No. 7 Matadors keep
No. 2 Warriors reeling

Hawaii tries to change things up
but can’t stop Cal State Northridge
from sweeping the series

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. >> A week ago, Hawaii's volleyball team was cruising at No. 1, riding a nine-match win streak, and tied for the lead in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Seven days later, the Warriors are on a three-match skid, have slid into fourth place in the MPSF and likely will be nowhere near their current No. 2 ranking when the poll comes out next week.

Last night, Hawaii again fell -- and hard -- to No. 7 Cal State Northridge. In a virtual replay of Wednesday night, the Matadors claimed a 30-24, 30-28, 18-30, 30-28 win over the Warriors after two hours at the Matadome.

It was only the fourth time that Northridge has been able to defeat a visiting Hawaii team in 17 tries, and the first time the Matadors swept the series. Prior to this week, Northridge's home wins had come in 1979 and 1992.

The loss dropped the Warriors to 11-5 overall, 8-4 in the MPSF. The Matadors, winning for the fifth time in six outings, improved to 13-5 and 8-5.

"I think Northridge played even better than they did Wednesday," said Hawaii coach Mike Wilton, his team on its longest losing streak since 2000. "They hit some serves and again passed extremely well. They could do no wrong in Game 1. Things started to even out, but we again had dug a big hole.

"People don't realize how good Northridge is. They beat BYU at BYU. They are legit. The way they played tonight, they could have beaten anyone."

Hawaii hit .244, with Delano Thomas putting down 16 kills and Pedro Azenha 14.

The Matadors (.248) had three players in double-figure kills, led by Dan Rhodes with 19. Cary Hanson added 14, including the final point, and Nils Nielsen 12 kills.

Northridge won the battle at the net with 16 blocks to Hawaii's 11. The Warriors had 10 aces, including seven in Game 3 when they blew out the Matadors.

But it wasn't enough. Neither was the change in setters for Hawaii, going with senior Kimo Tuyay for freshman Brian Beckwith late in Game 1.

The Warriors also used senior hitter Arri Jeschke on the outside in place of sophomore Jose Delgado. Jeschke had three of the team's aces and hit .600, with six kills in 10 swings and no errors.

"It must be noted that Kimo and Arri came in and righted the ship," said Wilton. "This is no slam on Brian. I couldn't sub five guys out so I subbed one and Kimo did real well."

It was only the fourth match for Tuyay, who had been sidelined with knee and ankle problems. He created problems for the Matadors, according to their coach.

"Tuyay's serve disrupted us and I'm not sure why," said Jeff Campbell.

Tuyay had a six-point serving run midway through Game 3 that allowed the Warriors to run away to a 26-14 lead. The Matadors never got closer than 10, with Azenha's ace finishing off the game.

But, as happened Wednesday, Northridge took control late in Game 4. it was tied at 25, 26, 27 and 28 before a UH net violation and a kill by Hanson gave the Matadors the two points they needed.

"I think Hawaii is a really good team, but I felt our passing was again a point or two better," said Campbell. "I'd have to say this is the best we've played all season.

"We really put it together and, when that happens, our guys believe we can beat anyone."

"I'm not upset at my team at all," Wilton said. "I love their heart. After being blown out (in Game 1), they came back and were right in there at the end."

Hawaii will have a light practice at USC's North Gym today in preparation for matches against the Trojans on Monday and Tuesday. The Warriors will then go to Manhattan Beach, where a UH alumni group is hosting a function.

Final four Web site launched: The official Web site for May's NCAA volleyball championship at the Stan Sheriff Center was launched yesterday. The address is

Tickets go on sale March 15 online at, at the Sheriff Center and by phone at 944-2697. Packages range from $6 for students to $28 for lower level; individual tickets range from $3 to $15.

The semifinal matches are scheduled for 6 and 8 p.m. May 6. The final is set for 4 p.m. May 8.

MPSF standings

Conference Overall

W L Pct. W L
BYU 10 1 .909 12 3
Long Beach St. 10 3 .769 15 4
UCLA 9 3 .750 15 3
Hawaii 8 4 .667 11 4
CSU Northridge 8 5 .615 13 6
Pepperdine 6 4 .600 10 4
UCSB 6 6 .500 10 7
USC 4 7 .363 6 12
Stanford 4 9 .308 7 12
UC Irvine 3 9 .250 7 11
UC San Diego 2 10 .167 6 12
Pacific 2 11 .154 4 14

USC def. UC San Diego 28-30, 30-28, 30-24, 30-20
Last night
CSU Northridge def. Hawaii, 30-24, 30-28, 18-30, 30-28
UCLA def. Pacific, 21-30, 22-30, 30-28, 30-24, 16-14
Stanford def. UC Irvine, 32-30, 30-32, 30-27, 30-27
BYU def. UC Santa Barbara, 30-26, 30-26, 30-21
Long Beach def. Pepperdine, 27-30, 30-22, 30-27, 26-30, 18-16
Pacific at UC Irvine
Pepperdine at UC San Diego
Stanford at UCLA
UC Santa Barbara at BYU


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