Star-Bulletin Sports

Sunday, May 6, 2001


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UH may bid for
2003 final four

Cougars take title in sweep

By Grace Wen

The University of Hawaii may submit a bid to host the 2003 men's volleyball NCAA final four.

"We're just in the process of going through the procedure now," Hawaii head coach Mike Wilton said. "We have to find out if our department is interested. Then we're going to put in a bid. We have a reasonably good shot of getting it."

This year's NCAA championship was at Long Beach State. Next year, the tournament will move to the East Coast as Penn State serves as host.

UH hosted the final four in 1998 and sold more than 9,000 ticket packages for the Stan Sheriff Center despite not being one of the teams in the NCAA tournament. The Warriors also hosted the tournament in 1991.

The Warriors led the nation in attendance for the seventh year in a row and drew an average of 5,169 people per match.

According to Wilton, hosting the final four in 2003 would be a fitting end to the careers of Hawaii's three sophomore outside hitters -- 2001 AVCA Player of the Year Costas Theocharidis, Eyal Zimet, and Tony Ching.

Cougars take title
in sweep

Long Beach Press-Telegram

LONG BEACH >> The all-time mystique and the all-time numbers didn't add up for UCLA.

Being swept for the first time in their NCAA Tournament history, the Bruins lost to BYU, 3-0, yesterday at the Pyramid before 4,807. BYU won its second national championship in three years by out-blocking the Bruins, 14.5 to 3, and taking the match, 30-26, 30-26, 32-30.

"They're the best team in college volleyball," UCLA coach Al Scates said. "Every other team had at least seven losses. I voted them No. 1 last week."

Since the NCAA Final Four started in 1970, UCLA had been absolutely dominant. The Bruins are 23-0 in the semifinals and dropped to 18-5 in the finals.

The Bruins didn't have an answer for the blocking of BYU's Mac Wilson and Scott Bunker, who had seven and six blocks respectively. UCLA had a decided height advantage, but it didn't matter against BYU's middle blockers.

"Scott Bunker is the best blocker in the country," Scates said. "He's going to graduate to the national team, and we're all going to enjoy that in the MPSF. He is better than anyone on the national team right now and ready to play internationally right now."

Opposite hitter Mike Wall led the Cougars (32-30) with 16 kills. Joaquin Acosta added 11 kills. The Cougars received an unexpected boost from reserve outside hitter Luka Slabe, who had eight kills and no attack errors.

UCLA (24-8) had a spread-out attack, but the Bruins' outside hitters faltered. Middle blocker Adam Naeve had a team-high 16 kills, and middle blocker Scott Morrow had 14 kills.

But UCLA suffered on the outside. Outside hitter Matt Komer had 12 kills, but one of the Bruins' typical leaders, Mark Williams, was held to just five kills.

"I think our middle was good and our passing was good," Williams said. "I think it was just that our outside hitting didn't score well."

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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