Warriors leave Hope without


POSTED: Saturday, February 20, 2010

It was “;Hana hou”; even before the opening act of the inaugural Volley Ka Pila took the court last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Throwing a block party that snuffed out the upset hopes of the smaller Hope hitters, Hawaii flexed its NCAA muscle when needed in sweeping the NAIA's No. 3 team for a second straight evening. Freshman opposite Jonas Umlauft and junior hitter Joshua Walker provided a 1-2 punch, combining for 33 kills in the 30-17, 30-23, 30-26 victory.

The crowd of 1,698 got double the entertainment for the price of their tickets, with competitive volleyball that featured four isle prep products going against the home team for 1 hour and 48 minutes, followed by a local-style concert.

“;It was almost like a road game, with so many people cheering for (Hope),”; Walker said after a double-double performance (15 kills, 10 digs). “;We knew they'd play better tonight and we stayed focused. This was good for us going into next week.”;

Hawaii (8-5) returns to conference play with matches against Brigham Young on Friday at the SSC and Saturday at War Memorial Gym in Maui.

“;We got we wanted, getting game experience and winning in three,”; added Warrior coach Charlie Wade. “;They (the Royals) were real scrappy and we had to stay focused.”;

Umlauft finished with a match-high 18 kills and was in on five of Hawaii's 16.5 stuffs. Senior middle Matt Rawson had seven blocks and junior middle Brennon Dyer six.

The Royals (5-5), playing without kill leader Kaimi Guerreiro (sprained ankle), were led by Brett Massetti's seven kills. Hope won the dig battle 35-34, with Mana Guerreiro (Kalaheo '05) and Noah Casaquit (Moanalua '00) finishing with nine each.

“;This was so much fun, coming home and playing here,”; Mana Guerreiro said. “;Words can't explain the feeling.

“;We had to pull together with my brother out; he's been carrying us all season. We're known for playing with a lot of heart and we left everything out there on the court.”;

The Royals had a few moral victories in Set 1, including taking the lead three times, something they didn't do on Thursday. Hope's defense, anchored by All-American libero Casaquit (Moanalua '00) kept the visitors in it early. But Hawaii pulled away with a balanced attack — Umlauft, Walker and Matt Rawson all with four kills — and a wall that accounted for seven blocks.

Defense won over the crowd and more than a few points as Hope more than held its own in Set 2. The Royals led by as many as four and as late as 12-8 when Umlauft got the Warriors rolling with his sixth kill.

Hawaii outscored Hope 8-2 in taking the lead for good with the Royals' two points coming on Warrior errors.

The Warriors expanded their lead to 23-17 only to have the Royals pull to 23-20, a run that included successive blocks of Steven Hunt and Walker.

Hawaii answered with a 7-3 closing run to take the 2-0 lead.

Hope hung tough until the middle of Set 3 when trailing at 16-15. What has been Hawaii's best scoring rotation — with setter Nejc Zemljak serving — came through again as Zemljak served for five straight as the Warriors jumped out 22-16.

The Royals made a late charge, getting a kill and an ace by Mana Guerreiro to close to 28-25. Zemljak's dump ended it on Hawaii's second match point.


Hawaii expects to have senior middle Steven Grgas back next week. He fractured his right hand a month ago. ... Brigham Young survived a scare from host UC San Diego last night before turning back the Tritons in four.


HAWAII DEF. HOPE 30-17, 30-23, 30-26

















































































































































Key — s: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct: hitting percentage; d: digs; bs: block solo; ba: block assists; pts: points (kills plus blocks plus aces)
Aces — Hope (4): Guerreiro 2, Speth, Marques. Hawaii (3): Umlauft, Zemljak, Dyer. Service Errors — Hope (4): Doolittle, Massetti, Mullen, Fuchs. Hawaii (9): Zemljak 3, Walker 2, Dyer 2, Umlauft, Rawsn. Assists — Hope (32): Marques 26, Pereira 3, Luna, Guerreiro, Valiente. Hawaii (50): Zemljak 43, Cervantes 3, Rawson 2, Vidinha, Tuaniga. T — 1:48. Officials — Dan Hironaka, Wayne Lee. A —1,698.