Warrior Volleyball: Hawaii spikes Gauchos

The Men of War make it eleven straight wins with four game victory over 15th ranked UC Santa Barbara.

HONOLULU - The Warriors stretched their win streak to 11 matches as four players registered double-digit kill totals and former Gaucho Brian Nordberg posted a career-best eight blocks as Hawaii took care of UC Santa Barbara, 30-24, 30-27, 27-30, 30-23, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation contest at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Nordberg, a senior from Milwaukee, Wisc., provided timely kills and frequent blocks to spark his Hawaii squad over his former Gaucho mates. The 6-foot-5 middle blocker hit .417, with seven kills in 12 swings while also recording a match-high in blocks.

Before transferring to
Hawaii last season, Nordberg spent two seasons with UCSBm earning All-MPSF honorable mention in 2001.

Tony Ching led all attackers with 17 kills tonight, hitting .323 with seven errors in 31 attempts. All-American Costas Theocharidis added 16 kills and a pair of service aces, while Eyal Zimet (12 kills) and Delano Thomas (10 kills) also posted double-digit kill totals.

Thomas, a sophomore from
Sacramento, Calif., had a match-high .769 attack percentage, with no errors in 13 attempts.

Hawaii took game one behind a strong offensive attack that hit at a .385 clip, led by Theocharidis' game-high .600 attack percentage. The Greek National Team member led all attackers with six kills, going errorless in 10 attempts. Fellow veterans Zimet and Ching combined to record five kills.

The Gauchos actually led 15-14 going into the media timeout, but could not hold-off the Warriors, who came out of the break hot, racing to a 17-16 advantage. After trading points with UCSB,
Hawaii began to extend it lead with three consecutive points on a Santa Barbara service error and kills by Theocharidis and Thomas, to go up by five, at 24-19. From there the Warriors went side-outed with the Gauchos, taking the first game, 30-24.

The second game was played rather tight, with UCSB holding the lead for much of the time, before
Hawaii came on strong late to take the two-game lead. The Gauchos and Warriors were tied at the mid-point 15-15, before UCSB played itself into an 18-16 advantage.

Hawaii stormed back with a four-point run, fueled by two UCSB errors, a Theocharidis service ace, and a triple block by Ching, Nordberg and Tuyay to lead 20-18.

Theocharidis paced the Warrior attack through two games, tallying 10 kills, while Ching caught fire in the second game, pounding seven kills in the frame to push his match total to nine.

Santa Barbara out-dueled Hawaii in a third game that saw both team struggle offensively. The Gauchos took the set despite hitting just .111, with 12 kills and eight errors in 36 attempts. Hawaii, meanwhile, hit .116, with 15 kills and 10 errors in game three.

The two teams stuck with each other until UCSB ran-off three consecutive points to pull away from a 27-27 deadlock to the 30-27 victory.

Hawaii came-back to life in the fourth and final game, as with Tuyay and Azenha sparking a re-vitalized effort. Tuyay, re-entered the match after sitting-out game three and paced the Warriors to a .500 team attack percentage.

Azenha played inspired volleyball off the bench, posting two kills and a block while also ripping several tough serves which help set-up Warrior points.

The Warriors, who have already clinched a league play-off berth, will conclude their regular-season schedule next Friday and Saturday with a pair of matches against fellow MPSF member USC.

Warrior Sports Network Top Stories