Hawaii men's volleyball wins senior night classic

Mar. 31—In its next match inside of SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center, there will be exactly zero room for error for the Hawaii men's volleyball team.

In its next match inside of SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center, there will be exactly zero room for error for the Hawaii men's volleyball team.

The Rainbow Warriors bid aloha to six players on senior night after surviving a 25-21, 26-24, 23-25, 21-25, 15-12 win over No. 20 UC Santa Barbara on a wild Saturday night at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

Junior Keoni Thiim had all four of his kills in the fifth set, including the one that ended it after 3 hours, 6 minutes.

A crowd of 8, 924 showered the court in boos after Hawaii was issued a red card and UCSB was awarded a point to make it 14-12.

Thiim turned those boos into a wild round of cheers when his last swing found the middle of the UCSB side of the court.

Hawaii (20-4, 3-3 ) avoided a reverse sweep to record its third consecutive 20-win season and move to.500 in conference play with four matches to go.

"It wasn't pretty. There were some good moments, we played well but super proud of the guys for battling and coming out on top, " Hawaii coach Charlie Wade said.

Freshman Louis Sakanoko had three of his team-high 15 kills in the fifth set to make sure everyone was in a good mood for senior night festivities honoring Spyros Chakas, Guilherme Voss, Alaka 'i Todd, Chaz Galloway, Kevin Kauling and Austin Buchanan.

It won't be the last time UH will play on its home court. Hawaii will close out the regular season with two matches at UC Irvine and two at UC San Diego before hosting the Big West Tournament on April 18-20. Its NCAA Tournament fate will be decided in those matches back home.—RELATED :

"I think we just need to recover a little bit, " said Todd, who had 12 kills and 10 digs. "A little bit of recovery and I think we will be cherry."

Voss hit.750 in the match with 12 kills and ended the weekend with 21 kills in 27 swings against the Gauchos (7-16, 0-7 ).

Sophomore Kurt Nusterer had a career-high 10 blocks for UH, which had 18.5 in the match.

Neither team led by more than two points in the first set until Ben Coordt unloaded on a kill to get the entire UCSB bench to jump out of their seats at 14-11.

Hawaii exploded for the first five points out of the media timeout to take a 17-15 lead on a Chaz Galloway kill.

UCSB ended the run on Tread Rosenthal's second setting error and the teams traded points until UH's eighth hitting error in the set made it 19-all.

Voss gave UH its first set point with his first kill to make it 24-21 and Nusterer and Galloway teamed up on a block to put UH ahead 1-0.

Nusterer had a hand in all three UH blocks in the opening set.

UH trailed again at the 15-point media timeout in the second set and had UH down 24-22 at set point after an ace by Coordt.

Sakanoko ended a long rally with a kill off the block and out to keep UH alive and a Gauchos hitting error tied the set at 24-all.

Patrick Kane's kill attempt was lifted way out of bounds for UH's set point, prompting a timeout by UCSB coach Rick McLaughlin.

Another tough serve out of the timeout by Nusterer forced a difficult pass and a third UCSB hitting error in a row put UH ahead 2-0.

Geste Bianchi had back-to-back kills to give UCSB its third straight lead at the media timeout of the set at 15-13. The Gauchos were gifted a two-point swing when Nusterer had an attempt without a block but touched the net to turn a potential kill into a UCSB point to make it 20-17 Gauchos.

Hawaii scored four straight points down 23-18, with Sakanoko's solo block coming out of a Gauchos timeout to make it 23-22.

Coordt gave UCSB set point with his ninth kill before a UCSB serving error made it 24-23. Sakanoko couldn't get his serve inbounds for UH's 12th service error in the match forcing a fourth set.

Galloway recorded just the second ace of the match for Hawaii to make it 8-5 in the fourth set, but again, UCSB led 15-12 at the media timeout after an 8-1 run. The Gauchos led by as many as six in the set and closed it out on a Rosenthal service error after his back-to-back aces prompted a Gauchos timeout.

"I know the guys are working really hard to keep trying to get better, " Wade said. "You see glimmers of it where we can play at a high level and it's just, I know I've said it a lot, but we're a work in progress for sure."