Hawaii Upsets USC To Deprive Trojans Of MPSF Tourney Home Match
April 19, 2009
The No. 14 Hawaii men's volleyball team came back to upset No. 5 USC, 30-32, 33-31, 38-36, 30-27, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season-ending match in Honolulu on Saturday (April 18), depriving the Trojans of hosting an opening round match in next week's MPSF Tournament.
USC fell to 17-10 overall and 13-9 in the MPSF, while Hawaii finished its season at 9-18 overall and 6-16 in the MPSF as head coach Mike Wilton closed out his 17-year Warrior career.
The loss means the Trojans will be the No. 5 seed in the upcoming 8-team MPSF Tournament and must now travel to fourth-seeded Stanford on Saturday (April 25) for an MPSF quarterfinal match. The Cardinal, which had defeated UCLA at home earlier in the evening, finished a game ahead of USC in the MPSF standings at 14-8. USC tied for fifth in the MPSF standings with BYU, but own the seeding tiebreaker over the Cougars.
Tony Ciarelli led USC with 23 kills and 9 digs, Murphy Troy added 21 kills and 9 digs, Tri Bourne had 15 kills, 11 digs and 5 blocks, Austin Zahn had 12 digs while hitting .526 and had 5 blocks and Hunter Current had 8 kills (hitting .571) and 5 blocks.
For Hawaii, Joseph Strotman had 30 kills and 12 digs, Joshua Walker added 29 kills while hitting .390 and had 13 digs, Michael China also had 13 digs and Sean Carney had 70 assists with 10 digs.
USC outhit Hawaii, .313 to .283.
USC trailed 12-5 in the first set, but caught up at 26-26 and then closed out the set on a Troy kill followed by an ace by Current. The Trojans held a 29-27 lead in the second set before the Warriors scored the next 3 points and then a pair of USC errors gave the set to Hawaii. The third set see-sawed throughout until a pair of Walker kills ended it. The Trojans built a quick 4-1 lead in the fourth set and extended it to 11-5, but the Warriors caught up at 166-16 and slowly pulled away.
It was only the third time in USC history that 3 sets in a match went over 30 points.