UH varsity spikes alumni
With the present -- in the form of the current seniors -- sitting on the bench, the past and future of Hawaii men's volleyball had at it for nearly 2 hours last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
There was plenty of pride and pressure to spread around, older and not-so-old alumni with much to prove, the varsity with even more at stake. There also was a balance of serious volleyball with serious fun and ... as is often said ... a good time was had by all, including the 959 fans who came to watch.
In the end, youth was served, as the Warriors proved that even being a half-step quicker pays off. Sophomore Jim Clar and freshman Matt Vanzant each had 14 kills and freshman Steven Grgas added 10 as the varsity pulled away from the alumni, 25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 25-20.
"We took it seriously," sophomore setter Sean Carney said. "I've grown up seeing those (alumni) play from way back when through recently. They are studs.
"It took a while for us to loosen up but we were able to find energy and have fun."
On Monday, it's back to work for No. 13 Hawaii, which hosts No. 1 Pepperdine for Thursday and Saturday matches. The Warriors are 3-11 overall, 3-9 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, and looking to climb back into playoff contention.
"They're young but they have so much talent," said Jason Ring (1996-97), who finished with 16 kills, seven in Game 1. "They run such a quick offense ... but you need passing for that. They just need to get it together.
"Tonight was fun. I've played indoor (pro) all over the world and this is still the best place to play."
Other alumni showed they still had game, including past All-American Costas Theocharidis (2000-03), who finished with 10 kills. Hans Stolfus (1997) was particularly effective in his Game 3-appearance, putting down his first five swings.
The alumni also provided some of the lighter moments of the night when Kai Kahele (1995-97) ran out of his shoe on his approach for a kill and the always-entertaining Sivan Leoni (1995-98) not only had his patented grunt serve but his patented fist-pump after his ace in Game 4 brought the alumni to within 23-19.
They would get no closer than 23-20, on Ring's final kill.