(HAWAII ATHLETICS) – The fifth-ranked University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team captured the inaugural Texaco Rainbow Warrior Classic title after a straight-set win over No. 12 USC Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-17, 25-20, 25-22.
The former Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rivals met for the championship after each defeated Division III foes Stevens Institute of Technology and Juniata earlier in the tournament. But the Warriors (3-0) proved to be too much for the Trojans (3-1) as tournament Most Outstanding Player Joe Worsleyled a balanced attack for UH's third straight-set win.
Outside hitter Stijn van Tilburg had a match-high 14 kills, hitting .684 to earn all-tournament team honors along with opposite Rado Parapunov, who added 11 kills and four blocks. Worsley dished out 36 assists and led the Warriors to a team hitting percentage of .479, including .434 for the tournament.
USC's Gianluca Grasso tallied 13 kills and also made all-tournament along with Jack Wyett (20 kills) and Ryan Moss (6 kills).
UH erased a 4-0 deficit to open Set 1 with six straight points and pushed their lead to 18-12 with the help of 4.5 blocks and two aces. USC inched to within 19-15 but the Warriors closed out the set on a 6-2 run capped by van Tilburg's third kill.
An early 5-1 run gave UH a 7-3 lead to start Set 2 before the Trojans tied it at 9-9. Moments later, the Warriors reeled off five straight for a 15-10 lead. A van Tilburg ace extended UH's lead to 22-15 and van Tilburg closed out the set with his another kill.
In Set 3, the Warriors rallied from an early deficit to tie it at 15-15. The teams traded points until an untimely substitution error cost the Trojans a point and tied the match at 19-19. A hitting error by Moss gave UH a two-point cushion and the teams traded side outs until the Warriors ended it with kills by van Tilburg and Rosenmeier.