(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team shook off the early jitters to put away a feisty Stevens Institute of Technology squad in straight sets, Thursday night on the opening day of the inaugural Texaco Rainbow Warrior Classic. Set scores were 25-21, 25-21, 25-9.
The Rainbow Warriors (1-0) posted their fifth consecutive season-opening win and extended their home win streak to 23 matches dating back to 2015. UH hit .351 for the match with six aces and 10.5 team blocks as 14 players saw action.
Outside hitter Austin Matautia led the way with 12 kills in just two sets, hitting .429 with four digs and three blocks. Opposite Rado Parapunov added nine kills while outside hitter Brett Rosenmeier had six kills and two aces. Remarkably, setter Joe Worsley, the smallest player on the court at 6'0", led UH with four blocks in addition to 31 assists and six digs.
UH head coach Charlie Wade rotated his lineup in each of the three sets with freshman libero Gage Worsley (3 digs) and redshirt freshman middle blocker Matt Larson making their Warrior debuts.
David Lehman led the Ducks (0-1) with a match-high 16 kills.
Hawai'i trailed for much of the first set until back-to-back aces by Rosenmeier gave the Warriors a 20-17 lead. Rosenmeier tooled the block on set point as Hawai'i took the opening game 25-21 despite Stevens holding the advantage in every statistical category.
The Warriors again needed to rally from an early deficit in Set 2. UH surged ahead 17-13 after an ace by James Anastassiades. The Ducks scored three straight to pull within 19-18 but the Warriors answered to pull ahead 23-20 after a solo stuff by Worsley. Matautia ended it with his eighth kill of the set.
UH jumped out to a 6-1 lead in Set 3 as Matautia put down three early kills. Brandon Rattray's ace gave the Warriors a 12-2 lead and Stevens never threatened the rest of the way.
In the day's opening match, No. 12 USC defeated Juniata, 25-19, 25-9, 25-21. Jack Wyett led the Trojans with a match-high 14 kills, hitting .684.
On Friday, USC will face Stevens at 4:00 p.m., followed by UH and Juniata at 7:00 p.m.