No. 5 UCLA Falls in Five to No. 15 Hawai'i
Honolulu, Hawai'i - Fifth-ranked UCLA fell in five games to Hawai'i on Thursday in an MPSF Conference game at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
The 15th-ranked Warriors won 25-30, 30-26, 30-24, 26-30, 15-13 in two hours and 40 minutes in front of 2,656 spectators. Hawai'i improved to 4-6 overall and 3-4 in league play. The Bruins fell to 9-5 overall, 6-4 in conference play. The Bruins also dropped out of third place, which they shared with CS Northridge at the beginning of the week. Hawai'i's victory snapped a four-match losing streak to UCLA.
The Bruins played gallantly in climbing back into this match, rallying from a two-games-to-one deficit and a five-point disadvantage in the final game. Ultimately, their inability to limit service miscues and sustain a consistent hitting attack proved to be their demise. Although sophomore Garrett Muagututia led all players with 21 kills, he converted on just 19.6% of his 46 swings. Junior Sean O'Malley hit .300 with 14 kills, but was pulled after the third game. True freshman Ryal Jagd sparked the Bruins' victory in Game 4 with seven kills (.417), an ace, a block assist and 8.5 points, but he cooled off in the fifth game and finished with 10 kills and hit .286.
Two kills by Jagd enabled the Bruins to close the gap to one point in Game 5 at 11-10. Jagd then assisted on a block of UH's Jim Clar and the score was tied at 11-all. A kill by UH senior Jacob Schkud and a block on Jagd's kill attempt gave the Warriors a two-point lead, 13-11. The Bruins tied it again on a kills by Muagututia and a triple block by UCLA's Matt Wade, Weston Dunlap and Jagd. The Bruins' Ryan Ratelle committed a costly service error to give the Warriors a point, and an attack error by Jagd following a timeout and subsequent long rally gave UH the upset.
The setback overshadowed a fine performance by UCLA true freshman Thomas Hastings, who started in place of two-time All-American Tony Ker. Ker is nursing a hamstring injury and will not play this week. Hastings recorded 10 digs and passed nearly 97 percent of his serve receptions. Jagd's aggressiveness also made an impact: he converted his first kill attempt, recorded an ace in his first serve and assisted on a block early in Game 4.
Clar led the Warriors with 18 kills but was limited to an attack percentage of .198. Walker added 13 and hit just .098.
The teams will meet Friday night at 7 p.m. in the Sheriff Center to complete the league series.
Article courtesy of UCLA athletics.