Mistakes plague UH in another sweep by Stanford


POSTED: Sunday, March 01, 2009

Little things add up in a big way. No, make that a huge way.

The scenario is becoming all too familiar for the Hawaii men's volleyball team. Mistakes—some mental, some technical, some just ugly—continue to cost the 11th-ranked Warriors.

Last night's 30-27, 30-21, 30-26 loss to No. 7 Stanford at the Stan Sheriff Center was particularly tough for Hawaii to take. The Warriors played perhaps their most inspired match of the year, a defensive effort that drew a standing ovation at one point, but it was all for naught as they lost their fourth straight.

“;It was the unforced errors again; it's just killing us,”; junior libero Ric Cervantes said after his 17-dig performance. “;All Stanford did was not make errors. We've got to stop making the dumb errors and start winning games.”;

A crowd of 2,615 saw former Punahou standouts Spencer McLachlin (15 kills, 10 digs) and Erik Shoji (23 digs) help Stanford improve to 11-7 overall, 7-6 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Hawaii, getting 10 kills from middle-turned-opposite Steven Grgas, dropped to 3-10 and 2-8.

The revolving door that is Hawaii's lineup added a new twist when Grgas moved from middle to opposite—his favorite position—in Set 2. He had little time to prepare for the switch, as coach Mike Wilton told him of the possibility before the match.

“;It was hard to mentally prepare for a whole new position, one I hadn't practiced in a while,”; the junior said. “;Hopefully, I showed enough that this could become a possibility the rest of the season.”;

It could be a short one. The Warriors are looking at the possibility of missing the playoffs for a second straight year. Hawaii still has the three bottom MPSF teams on the schedule, including 11th-place UC Santa Barbara this coming week.

“;We've got to get better and I think we are,”; Wilton said. “;It's a tough conference.”;

Stanford coach John Kosty believes his Hawaii products made the difference.

“;This was a big win for us,”; Kosty said. “;And our outsides came alive. Brad Lawson is such a talent and everyone saw how well he finished.

“;And the defense ... I thought Erik (Shoji) in the third game was tremendous. He dug some balls that we needed and gave us separation at the end.”;

The Cardinal had 61 digs to 52 by the Warriors. There were crowd-pleasing rallies throughout the 1 hour and 49 minutes, none bigger than toward the end of Set 3.

Hawaii's Joshua Walker finally ended it with one of his nine kills, pulling the Warriors to within 26-22. It resulted in a standing ovation by a number of fans.

But it would not be enough for Hawaii, which never got closer than three. McLachlin put down the match-ender.

Evan Romero added 10 kills for Stanford while Kawika Shoji had his second straight double-double (39 assists, 15 digs).

Hawaii setter Nejc Zemljak also turned in a double-double with 43 assists to go with 15 digs.

The Cardinal, outblocked by 10 on Thursday, finished with an 11-10.5 edge.


MPSF standings

UC Irvine102.833 14-3
CSU Northridge92.818 1/213-2
Pepperdine92.818 1/210-2
USC83.727 1 1/211-4
BYU63.667 2 1/29-6
Long Beach St.74.636 2 1/28-6
Stanford76.538 3 1/211-7
UCLA47.363 57-10
UC San Diego38.272 6 1/27-9
Hawaii28.222 73-10
UC Santa Barbara210.167 84-11
Pacific013.000 10 1/22-15

Stanford def. Hawaii, 30-27, 30-21, 30-26
BYU def. Pacific, 30-22, 30-27, 30-28
CSU Northridge def. USC, 30-23, 34-32, 30-26
UC San Diego def. UCLA, 30-21, 3 0-23, 33-31
Pepperdine def. UC Santa Barbara, 30-22, 30-27, 30-28


Stanford def. Hawaii

30-27, 30-21, 30-26
























































































































































Cardinal (11-7, 7-6) 
Shoji, K.35110.39015016.5
Shoji, E.3000.35323000.0



Warriors (3-10, 2-8)

Key—s: sets played; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct: hitting percentage; d: digs; bs: block solo; ba: block assists; pts: points (kills + blocks + aces)
Aces—Stanford (2): Romero, Shoji, K. Hawaii (1): Zemljak. Assists—Stanford (49): Shoji, K. 39, Shoji, E. 6, Romero, Lawson, McLachlin, Keller. Hawaii (47): Zemljak 43, Carney 2, Cervantes, China.
T—1:49. Officials—Ernie Ho, Dan Hironaka. A—2,615