Hawaii's Kimo Tuyay, right, Costas Theocharidis, middle, and Brian Nordberg celebrated after Hawaii beat BYU yesterday.

Hawaii beats
BYU for split

From staff and wire reports

PROVO, Utah >> Against the odds, the No. 2 Hawaii volleyball team pulled out a much needed victory yesterday.

Hawaii def. Brigham Young

23-30, 30-26, 30-27, 30-24

WARRIORS (10-4, 6-4 mpsf)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Tuyay 4 3 1 4 .500 0 5 5
Muise 4 0 0 0 .000 0 0 13
Zimet 4 5 3 15 .133 2 3 4
Theocharidis 4 24 10 55 .255 3 0 8
Ching 4 5 3 15 .133 0 3 4
Nordberg 4 5 3 13 .154 0 6 0
Bender 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Thomas 4 12 2 21 .476 1 5 0
Totals 4 54 22 123 .260 3 25 34

COUGARS (9-3, 9-3 mpsf)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Burke 4 12 1 21 .524 0 6 2
Moreno 4 2 3 8 -.125 0 5 7
Gorny 4 8 3 15 .333 1 5 3
Mayol 3 7 4 16 .188 0 1 4
Paal 4 17 11 37 .162 0 1 7
Alleman 4 17 4 31 .419 1 4 4
Olmstead 4 0 0 0 .000 0 0 7
Slabe 4 3 2 9 .111 0 2 5
Totals 4 66 28 137 .277 2 24 39

Key -- g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct.: hitting percentage; bs: block solos; ba: block assists; d: digs.

Aces -- Hawaii (4): Nordberg 2, Zimet, Theocharidis. BYU (3): Gorny 2, Moreno.

Assists -- Hawaii (51) Tuyay 43, Zimet 3, Muise 2, Theocharidis 2, Ching: . BYU (63): Moreno 58, Paal 4, Alleman.

T -- 1:50. Officials -- Les Calles, Burt Fuller, Trent Mano. Attendance -- 11,513.

The Warriors needed the win to salvage their road trip and to avoid consecutive conference losses. Before an outrageous thunder-sticks-clapping crowd of 11,513 at the Marriott Center, Hawaii defeated No. 4 BYU 23-30, 30-26, 30-27, 30-24.

Hawaii picked up just its third victory ever at BYU and improved to 10-4 overall and 6-4 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation to stay in the thick of the conference race. The Cougars fell to 9-3. BYU has not played a nonconference match. The Cougars are 11-3 all-time against the Warriors at home.

BYU attempted to break its previous attendance record of 14,156 set against Hawaii in 1999, but it seemed like the Warriors fed off the crowd's energy more. UH was lively and resembled nothing of the team that played with no emotion 24 hours earlier.

"I'm very grateful that our team came to play tonight," Warriors coach Mike Wilton said. "The crowd was unbelievable. It was amazing. Oh, if we could do that at our place. It was unbelievable. It brought out the best in our team. We rose to the occasion."

For the second time in four matches, Wilton overhauled the lineup mere hours before the start of the match. He started senior middle Brian Nordberg for junior Joshua Stanhiser and libero Eyal Zimet moved back to opposite. Junior Jake Muise played libero for the Warriors and collected a match-high 13 digs.

For all the lineup changes, one thing was the same: Hawaii looked to its three-time All-American to carry the hitting load. Costas Theocharidis hammered a match-high 24 kills and willed Hawaii to a win. Sophomore Delano Thomas was the only other UH player in double figures, hitting .476 with 12 kills.

"The other lineup should be a maximal firepower thing, but it takes Costas out of the attack in three rotations," Wilton said. "It lessened his load. We talked yesterday and he said, 'I want the ball more. Why haven't I been able to get the ball more?'

"I've been waiting for him to say that. He needed to be available all six rotations. He's our guy who we need to get the ball to late in the match. Eyal was huge. He did a wonderful steady job."

Zimet, Tony Ching and Nordberg had five kills each.

Rafael Paal and Jonathan Alleman crushed 17 kills each for BYU.

Hawaii wasn't much of a factor in Game 1 with terrible hitting (nine kills, seven errors, .071). The hitting woes continued into Game 2 as BYU stuffed four Hawaii attacks and was ahead 7-4. But Hawaii responded behind the serving of Nordberg, who connected on back-to-back aces for a 10-8 lead.

The Warriors led 23-20 and 25-21 and managed to finished the job this time. An ace from Zimet gave UH a 27-22 lead. Ching's kill got Hawaii to game point, but Alleman found the floor and an ace by Chris Gorny made the game interesting. But the game ended a play later on a dump by Kimo Tuyay.

Hawaii took control of Game 3 late after the score was knotted at 26. The Warriors got a kill and a solo block from Zimet and a Theocharidis roll shot dropped to the floor for game point. The Cougars fought off one game point with a kill from Rafael Paal, but setter Carlos Moreno served out to give Hawaii a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Warriors took a commanding 19-12 lead in Game 4 off a block by Theocharidis and Nordberg. The Cougars rallied and cut the deficit to three (21-18), but Hawaii surged ahead and shut the door on the match.

"I hope the fans realized that was a great team we played tonight," BYU coach Tom Peterson said. "Hawaii played absolutely fabulous. They dug some balls defensively and their strategy was unbelievable at times. They're going to be as good as anyone we will see.

"Their experience really made the difference in the match. When they could have folded, they would dig a ball and set it to Costas, he would hit it off hands and make it look easy."

The Warriors return home today. Hawaii plays another crucial conference series next week against top-ranked Pepperdine -- a rematch of last year's NCAA championship. The Waves are 10-0 in conference play and have won 12 straight since losing to UC Irvine to start the season.

Note: A man was picked up by paramedics during the match after suffering a heart attack.

UH Athletics

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