No. 3 Hawaii men's volleyball overwhelms top-ranked Grand Canyon

Mar. 9—Hawaii (16-1 ), which entered the game leading the nation with a.411 hitting percentage, hit.449 against the No. 1 team in the country.

The opening matches on the first two nights of the Outrigger Invitational were drama-filled, five-set, marathon battles that could have gone either way.

Put the host team on the floor and the only drama is whether or not everyone in the arena can get home in time to watch the 10 p.m. news.

The third-ranked Rainbow Warriors extended their winning streak to a nation-best 15 in a row with a statement-making 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 sweep of No. 1 Grand Canyon on Friday night in front of an energetic SimpliFI Arena at Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 7, 826.

Spyros Chakas had a team-high 14 kills and eight digs and the Rainbow Warriors dominated in every facet of the game.

Alaka'i Todd added 11 kills in 13 swings and hit.692 and Chaz Galloway had seven kills and five blocks.

Hawaii (16-1 ), which entered the game leading the nation with a.411 hitting percentage, hit.449 against the No. 1 team in the country.

UH had 11.5 blocks to the Lopes' 4.5 and led in aces 8-1, with sophomore middle Kurt Nusterer tops with three.

"It's nice to do it against a really good team, " Hawaii coach Charlie Wade said. "The defense was really good, all triggered by our serving."

The Lopes (15-2 ) came to Hawaii riding the nation's longest winning streak. They lost in five sets to UC Irvine on Thursday night and then got blistered by a UH team that has had its match delayed both nights due to the length of the match before it.

The Rainbow Warriors won all three sets by at least five points and finished off Grand Canyon in 1 hour, 42 minutes.

"We want to get to the point where we are playing as engaged as we were today regardless of who the opponent was, " Nusterer said. "Seeing the No. 1 ranking coming into our house, obviously there is a little bit more of a sense of urgency."

Nusterer allowed UH to gain separation in the closing set with back-to-back aces during his service turn that began a 13-4 run after it was tied at 8-all.

Nusterer was one of three Rainbow Warriors not to miss a serve the entire match.

He was subbed out for Louis Sakanoko on his service turn in the second set but not in the third.

"I think he was pissed I brought Louis in, " Wade said with a laugh.

Chakas and Todd added two aces each as Hawaii again set the tone for the evening coming out hot from the opening serve.

UH used five blocks to frustrate the Lopes in the firset, who fell behind 17-9 on a hitting error by Camen Gianni that rocketed off the side of Wade, forcing assistant coach Milan Zarkovic to playfully jump off the bench as if to have the back of UH's head coach.

Chakas had six digs in the first set as GCU hit.179 and committed 12 errors with seven coming behind the service line, including the final one at set point.

"When we get it rolling, we can put a lot of pressure on teams, and it's not just one guys ability to put pressure on, it's sustaining that pressure, " Wade said.

Neither team led by more than two points in the second set until Grand Canyon hitting errors sandwiched around the media timeout put UH ahead 16-12.

Chakas put Hawaii ahead 11-10 with a thunderous ace off the side of the face of Grand Canyon's Karter Rogers for UH's fourth ace of the match.

Hawaii never trailed again in the set as Chakas' kill after the Lopes closed to 18-17 put Hawaii back in front by two.

Two difficult serves for Grand Canyon to handle from Rosenthal resulted in a kill by Todd and a solo block by Guilherme Voss to force the Lopes to use their second timeout.

A service error by the Lopes and a double block by Nusterer and Galloway ended the second set to extend UH's streak of consecutive sets won to 23.

Hawaii ended the match hitting.462 in the final set with Chakas putting down match point.

"Certainly doing it against a really good team validates (our offensive numbers ), " Wade said. "Now it's about sustaining it. Can we do this on a daily basis every time you turn the lights on and step out there ? That's what makes you the best team in the end."

UH will finish the tournament against UC Irvine on Sunday at 5 p.m.

No. 14 Lewis 3, No. 5 UC Irvine 2 Daniel Haber had 17 kills to lead four Flyers in double figures and Lewis bounced back from losing in three to Hawaii on Thursday night with a 22-25, 25-19, 18-25, 25-20, 15-11 victory over the Anteaters in the first game on Friday.

Syver Drolsum added 16 kills and Max Roquet had 15 kills and six block assists for the Flyers (11-9 ), who finished with 12 blocks.

Hilir Henno had a match-high 24 kills and Brett Sheward had a match-high 54 assists and six digs for the Anteaters (13-5 ), who had a seven-match win streak come to an end.

Henno has 107 kill attempts so far in the tournament.