beckwith 41, Reft 3, Thomas.
T -- 1:36. Officials -- Ernest Ho, Dan Hironaka. A -- 3,420.

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