Outside hitter Kupono Fey celebrated his 21st birthday in style as he led the sixth-ranked University of Hawai’i men’s volleyball team to a straight-set win over Grand Canyon, Thursday night, in the first of two non-conference matches at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-20, 25-20, 28-26.
The junior from Honolulu finished with a season-high 13 kills, hitting .310 as the Rainbow Warriors (5-1) extended their home win streak to 13 matches dating back to last season. Fey also recorded seven digs and one block solo in his best performance of the 2016 season.
Freshman opposite Stijn van Tilburg tallied a team-high 14 kills and seven digs while senior outside hitter Sinisa Zarkovic added 12 kills on .333 hitting and is now eight kills shy of reaching 1,000 in his career. Senior libero Kolby Kanetake recorded 11 digs to move into the school’s Top 10 list in career digs.
Outside hitter Gerrard Lipscombe led the Lopes (5-1) with a match-high 15 kills.
The teams will play again on Friday in the rematch at 7:00 p.m.
The Warriors scored four straight points with the help of a pair of Lopes hitting errors and an ace by van Tilburg for a 12-8 lead. UH pushed its lead to 18-11 after a van Tilburg-McKellar double block before the Lopes rallied to within, 22-20. But UH closed out the set with three straight points capped by Zarkovic’s fourth kill.
With the score tied at 19, UH reeled off three straight points, which included kills by Zarkovic and van Tilburg. The Lopes rallied to within one a 23-22 before Fey ended it with back-to-back kills, giving UH the 2-0 lead in the match.
Freshman setter Joe Worsley received his most extensive playing time of the season, playing the majority of the third set, which went back-and-forth until the Warriors scored three straight for a 22-19 lead. But consecutive points by the Lopes narrowed UH’s lead to one and the Warriors reached match point at 24-22 after van Tilburg’s 14th kill. GCU erased three match points before UH closed out the contest with Zarkovic’s 12th kill.