HONOLULU – The seventh-ranked University of Hawai’i men’s volleyball rallied for a four-set victory over No. 15 Ball State Saturday on the third and final day of the 23rd Outrigger Resorts Invitational at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-21.
The Rainbow Warriors (3-0) captured their second consecutive Outrigger title and eighth overall. It marked the first time UH won back-to-back titles since 1996-97. Opposite Stijn van Tilburg became the tournament’s first two-time winner of the Most Outstanding Player Award after finishing with a match-high 18 kills.
Freshman sensation Austin Matautia added 13 kills and 13 digs for his first double-double. He was named to the all-tournament team along with setterJennings Franciskovic (46 assists, 10 digs) and middle blocker Patrick Gasman (11 kills, 5 blocks). LiberoMamane Namahoe tallied a team-high 14 digs in his second career start.
Matt Szews had a team-high 13 kills and libero Nick Lavanchy posted 12 digs to lead Ball State (2-1). Both were also named to the all-tournament team.
The Warriors benefitted from 10 Cardinal service errors in Set 1 to take a 22-20 lead. However, UH got stuck in a bad rotation and the Cardinals closed out the set with five straight points, including three blocks by Connor Gross and Matt Walsh. BSU finished the set with five blocks while holding UH to .111 hitting.
UH evened the match in Set 2 with the help of an 8-2 run midway through that included three kills by Matautia. The Warriors managed four blocks in the game and a ridiculous one-handed solo stuff by setterJennings Franciskovic.
BSU led 15-11 at the media timeout in Set 3 before the Warriors rallied to tie it at 18. The teams traded points until Matautia went back-to-back giving UH set point. After a BSU kill, Matautia ended it with his 10thkill.
Hawai’i jumped all over the Cardinals in Set 4, leading 6-1. BSU tied it at 16-16 but from there van Tilburg ignited a three-point spurt with a kill and an ace and the Warriors closed out the set with a 6-3 run capped by Gasman’s 11th kill.
In the third place match, Princeton swept Erskine, 25-20, 25-15, 26-24 for its first win of the tournament. Outside hitter Parker Dixon, an all-tournament team selection, led the Tigers with 12 kills hitting .588. Erkine’s Isaac Lanier had a team-high nine kills.
The Warriors will next host a pair of non-conference matches against the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association’s Grand Canyon, Wednesday, Jan. 11 and Friday, Jan. 13 at the Stan Sheriff Center.