Rainbow Warriors fall to Pepperdine, season hangs in Bruins’ hands

Brook Sedore / Hawai'i Athletics
Brook Sedore / Hawai'i Athletics

MALIBU, Calif. – The University of Hawai’i men’s volleyball team saw its postseason hopes take a hit following a straight set loss to No. 2 Pepperdine, Friday night in the first of two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches at Firestone Fieldhouse. Set scores were 25-19, 25-17, 25-23.

The Rainbow Warriors (15-11, 13-10 MPSF) will now need to win tomorrow’s rematch with the Waves along with a UCLA loss to No. 3 BYU in order to qualify for the eight-team MPSF Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years.

With the win, Pepperdine (17-6, 17-6) secured a top four seed and will host a quarterfinal round match.

UH was led by opposite Brook Sedore‘s 10 kills while middle blockers Taylor Averill and Nick West each had seven kills and combined for six blocks. As a team, the Warriors hit .165 and committed 14 service errors. Reining AVCA National Player of the Week Sinisa Zarkovic was held to four kills, hitting .045. Kolby Kanetake finished with a match-high 11 digs.

Honolulu-native Josh Taylor led the Waves with 11 kills while J.J. Mosolf, who redshirted at UH in 2012, tallied nine kills. Pepperdine hit a meager .233 but totaled eight team blocks and only six service errors.

The Waves took command of the first set by scoring four straight for a 17-12 lead. UH tacked on the next two points to close to within three, but the Waves answered with a 6-1 run to pull away 23-15.

Pepperdine scored the first three points of Set 2 and jumped out to an 8-2 lead. By the media timeout, UH had committed seven hitting errors as the Waves pulled away, 15-6. The Warriors hit .030 with 11 errors and 12 kills in 33 attempts.

Down 0-2 for the second straight Friday match, the Warriors played more consistently in Set 3, tying the game at 13 following an ace by Sedore. UH took a 22-20 lead after Taylor hit wide but the Waves answered with three straight, including a costly hitting error by West. Sedore’s cross-court kill tied it at 23 but he followed that with a serve in the net. On match point, Taylor put away an overpass to close out the match.

The teams play against on Saturday to close out the regular season at 7:00 p.m. PT (4:00 p.m. HT) at Firestone Fieldhouse.

*Courtesy of Hawai’i Athletics*

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