Hawai’i Ends Night on Sour Note Against UCI
By Derek Kravitsky
March 7, 2014 - What looked like a dream game turned into a nightmare for the Rainbow Warriors. UH was routed as the UC Irvine Anteaters won in four sets, 25-22, 21-25, 18-25, 14-25.
Set one opened up brightly for the Rainbow Warriors thanks to the player who goes by the name Sunshine. Taylor Averill launched the ball right back where it came from in the opening volleys. Averill ended the night with eight kills and four blocks.
UH frustrated UC Irvine with a strong defense, accumulating seven team blocks in the first set. Providing fortification to the impenetrable UH wall of hands was Nick West. With his now trademark pinky cast, West notched three block assists.
Most of UC Irvine’s points in the first set were unearned coming off of service and attack errors by the Rainbow Warriors. Almost half of the Anteaters 22 first set points came from ill-placed UH deflections.
UH looked to be on track to continue their dominance as the second set got underway. Hawai’i opened set number two with an 8-1 run. Although things looked promising at the start, the second set took an ugly turn for the Rainbow Warriors, as the UCI finished the second set with a 13-3 run.
Anteater, Scott Kevorken, (hopefully no relation to the doctor), matched his five kills from the first set with another quintet to lead all players by the end of the second with 10.
The third set saw a breakdown in the strong defense which led Hawai’i to a first set victory. Almost at will, the Anteaters pounded balls through the extended arms of the Rainbow Warriors. Combined with an unproductive offense, Hawai’i cooked up a recipe for disaster. Exemplifying the unusually lackluster play for the Rainbow Warrior’s was Sinisa Zarkovic who only earned one kill in the third set.
The third set also saw the emergence of UCI’s Jeremy Dejeno on the opposite side of the court. Dejeno proved a formidable opponent for UH as he smashed down four kills, the same amount he combined for in sets one and two.
With Rainbow Warriors down two sets to one, the Anteaters feasted on their weary opponents. An obviously exhausted Hawai’i simply couldn’t keep up with their boundlessly energetic counterparts. UCI found their way under almost every UH ball which had a chance of lighting up the scoreboard.
UCI Libero, Michael Brinkley, earned his spot tonight, diving his way to an impressive 17 digs. The common saying defense wins games comes to mind tonight as it was apparent the Rainbow Warriors stood a chance in the first set when they out-blocked their opponents seven to zero. By the end of tonight’s match-up, UH only added one and a half more blocks to their first set which possibly placed expectations too high.
Good news for the Rainbow Warriors and all their fans who packed the Stan Sheriff, Hawai’i had a chance at revenge this Sunday as UH hosted the Anteaters one more time.
To see full-game highlights of the match, tune in to Oceanic Time Warner Digital Cable Channel 13 and 1013.