Sunday, April 3, 2022 | By Tiff Wells
Different night, same result. For a second consecutive night, No. 4 Hawai`i (18-5, 3-3) lost at No. 2 Long Beach State (16-3, 5-1) in 4-sets. Set scores in the nationally televised match were 23-25, 20-25, 25-21, 19-25). A 9th straight loss in Long Beach dropped UH from a tie for first in the Big West Conference to fourth place with four matches remaining. The top two teams receive a bye into the semifinal round of the 2022 Outrigger Big West Men’s Volleyball Championship, presented by the Hawaiian Islands.
Offensively, UH struggled as the committed a season-high 28 hitting errors. The Big Three for LBSU (Alex Nikolov-18 kills, Spencer Olivier-12 and Clarke Godbold-12) combined for 42 of their 50 kills and hit over .300 for the second straight time against UH, this time for a .350 clip. UH’s pin hitters struggled to find rhythm all match long. Spyros Chakas co-lead the Hawai`i offense with 11 kills, but hit just .075. Chaz Galloway was held to five kills and hit -.038. Dimitrios Mouchilas recorded four kills in the first set and was eventually pulled. Head Coach Charlie Wade used three different opposite attackers in the match. Filip Humler recorded four kills while Alaka`i Todd put down a career-high seven kills in the final two sets. Guilherme Voss slammed down 11 kills for a new career high as he hit .588.
For a second consecutive night, Long Beach State outblocked Hawai`i, this time 16.5 to 8.5 For the two-match series, LBSU recorded 28.5 total blocks to UH’s 17. Setter Jakob Thelle did a little bit of everything: 43 assists, four kills, four service aces, four digs and two blocks while Brett Sheward set a new career-high with 16 digs.
Unable to hold leads on night one was the early trend for UH in this second match as they saw a 23-21 lead turn into a 23-25 set loss.
Down 21-19 in set two, Long Beach State scored four of the final points to win 25-20 and take a commanding two sets to none lead.
Alaka`i Todd was inserted into the match for UH, giving some production from the right side. A 4-0 Spyros Chakas service run gave UH a 16-12 set lead as UH held on for a 25-21 set win to trail the match two sets to one.
Set four featured a 5-0 service run by Thelle. UH led 9-4 before LBSU stormed back to tie it at 10. The Beach hit .440 in set four to win 25-19 and take the match (3 sets to 1) and sweep the regular season series.
UH dropped to 1-5 in true road matches this season and left the Walter Pyramid frustrated and disappointed, knowing they were right there to take at least one of the two matches.
The Bows return home (where they have won 13-straight conference home matches and 21-straight regular season matches) for a two-match series against second-place and defending Big West Conference tournament champion UC Santa Barbara (16-6, 5-2), Friday and Saturday. First serve for both matches is 7 p.m.
# # #