Feb. 9, 2007
Honolulu, Hawai'i - Down two games to none, the fourth-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team came back to take a hard-fought 3-2 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) victory against No. 9 Hawai'i Thursday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
A crowd of 2,961 witnessed the Warriors (2-7, 2-5 MPSF) take the first two sets 30-24 and 30-28 only to have UCSB (9-3, 7-2 MPSF) battle back to win the final three sets 30-26, 30-28 and 17-15.
With UH down 9-5 in Game 1, the Warriors reeled off seven straight points to take control of the set, 12-9. They extended the margin to 19-12 before finally finishing off the Gauchos, 30-24.
In the second frame, UH jumped out to a 9-6 advantage only to have UCSB retake the lead, 15-14. Hawai'i won the next three points on kills by Matt Rawson and Jim Clar and got a UCSB attack error to go in front, 17-15, and never relinquished the lead en route to take the second set, 30-28.
UCSB took a 10-8 lead in game three, only to see the Warriors knot it up at 17. UH then rattled off seven of the next 10 points and held a 24-20 advantage. The Gauchos stormed back, winning five of the next six points to lead, 26-25, and held off Hawai`i, 30-28.
Hawai`i went out to a 6-3 lead in game four, but UCSB went on a mini three-point run to tie it up. The set seesawed until it was tied at 28. UCSB then took advantage of a Warrior service error and a kill to send it to a fifth and deciding set.
The score in game five teetered to nine all. UCSB got two quick points and led 11-9. Each team recorded two points apiece as UCSB led 13-11, but UH tied it with two straight Gaucho miscues. The score remained tied until 15 when UCSB got an Evan Patak kill and solo block to close out the match, 17-15.
Patak led all players with 32 kills while Theo Brunner slammed down 18 and David Kennedy added 10. Setter Bart Kowalski dished out 73 assists and Patak and Ben Brockman each dug 17 balls. UCSB, which was out-blocked 25-11.5, got seven blocks out of Brunner.
The Gauchos hit a season-low .232, while the Warriors were a tad bit better at .237.
UH was led offensively by Clar's 22 kills. Lauri Hakala posted 14 while Jacob Schkud added 11. Setter Brian Beckwith handed out 60 assists. Middle blocker Dio Dante led the Warriors up front with 11 blocks. Libero Eric Kalima was all over the court chasing down a career-high 18 digs.
The two squads meet again Friday evening at 10 p.m. PT.