For Second Straight Night, No. 4 Hawaii Men's Volleyball Sweeps No. 14 USC

    Aaron Strange
    March 3, 2017

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    For the second consecutive night, the No. 4-ranked Hawaii men's volleyball team swept No. 14 USC, this time 25-13, 25-15, 25-18 on Friday (March 3) in Honolulu in a match that was contested as a non-conference meeting.

    Only 2 of USC's regulars started on Friday as Trojan head coach Jeff Nygaard opted to get his backups some action in the non-league contest. Hawaii started its usual lineup, but began subbing out its starters midway through the opening set.

    On Thursday (March 2), the Rainbow Warriors swept the Trojans, 25-20, 25-23, 25-23, in a match that counted in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings.

    With Friday's victory, Hawaii won its 13th consecutive match and its 16th straight at home to improve to 18-2 overall. The Rainbow Warriors have won their past 26 sets and are off to their best start since 1996.

    The Trojans fell to 6-12 overall.

    Aaron Strange had 6 kills for USC, Blake Markland added 5 kills while hitting .444 and Vinnie Rios had 9 digs.

    Rado Parapunov came off the bench to lead Hawaii with 10 kills (hitting .389), while Austin Matautia had 9 kills, Dalton Solbrig had 6 blocks and Larry Tuileta, the former USC volleyball and football player before transferring to Hawaii, had 7 digs.

    Hawaii hit .353 in the match and had 14.0 blocks. The Trojans had more hitting errors than kills, ending up with a -.011 hitting mark. USC managed just 4.0 blocks.

    In the first set, Hawaii used 3-0 runs to build leads of 5-2, 10-4, 13-5, 16-6 and 22-11 to control the set while hitting .480 and getting 4.0 blocks. It was more of the same in the second set, as the Rainbow Warriors scored 6 early unanswered points to go up 8-2 and soon after went on a 4-point run to build a 13-4 margin before USC pulled within 5 points at 19-14, but the Trojans could get no closer as Hawaii posted 5.5 more blocks. Hawaii jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the final set by virtue of a 6-0 run and was never threatened while closing out the match.

    USC now returns home to start a 9-match homestand by hosting No. 5 Lewis on March 9 at 7 p.m. PT in a non-conference match that will be played in the North Gym, the original home of Trojan volleyball.