In a match it wanted to win to maintain its postseason hopes alive, the University of Hawaii males’s volleyball group swept UC Santa Barbara 25-18, 26-24, 25-14 within the Big West Conference match semifinals on Friday evening at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.
The Rainbow Warriors enhance to 23-5 for the 2022 season and advance to face prime seed Long Beach State in Saturday’s evening’s championship match, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Meanwhile, UCSB’s season has most definitely come to an finish at 19-9.
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Although the Rainbow Warriors entered the week ranked No. 4 nationally within the AVCA Division I-II coaches ballot and No. 6 in RPI, Thursday losses by No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Penn State in its respective convention tournaments elevated the stakes tenfold for Hawaii as a result of the truth that the seven-team NCAA match solely selects two at-large groups.
On Saturday, the Rainbow Warriors cruised by the primary set earlier than a UCSB 5-0 within the second set gave the Gauchos an 18-16 lead. However, the ‘Bows ultimately prevailed in deuces and used that momentum to breeze by the third set and safe the victory.
Dimitrios Mouchlias had a match-high 15 kills for the Rainbow Warriors, whereas Jakob Thelle set the desk with a team-high 33 assists. For UCSB, Punahou alumnus Ryan Wilcox had a team-high 13 kills.
Hawaii has not performed within the Big West finals since 2019, additionally in opposition to Long Beach State at residence.