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No. 4 Hawaii rallies to beat No. 5 UC Irvine in Big West volleyball

Apr. 7—Hawaii freshman Louis Sakanoko hit .375 with a match-high 16 kills to lead the fourth-ranked Rainbow Warriors to a 22-25, 27-25, 25-18, 25-18 win over No. 5 UC Irvine today at Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif.

Alaka'i Todd added 12 kills and middles Guilherme Voss (eight kills) and Kurt Nusterer (seven kills) both hit over .500 for Hawaii (21-5, 4-4 Big West), which improved to 2-1 against the Anteaters (17-8, 6-2) this season.

Hawaii outhit UC Irvine .362 to .146 and held Anteaters junior Hilir Henno to 13 kills in 48 swings. Henno hit .679 with 20 kills in Friday's sweep of Hawaii and had 36 kills with a .412 hitting percentage in a five-set loss to UH last month in the Outrigger Invitational.

Hawaii had dropped four straight sets to UC Irvine before pulling out the second set on back-to-back kills by Todd. Sakanoko made a dig with his foot to set up Todd's kill on set point to even the match.

Hawaii looked like a different team the rest of the way, holding UC Irvine to a negative hitting percentage over the final two sets.

Freshman Tread Rosenthal had a match-high 47 assists and five kills in 10 swings and was in on five of Hawaii's 12 blocks.

Nusterer had seven block assists and junior Keoni Thiim had a match-high 12 digs to go along with eight kills.

Hawaii will finish the regular season with two matches next Friday and Saturday at UC San Diego (11-13, 3-5). UC Irvine finishes the regular season with two matches against No. 1 Long Beach State (22-1, 8-0).