(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team pulled out a heart-stomping four-set win over nemesis No. 2 UCLA Friday in front of a raucous crowd of 4,748 at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-19.
The third-ranked Rainbow Warriors (7-0) came out victorious in a match-up of two unbeaten teams and former Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rivals. UH extended its home win streak to 26 matches and defeated the Bruins for the 10th time dating back to 2013.
The teams play again Sunday at 5:00 p.m.
Opposite Rado Parapunov led the way for the Warriors with 15 kills and career-highs of three aces and seven digs. Outside hitters Stijn van Tilburg and Brett Rosenmeier added 13 and 10 kills, respectively. Rosenmeier added two aces.
UH was clutch down the stretch scoring the final four points of Set 2 to even the match at 1-1 and tallying the final five points of Set 4.
Daenan Gyimah led the Bruins (7-1) with nine kills while Honolulu-native Micah Ma'a added 37 assists, four aces, and three blocks.
In a tight first set, the Bruins took the advantage at 18-15 and held set point at 24-21. The Warriors responded with back-to-back kills by Patrick Gasman and Rosenmeier but after a UCLA timeout, the Bruins put an end to the set with a Christian Hessenauer kill. Parapunov had five kills and UH out-hit UCLA .308 to .281.
In Set 2, Hawai'i took the lead at the media timeout at 15-13 with aces by Parapunov and Rosenmeier. The Bruins answered back and used a 5-1 run to retake the lead at 21-19. With UCLA leading 23-21, the Warriors scored the final four points including a Parapunov overpass kill on set point.
Hawai'i used its timely serving again to start Set 3 with aces by Parapunov and van Tilburg to build a 10-4 lead. The lead was eight at 19-11 before the Bruins went on a 9-3 run to close to two. But a kill by Parapunov and an ace by Rosenmeier gave UH set point. UCLA did not go away, erasing three set points before van Tilburg ended it with his 10th kill.
UH jumped out to an 11-7 lead in Set 4 with a pair of Rosenmeier kills. The Bruins tied it at 15 and trailed 20-19 after stuffing van Tilburg. From there it was all UH as van Tilburg and Parapunov scored back-to-back points. After a UCLA timeout, its next attempt went long and van Tilburg and Gasman followed with a double-block giving UH match-point. Gasman teamed with Parapunov to stuff Jake Arnitz to close out the match.