(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team swept its second straight opponent in the 24th Outrigger Resorts Invitational with a victory over 11th-ranked Penn State Friday at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-16, 25-19, 25-16.
The Rainbow Warriors (12-2) will look to claim their third consecutive Outrigger title and ninth overall when faces BYU on Saturday. The Cougars (16-4) defeated No. 8 Lewis for their 11th straight victory and will be seeking their third title in as many appearances.
Outside hitter Stijn van Tilburg led a balanced UH attack with nine kills, hitting .333. But it was sophomore outside hitter Austin Matautia, who once again dazzled the crowd with his serving game. The 'Ewa Beach, O'ahu native added three aces along with eight kills and four digs. Matautia has seven aces in the tournament and needs one more to tie the tournament record.
The Nittany Lions (10-6) were led by Calvin Mende's 10 kills.
UH's frontline gave PSU fits throughout the match. The Warriors tallied 8.5 blocks but more importantly, the Nittany Lions hit only .089 for the match. Middle blocker Patrick Gasman tied a career-high with six stuffs.
In Set 1, opposite Rado Parapunov's kill and ace gave UH a 7-3 lead. UH doubled-up on the Lions at 10-5 after a triple block and went ahead 13-7 after consecutive kills by middle blocker Dalton Solbrig. The lead was 21-12 after a Parapunov kill and the Warriors finished off the set by scoring four of the last five points.
Matautia's serving led to eight straight Warrior points to start Set 2. UH led 16-9 with a 4-1 run made it 23-16 before the Lions closed to within four. But Matautia ended it with a dink kill and his second ace.
Reserve opposite Brandon Rattray entered the lineup to start Set 3 and quickly ignited the Warriors with three kills. UH led 15-10 at the media timeout after Rattray's fourth kill and Colton Cowell's ace capped a six-point scoring run. Four straight Nittany Lion errors made it 20-11 and soon after Matautia ended the match with yet another ace.
In the first match of the day the Cougars withstood Lewis in four sets, 25-15, 18-25, 25-23, 26-24. Brenden Sander had a team-high 14 kills, hitting .370 while Gabi Garcia Fernandez added 10 kills and four blocks. Ryan Coenen tallied 15 kills for the Flyers (13-7).
The tournament concludes on Saturday with Penn State and Lewis at 4:00 p.m., followed by BYU and UH at 7:00 p.m.