The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team used 17 players in its first-ever meeting against Conference Carolinas' Lees-McRae.
UH (8–1) came out strong to defeat Lees-McRae (1–7) in a three-set sweep 25–11, 25–11, 25–18 to begin the Waikiki Beachcomber Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center on Thursday night.
UH came out with intensity and the energy to win after its four-set loss against UCLA on Sunday.
The match started off with kills by junior middle blocker Dalton Solbrig and sophomore opposite Rado Parapunov to lead 3–0 early in the first set. UH played with consistency and maintained a 21–10 lead when Parapunov made a pair of service aces and sophomore middle blocker Patrick Gasman put down a kill. UH ended the set on a 12–2 run after Gasman made another kill 25–11.
The Rainbow Warriors came out with that same intensity getting to a quick lead 4–3, with another kill by Solbrig. Sophomore outside hitter Brandon Rattray got a pair of service aces to put the ‘Bows up 7–3. The previous kills and ace services set it up nicely for outside hitter Rattray, who tallied five kills for the second set. The Rainbow Warriors also had five blocks to help them capture the second set 25–11.
The third set was the first spark of life for the Bobcats; they led throughout the whole match. It didn’t last long as the biggest lead the Bobcats took was 3–0. It started off with freshman outside hitter Spencer Graf’s service ace. The Rainbow Warriors hurt themselves with some attack errors, but soon regained the momentum in rapid form. Rattray and sophomore outside hitter Austin Matautia took over the third set getting it to a quick 18–11 lead. It was a clean sweep for the Rainbow Warriors.
Matautia led the match with 10 kills, hitting .562 and not to far behind was another outside hitter Rattray with 8 kills, 4 aces and 2 blocks.
Bobcats freshman outside hitter Robert Bowling and Wes Rogman led the Bobcats with five kills.
UH will host Academy United for the third match of the Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger Classic. The first serve is set for 7 p.m.