Warriors welcome much-needed win


POSTED: Saturday, March 07, 2009

Aloha ball never felt so good.
























        NEXT UP

        at UC San Diego on Friday




Even if there wasn't the tradition of standing for match point, the 2,348 in the Stan Sheriff Center last night likely would have anyway.

It took two tries, but Sean Carney's 10th kill on the “;hana hou”; swing gave the Hawaii faithful much to cheer for after the Warriors ended a five-match losing streak. Outside hitter Joshua Walker put down 17 kills and Hawaii outblocked UC Santa Barbara 14.5-4 in sweeping the Gauchos 30-25, 30-23, 30-23 in 99 minutes.

The win was Hawaii's first since Jan. 31 and also the first over UCSB since Jan. 4, 2006, a stretch of five straight.

The added bonus? It was the 50-year program's 500th collegiate victory.

“;No more nights of going home and not getting any sleep,”; Carney said. “;Last night was bad for all of us. Tonight, we focused and played hard.

“;We're a solid team. In the beginning of the game, we were down a little bit, but we're a team who makes so many runs, for and against ourselves. Everyone played well tonight. Good that our team has character and fought today.”;

The Warriors (4-11, 3-9 MPSF) did get down early, forcing coach Mike Wilton to call timeout trailing 5-2. Hawaii refocused and caught UCSB at 14. A 4-0 serving run by Carney put the Warriors ahead for good at 17-15 and Walker's 4-0 serving stint expanded it to 26-19.

Hawaii simply ran away in Set 2, enjoying leads of 15-7, 22-14 and 28-19. The Warriors needed three attempts to finish it off, finally ending it on a kill by Carney.

Set 3 was the tightest of the night, with 11 ties, the last at 13-13. Jarrod Lofy, Nejc Zemljak and Carney were in on a triple block of Trey Valbuena to give Hawaii a 15-13 cushion; by the time Walker put down his 16th kill, the Warriors were up 25-19.

The poor serving (22 errors Thursday) was forgotten as the Warriors had just five errors last night and five aces, two by Steven Grgas, The middle-turned-opposite also added 10 kills.

“;It does feel good,”; Grgas said. “;We are playing either to win or to lose. Last night, we played to lose, tonight we played to win.

“;We kept our focus, we kept our composure. I came in early today and sat in here just thinking about what I needed to do. Tonight we didn't have any breakdowns in serving and we had a ton of blocks.”;

Both Grgas and middle Matt Rawson were in on seven stuffs, and Walker had six, including a solo on Jake Rosener that opened Set 3.

“;I think our guys did a good job of mentally preparing for this match,”; Wilton said. “;They served effectively and played a good match. I thought we blocked pretty well. It was good volleyball for us.”;

It was also the type of volleyball UCSB coach Rick McLaughlin expected from Hawaii.

“;They played well,”; McLaughlin said. “;I knew they were a real competitive team and when you lose a a tight match and have a chance to come back the next night ... they did a good job.

“;We told our guys that if we could jump on them early, it's going to be tough for Hawaii. But we dug our hole ... no, Hawaii put is in the hole. They did a good job on us (blocking) and did pay more attention to (Jeff) Menzel. It was a good game plan by them.”;

Menzel finished with a match-high 21 kills, but had just four in Set 3.

It was especially meaningful for Warrior libero Ric Cervantes, a Santa Barbara native.

“;It was so nice to finally beat these guys,”; Cervantes said. “;Tonight we proved that when we mentally prepare and step up our game, we crush teams. All we did was make simple plays, keep our serves in. stay disciplined on our block and defense.

The Warriors travel to take on the UC San Diego Tritons (7-10, 3-9) next Friday and Saturday.


MPSF standings

CSU Northridge112.846 15-2
UC Irvine112.846 16-3
Pepperdine102.833 1/211-2
USC103.769 113-4
BYU75.583 3 1/29-8
Long Beach St.76.538 48-8
Stanford76.538 413-7
UCLA48.333 6 1/27-11
UC San Diego39.250 7 1/27-10
Hawaii39.250 7 1/24-11
UC Santa Barbara311.214 8 1/25-12
Pacific013.000 112-17

Hawaii def. UC Santa Barbara 30-25, 30-23, 30-23
CSU Northridge def. BYU, 30-28, 30-24, 30-28
USC def. UC San Diego, 26-30, 30-25, 30-28, 30-26
Pepperdine def. Long Beach State, 21-30, 24-30, 32-30, 30-26, 15-12
PFW def. Pacific, 25-30, 31-29, 30-17, 32-30
Stanford def. Lewis 30-20, 30-28, 30-21
UC Irvine def. UCLA 30-26, 27-30, 29-31, 15-11

Pepperdine at UC San DIego
Pacific at IPFW
Lewis at Stanford


Hawaii def. UC Santa Barbara

30-25, 30-23, 30-23























































































































































Gauchos (5-12, 3-11) 



Warriors (4-11, 3-9)

Key—g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct: hitting percentage; d: digs; bs: block solo; ba: block assists; pts: points (kills + blocks + aces)
Aces—UC Santa Barbara (4): Menzel, Devany, Moisenco, Slaughter. Hawaii (5): Grgas 2, Rawson, Carney, Walker. Assists—UC Santa Barbara (44): Devany 43, McGuire. Hawaii (43): Zemljak 39, Carney 3, Cervantes.
T—1:39. Officials—Dickson Chun, Dan Hironaka. A—2,348.