On-Air Now
On-Air Now
Listen Live
, ,

Week 3 | 6 takeaways for Rainbow Warrior Volleyball 2024

Tiff's Takeaways Week 3

By: Tiff Wells

1 – Road Warriors. The road can be a tricky aspect of the season, especially when it brings you to an unfamiliar place (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and one where you had been just once before (Muncie, Ind.). While UH did drop the opening set of the road-trip (25-22 on night one at Purdue Fort Wayne), the Bows responded by taking 9 of the final 10 sets played. Taking both matches at Purdue Fort Wayne and then following it up with the hard-fought 4-set win at Ball State, UH improved their road win streak to 15. While it was cold in Indiana, UH’s offense hit over .355 in every match, including .487 on night 2 against the Mastodons. The Rainbow Warriors have six more road matches the rest of the regular season, all in-conference. A good road start for #WarriorBall24, taking all 3 of its road matches on its first and only non-conference road-trip. Also a shoutout to Purdue Fort Wayne, drawing its best one-match attendance since 2008 (UH vs PFW on night two had 1385) and to Ball State in drawing 2,526 for its single match against the Bows. Business taken care of…three road wins, including a Top-15 win and its first ever win in Muncie.

2 – PFW felt the rumble…of Todd. Coming off the bench in Set 2 on night 1 at Purdue Fort Wayne, Alaka`i Todd went off. 12 kills on 18 errorless swings to hit .667 and added five digs and two blocks. What was the encore for night two? How about career. Getting the start, Todd scored a career-high 16 kills on 25 swings with just three errors to hit .520. Also on the statline was an ace, three digs and four blocks. As Head Coach Charlie Wade has said, we will go as far as our right side can take us. And if UH can receive this kind of consistent production from the right side, it’ll open up the left side and the middle for Tread Rosenthal to set a balanced and complete offense. Perhaps a conference award on the horizon for Todd this week?

3 – Consistent Chakas. Two-time AVCA Second-Team All-American Spyros Chakas continues to pace the pin hitting attack as the OH1. The senior from Greece has recorded double-digit kills in all but one match this season, including each of the last four. A very efficient night two at PFW where he went 14 of 22 and hit .545, adding six digs. The tone was set in the Ball State match when the captain fired back-to-back aces as UH scored six of its nine aces in the frame to take the 1-0 match lead before winning in four sets. Speaking of aces, he sits at 97…two shy of tying Naveh Milo for 10th place all-time in UH history.

4 – Kauling gets the call. It took a few weeks, but UH finally got to see its grad transfer setter Kevin Kauling in action. After injuring his ankle during warmups of the season opener, Kauling was forced to walk around on crutches and wear a boot. Extensive rehab helped him get medically cleared ahead of the road-trip where UH was able to use a second setter. Placed into action late into the two matches at Purdue Fort Wayne, Kauling had three assists and an ace on night one, while in night two he scored his first kill as a Rainbow Warrior. Four assists and two digs at Ball State has also allowed the coaching staff to throw in a lineup wrinkle…the double sub…Kauling in for Todd and Sakanoko in for Rosenthal. While he’s around 80-to-85 percent, it’s good to see Kauling on the floor, contributing where he can in his one and only year as a Rainbow Warrior.

5 – Continue to block out the noise. The blocking numbers may not be where they have been to start the season like they have in years’ past, but UH did save its best effort of the season for the final match of the road-trip. After its season-low output of four on night one at PFW (UH was outblocked 8 to 4), the Bows returned the favor in night two to win the battle 7 to 5.5. In the Ball State match, UH recorded a season-best 11.5 blocks (Voss in on six) and yet the Bows were still outblocked by 1.5. The team average is just 2.1 blocks per set and while the dig numbers are nice at around 8.8 per set, there are a lot of times where the block touches haven’t been there and opposing hitters are finding holes in the UH block for a kill.

6 – Week to remember for the BWC. 11 matches over the week for the Big West Conference and it went a combined 10-1. Wins included #18 CSUN with a 3-1 win at #11 USC, #17 UCSB taking down #2 UCLA in Los Angeles in a 5-set thriller and an impressive 2-match sweep by #7 UC Irvine at #8 BYU. Rarely do teams win both matches of a series at BYU, but UC Irvine showed it can be done. While Long Beach State continues to roll at 7-0, all in all it was collectively a nice 5-day span by the six BWC teams. Also a milestone for Head Coach Charlie Wade as the win at Ball State gave him UH coaching career win #275.