The No. 1 University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team was pushed to five sets but ultimately prevailed over UC Irvine 25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 24-26, 15-13 on Friday night at SimplFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center on Friday night.
After winning the first two sets, the Rainbow Warriors were edged in third and fourth sets and battled with the Anteaters in an epic fifth set. The Anteaters led 8-7 halfway through the final set, but UH ultimately won to improve to 14-0 overall and remain undefeated for the 2021 season.
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Joel Scheidmiller led UC Irvine (2-12, 2-7 Big West Conference) with 20 kills, four blocks and two digs, but was ultimately outdueled by Hawaii’s Rado Parapunov, who had a game-high 25 kills with six digs. Colton Cowell added 17 kills for UH, while Gage Worsley had 11 digs and Jakob Thelle dished out a game-high 56 assists.
Friday night was the second time Hawaii was pushed to five sets this season. In the team’s most recent home game prior to UC Irvine, the Rainbow Warriors topped defending national champion Long Beach State in five sets.
The Rainbow Warriors and Anteaters will meet again on Saturday night in what will be the regular season finale for both teams. For UH, it will also serve as the team’s senior night. First serve on Saturday is set for 7 p.m. HST.