IRVINE, Calif. – The second-ranked University of Hawaii men's volleyball team displayed its offensive prowess in a straight-set win over No. 3 UC Irvine, Friday in its Big West Conference opener at the Bren Events Center. Set scores were 33-31, 25-19, 25-14.
The teams will play again on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. HT). The match will be streamed live on ESPN3.
In the Big West opener for the Rainbow Warriors (11-0, 1-0 BWC), UH set a new program record for consecutive sets won with 33 in its 11thstraight sweep to start the season. Hawaii did so in convincing fashion, hitting .411 for the match against the nation's seventh-best blocking team.
UH snapped UC Irvine's seven-match win streak as the Anteaters fell to 13-3, 2-1 in the BWC.
Opposite Rado Parapunov led the way with 18 kills, 12 coming in the marathon first set. The Sofia, Bulgaria native was nearly unstoppable in the game, which eventually ended with Colton Cowell's service ace on UH's sixth set point. Parapunov erased UCI's fourth set point with his 10thkill and on the very next play, his 11thslam put the Warriors ahead 31-30. His 12thkill set up Cowell's ace.
Cowell finished the match with 11 kills and only one attack error, hitting .588. Outside hitter Stijn van Tilburgadded nine kills and six digs while middles Dalton Solbrig (6) and Patrick Gasman (5) combined for 11 kills. 
UH got the early advantage in Set 2, taking a 12-9 lead. Consecutive kills by Solbrig and Cowell, put the Warriors on top 15-11. Hawai'i led 19-15 before the Anteaters scored consecutive points forcing UH coach Charlie Wade to call timeout. But UH settled down and sided-out until scoring the final three points, including a block by Joe Worlsey for the 25-19 win and two sets to none advantage.
In Set 3, back-to-back kills by Cowell gave UH a 10-7 lead. Moments later, the Warriors reeled off five straight points, including a kill and solo stuff by Cowell, for an insurmountable 15-8 lead. UH scored the final five points of the set to take the match. 
Joel Schneidmiller led the Anteaters with nine kills.
The victory for UH was its seventh over UCI in the last eight meetings. The teams are playing for the Pineapple Orange Crate, which started last season and which UH currently owns possession of.