It should have come as little surprise that the University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team would have to go the distance to have a chance to put multiple unwanted streaks to rest. Only this time, the Warriors came out on top.
UH saved three match points then put away UCLA 20-25, 25-23, 20-25, 26-24, 16-14on Saturday night to finally break through at the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Volleyball Invitational at the Stan Sheriff Center.
JP Marks pounded 18 kills and Sinisa Zarkovic posted 17 — including consecutive kills to save the match — and the Warriors (1-4) beat the Bruins for the first time in 11 matches at their tournament. UCLA went 2-1 on Oahu.
Both teams are used to high drama. All seven of UCLA’s matches this season have gone five, and UH was playing in their third Game 5 in as many days. But this time there was a different ending.
Robart Page smacked 18 kills for the Bruins (5-2) and Gonzalo Quiroga added 15 kills. Quiroga’s final kill gave UCLA a 14-11 lead in the decisive set. But UH tied it on two Zarkovic kills and a UCLA hitting error, and it stormed the court in celebration after Quiroga failed on two attempts.
Davis Holt added eight kills on only 10 attempts for Hawaii, which ended a program-worst 12-game losing streak as well as a 10-game home slide. UH hit .254, compared to UCLA’s .240. Backup setter Joby Ramos had 50 assists for the ‘Bows.
Quiroga took a match-high 47 swings, and his errors came at inopportune times for UCLA. With the match tied 24-24 in Game 4, Taylor Averill blocked Spencer Rowe and Quiroga hit long to set up Game 5.
Dane Worley had 12 kills, eight digs and five blocks for UCLA and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Marks, a sophomore outside hitter, and senior libero Matthew Cheape, who had a team-high 12 digs Saturday, were selected all-tournament for Hawaii.
In the earlier match, Penn State swept Ohio State 26-24, 25-17, 25-22 to finish 2-1 at the tournament. The Buckeyes went 1-2.