Tigers Grab First Two Sets, But Fall To Warriors 3-2
Despite taking the first two games the Pacific men's volleyball squad fell the Warriors of Hawaii by the score of 3-2 (26-24, 25-22, 19-25, 25-27, 15-11) on February 3 in the Alex G. Spanos Center. Leading the Tigers on the night was junior Taylor Hughes with a season-high 22 kills, while hitting .372. The victory improved Pacific to 4-5 (2-2 MPSF) and dropped Hawaii to 4-6 (1-3 MPSF).
Pacific took the first set in thrilling fashion, 26-24, after a back and forth battle with the Warriors. The game was tied at 15 when the Tigers would rally for three straight points to take the 18-15 lead. Hawaii would fight back to bring the game within one four separate times, but after a Florian Gornik kill the frame seemed all but over with the Tigers leading 24-23 with momentum. However, Hawaii would save two straight game points to finally tie it at 24, which sparked head coach Joe Wortmann to call timeout. Out of the break, Hawaii fired a serve just past the backline to set up another game point. This time the Tigers would take advantage with a huge block from junior Christian Ahlin and sophomore Adam Troy to grab the set victory.
Leading the Tigers in the first set was Hughes with five kills on six attacks to hit .667. Senior Sean Daley and Gornik would each add three kills in the frame to hit .500 and .375, respectively. Junior Patrick Tunnell would add 10 of his 45 assists on the night in the first game.
The second set was similar to its predecessor, as the Tigers would rally for a pair of points with the score tied, this time taking a 20-18 advantage. Hawaii would fire back to bring the score within a point twice, but Pacific would fight off the attack, taking the game 25-22. The final two points for the Orange and Black came off thunderous strikes from the right arm of Hughes. He would again lead the Tigers with seven kills in the frame. Sophomore Javier Caceres played a great game, recording four of his game-high 12 digs on the night.
The third frame was commanded by the Warriors as they would grab a 25-19 game victory over the Tigers. Pacific could not overcome the early 11-5 deficit despite a .571 hitting percentage and five kills from Hughes.
Then Pacific would fall to the Warriors 27-25 in the fourth set after two strong rallies from both squads. The score was tied at a dime when the Tigers collected four straight points to take the 14-10 advantage. An Ahlin and Tunnell block coming right after Hawaii called a timeout highlighted the rally. However, Hawaii would not go quietly and went on a 5-0 run of its own to tie the match at 20. This sparked a Wortmann timeout followed by an Ahlin kill to end the run. After trading points, the Warriors sustained back-to-back kills by J.P Marks and Steven Hunt to take the frame.
Hawaii carried the momentum from the emotional fourth set to a 15-1 game and match victory. The Warriors charged out of the gate for three straight points, which the Tigers could not overcome.
Leading Hawaii on the night was Steven Hunt with 25 kills, while hitting .298. Nick West and Sam Biscaro would tack on eight blocks each for the Warriors.
Gornik, Troy and Daley would add 12, 10 and 10 kills, respectively. On the opposite side of the pins, Daley added six blocks including one solo.
The Tigers return to action tomorrow, February 4 at 7 p.m. in the Alex G. Spanos Center for the final match of the series against Hawaii.