Hawaii volleyball cruises past Eagles in straight sets

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HONOLULU – The fourth-ranked University of Hawai’i men’s volleyball team improved to 2-0 in the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Warrior Classic following a straight-set win over Concordia-Irvine Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-13, 25-12, 25-20.
One night after posting its highest hitting percentage in 18 years, the Rainbow Warriors (2-0) hit .435 against the Eagles, setting up the tournament championship match against USC on Saturday night for the second straight year. The Trojans (2-0) needed four sets to defeat NJIT, 25-17, 24-26, 25-23, 25-15 in the day’s earlier match. 
UH and USC met in last year’s Rainbow Warrior Classic title match with Hawai’i winning in straight sets. Saturday’s match-up is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., following the third place match featuring NJIT and Concordia-Irvine.
UH outside hitter Stijn van Tilburg had a team-high nine kills, hitting .571 in two sets of action. Opposite Rado Parapunov added eight kills, hitting .667 with six digs and an ace while middle blocker Dalton Solbrigadded six kills and five blocks. Colton Cowell posted seven kills, two aces, and three digs.
Jordan Hoppe led the Eagles (0-5) with nine kills. CUI hit .085 for the match. 
In Set 1, UH surged ahead 12-7 with consecutive blocks by Patrick Gasman.  The lead was 17-10 after a Joe WorsleyDalton Solbrig double-block and reached double-digits at 22-11 following two aces by Colton Cowell. The Warriors hit .462 for the set with eight kills by van Tilburg. 
After the Eagles scored the first two points of Set 2, Parapunov went back to the service line and the Warriors reeled off nine straight points forcing CUI head coach Shawn Patchell to use both of his timeouts. Parapunov recorded six kills in the set as Hawai’i ran away with the 25-12 victory for a 2-0 lead in the match.
After numerous replay challenge reviews to start Set 3, UH took a 14-6 lead with a 10-2 run, including five unanswered. Back-up opposite James Anastassiades sparked the Warriors in the set with five kills in seven attempts.

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