Mens Volleyball: Hawaii falls in five

Warriors come away from Santa Barbara with a split of their two match series after dropping a five game match to the Gaucho's.

Santa Barbara, CA -After a close win Thursday night against 9th ranked UC Santa Barbara, the 3rd ranked Warriors faced some determined Gauchos, Friday at Robertson Gym on the UCSB campus. Try as they might, Hawai`i could not hold the Gauchos back as they captured match two of the two match series, 3-2 (30-27, 29-31, 30-20, 26-30, 15-11). The Warriors now sport a 2-2 overall and 1-1 MPSF record. UCSB jumps to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the MPSF.

This is the third time this season that the Warriors have had to endure a five-game match. After the Gauchos cruised to a 30-27 first game win, Hawai`i came from behind to capture game two, 31-29. Delano Thomas' serve kept the Gauchos on their toes; the junior had three of his four aces by the end of game two. Thomas also accounted for 20 of the Warrior's kills.

The Gauchos took game three easily, 30-20 as the Warriors struggled to regain control of the match. Freshman Evan Patak led UCSB with 31 kills, hitting .510 for the night. But in game four it was the Warriors all the way, as they took the game 30-26 and pushed the match to a fifth game. Matt Bender, on the road replacing an injured Pedro Azenha had an outstanding day for the Warriors in spite of the loss. Sophomore Bender recorded 25 kills, eight digs and one block for the night.

In game five the Warriors dug deep, but were no match for UCSB who took the game, 15-11, and the match. The Gauchos out blocked the Warriors 18.5 to 11.5. Also having a significant night was Jake Wiens who had 20 kills, one service ace, four digs, and two blocks.

In addition to Bender and Thomas' notable performances, Brian Beckwith had his 4th 50+-assist game and Alfred Reft had a season high 15 digs for the nights.

The Warriors will return to Hawai`i on Saturday and will not face an opponent until January 28 when they face UC San Diego at 7:00pm at the Stan Sheriff Center.

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