The University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team advanced to the NCAA tournament semifinals with a 25-15, 25-17, 25-16 sweep over North Greenville at the Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Hawaii, the defending national champion, improves to 25-5 overall for the 2022 season. Meanwhile, NGU’s historic season, in which they were the first team in the Conference Carolinas to win an NCAA tournament game, ends at 21-6.
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On Tuesday, Big West Player of the Year Jakob Thelle surpassed the school single-season service ace record, running his 2022 total to 55 with four on Tuesday. Thelle also had a match-high 26 assists, while Spyros Chakas had 12 kills with a hitting percentage of .588.
Gregory Torres led the Crusaders with 12 kills.
UH advances to face No. 2 national seed Ball State in Thursday’s national semifinals. Hawaii visited BSU in Muncie, Ind. in January and lost both of its matches, albeit without three starters in Thelle, Guilherme Voss and Chaz Galloway. At the time, Thelle and Voss missed the matches due to COVID-19 protocols, while Galloway was out due to an ankle injury. All three are expected to start on Thursday.
First serve between the ‘Bows and Cardinals is set for 4:30 p.m. HST on Thursday. Prior to that, UCLA and No. 1 Long Beach State will square off in the first national semifinal.