Warriors look for payback against Loyola-Chicago
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There is plenty of motivation for the Hawaii men's volleyball team this week. The Warriors not only want to stop their two-match losing streak -- a skid punctuated by Thursday's ugly loss at Stanford -- they want some payback against visiting Loyola-Chicago.
No. 12 Loyola-Chicago (10-6) at Hawaii (6-9); Tomorrow and Friday; 7 p.m.; Stan Sheriff Center; TV: KFVE (Ch. 5); Radio: 1420-AM
The Ramblers rallied to beat the Warriors in five last season at the Stan Sheriff Center and "we remember last year," junior hitter Jim Clar said yesterday.
"Every guy on our team should be motivated from that. Otherwise there's something wrong."
Hawaii gets two shots at turning this around when it hosts Loyola-Chicago in 7 p.m. matches tomorrow and Friday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
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Home may be where the heart is, but for the Hawaii men's volleyball team, it's a place the Warriors hope they'll find wins as well as some confidence when they host No. 12 Loyola-Chicago (10-6) twice this week.
Hawaii (6-9) returned to Gym 1 yesterday, the first home practice in nearly two weeks. The Warriors went 2-2 on their nine-day road trip, downing Pacific twice but losing at Stanford twice.
The first night against the Cardinal went five, with the Warriors coming up short for the third time in five five-game matches. The second night, Hawaii went down in three "and we had our heads handed to us on a platter," Warriors senior co-captain Jake Schkud said.
"We had a meltdown as a team and Stanford came out and took it to us. I don't know if it had to do with us playing three games in four nights, but overall we simply got outplayed."
That's also what happened when Hawaii fell to Loyola-Chicago in five last season at the Stan Sheriff Center, according to Hawaii coach Mike Wilton.
"These guys really battled last year and out-scrapped us," Wilton said. "Teams may beat you, but you should never be out-scrapped."
Whatever the Ramblers are doing this season is working as they come in riding a four-game winning streak. All six of their losses have come to teams currently ranked in the Top 15, including the top three: Penn State, BYU and Cal State Northridge.
Ramblers coach Shane Davis is a bit concerned about the sometimes overwhelming atmosphere of the Stan Sheriff Center.
"We're a pretty young team with a young setter (freshman Michael Hutz)," Davis said. "We're still trying to take care of things on our side of the net and hopefully score some points.
"We're kind of a small team, so passing is the real key. And our setter needs to be on or we'll be in trouble."
Serving and passing remain the theme for the Warriors, who gave up 29 aces in their last four matches. The Ramblers have several players who can bring it from the service line: both Hutz and senior opposite Ian Anderson have 22 aces.
The 6-foot-4, left-handed Anderson averages 4.21 kpg. He had 23 kills against the Warriors last year, a match in which Hawaii led 19-11 in Game 4 only to lose 31-29 en route to falling in five.
"Every guy on our team should be motivated from that," UH junior hitter Jim Clar said. "Otherwise there's something wrong."