IRVINE, Calif. – UC Irvine's Thomas Hodges posted a career-high 21 kills, but it wasn't enough as No. 5 Hawaii beat the sixth-ranked Anteaters 3-1 (25-16, 25-23, 15-25, 25-23) in front of 1,410 fans at the Bren Events Center Saturday.
The Anteaters suffered their first home loss and go to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the MPSF, while Hawaii wins their first league match (1-2) and are also 6-2 on the season.
Hodges recorded a career-high 21 kills as well as a team-best six digs to pace UC Irvine. Senior Tamir Hershko added 10 kills, while senior Michael Saeta recorded five kills, 36 set assists and three aces. Freshman Scott Stadick hit .533 (8-0-15) and had a team-high four blocks.
Stijn van Tilburg led Hawaii with 19 kills, hitting .485 (19-3-33). Kupono Fey added 10 kills, while Jennings Franciskovic had 36 set assists, five kills and five digs.
Hawaii won the first set 25-16, taking control 16-10 on a kill by Jennings Franciskovic, a block and a pair of kills by Stijn van Tilburg.
UCI led 22-20 in the second set before two kills by Kupono Fey and an ace by Stijn van Tilburg gave Hawaii its first lead of the set. Following a Warrior service error, back-to-back Anteater attack errors, the last courtesy of a block, handed Hawaii the 25-23 victory.
A 6-0 run that was ignited by a Karl Apfelbach ace and ended by a Michael Saeta block put UCI in front 8-4. UCI controlled the rest of the set and ended with the final four points, including three kills by Scott Stadick, 25-15.
Despite hitting .480 (14-2-25), UCI fell in the final set 25-23. A slight two point swing by UH to sneak ahead, 11-9 was the margin they would need to hold on to the victory. UCI closed to 23-22 and 24-23 on a kills by Hodges, but an Anteater service error gave Hawaii the set, 25-23 and match.
UCI travels to BYU next week for a pair of matches.
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