No. 2 USC Men's Volleyball Falls In Five Sets At No. 6 Hawaii|
Feb. 5, 2015
The No. 6-ranked Hawaii men's volleyball team gave visiting No. 2 USC its first loss of 2015 as the Rainbow Warriors overcame an early two-set deficit and stormed back to post a wild 26-28, 23-25, 25-23, 25-17, 20-18 win in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Wednesday (Feb. 4) in Honolulu, Hi.
USC fell to 7-1 overall, ending the Trojans' best start since they began the 1991 season at 28-0. In MPSF play, Troy dropped to 6-1.
Hawaii improved to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in MPSF play.
Christopher Orenic had a career-high 24 kills while hitting .462 and he added 8 digs to lead USC. Teammate Josh Kirchner had a career-best 19 kills (hitting .361), Alex Slaught had 10 kills and Brooks Varni had 13 digs.
For Hawaii, Brook Sedore had 22 kills, Taylor Averill had 17 kills while hitting .640 and he also had 7 blocks, Kupono Fey had 10 kills and Kolby Kanetake had 11 digs USC hit .381 with 35 digs and 8.5 blocks, but had 23 serving errors. Hawaii hit .394 with 30 digs, 8 aces and 12.5 blocks.
The first set was tight throughout and wasn't decided until consecutive kills by Andy Benesh and Orenic finished it as both teams hit for a high percentage (USC at .556 and Hawaii at .417). In the second set, back-to-back Orenic kills gave USC a 13-11 edge and Hawaii could never catch up as both squads continued their torrid hitting (USC at .423 in the set and the Rainbow Warriors at .458). Hawaii inched out to a 17-14 lead in the third set and the Trojans could never overcome it (USC hit .423 in the set to UH's .367). UH started off with a 4-1 lead in the fourth set and steadily pulled away while hitting .480 in the set. The final set was tight, with both teams staving off several match points before an Averill kill and then his block ended the nearly 3-hour match in front of 2,862 fans.
USC and Hawaii meet again on Friday (Feb. 6) for another MPSF match at 7 p.m. HT.