No. 13 Hawai'i Falls to No. 7 Southern California in Outrigger Invitational

1/9/2009

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HONOLULU, Hawai'i - The University of Hawai‘i men's volleyball team could not overcome the mid-game slump in a 30-25, 30-27, 30-23 loss to seventh-ranked Southern California, Friday night, on the second day of the Outrigger Hotels Invitational at the Stan Sheriff Center.
 
The Warriors (1-1) were competitive in all three games early on until the midway point of each set which gave the Trojans (1-1) the separation they needed to pull out the win.
 
Joshua Walker was the lone Warrior in double figures with 15 kills on .353 hitting. Freshman Gus Tuaniga added seven kills and 11 digs while fellow freshman Steven Hunt slammed eight kills.
 
Murphy Troy led a balanced Trojan attack with 19 kills, 14 digs, and four aces. Sean Dennis added 12 kills and six blocks. Setter Riley McKibbin, a Punahou School graduate, dished out 53 assists and led the USC offense to .378 hitting for the match. The Trojans out-blocked the Warriors, 9.5-4.
 
In Game 1, the Trojans jumped out to a 10-7 lead and led 16-10 midway through. USC was never threatened the rest of the way in a 30-25 victory. Four Trojans had four or more kills in the set led by Troy's six.
 
It was more of the Trojans in Game 2. USC was the first to 15 at 15-12 and extended its lead to 17-12. The Warriors fought back with five straight points including a stuff block and kill by Walker and a pair of Trojan hitting errors. UH took the lead at 23-20 following a Trojan hitting error, Jarrod Lofy kill off an overpass, and Michael China ace.
 
The Trojans answered back with four straight points to retake the lead. The teams traded points until 26 when USC scored two straight for a 28-26 advantage. At game point, Walker hit long giving the Trojans a 2-0 advantage.
 
USC found separation again during the middle part of Game 3, scoring five straight points for a 16-11 advantage. The Trojans pushed their lead to 21-14 and maintained the lead through the rest of the set in a 30-23 victory.
 
In the earlier match, top-ranked and defending national champion Penn State (2-0) swept No. 10 Ohio State, 30-27, 30-24, 30-19. Ryan Sweitzer had 15 kills for the Nittany Lions, who hit .422 as a team. Ted Schoenfeldt had a team-high 13 kills for the Buckeyes (0-2).
 
The tournament concludes on Saturday with Ohio State and USC facing off at 4:00 p.m. followed by the featured UH and Penn State match at 7:00 p.m.

Article courtesy of Hawai'i athletics.

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