Bows suffer first loss to CSUN since 2018 in four-set defeat, 25-23, 25-16, 22-25, 25-21

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED MARCH 24, 2024

HONOLULU — Sometimes it’s just not your night.

The second-ranked Hawai’i men’s volleyball team fell to No. 18 Cal State Northridge for the first time since 2018 with a four-set loss Saturday night before a crowd of 6,839 at SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-23, 25-16, 22-25 and 25-21.

The Rainbow Warriors committed 10 more attack errors than the Matadors in the loss as they dropped to 18-4 and 1-3 in Big West play.

CSUN (10-11, 1-3) came out firing to start, hitting .560 and 0.480 to in the first and second set. The Matadors took a dip in the third set with seven of their 13 hitting errors in the frame, but they were able to turn back Hawai’i in the following stanza to snap a nine-match losing streak to the ‘Bows.

“Northridge played great, they really did,” said Hawai’i coach Charlie Wade. “Guys were jumping high and hitting hard all night. Their setter does a really good job and their serve receive was better than ours. We got a little better in the third and fourth, but they were literally falling and diving and putting balls right to the target. Some nights are like that. They got really good arms, they got some guys that can jump and hit, their setter is really good and they were good all night and we were just OK.”

Redshirt freshman Jalen Phillips had 17 kills, senior Griffin Walters had 15 and redshirt senior Kyle Hobus put down 11 kills to help CSUN pick up its first win in the Stan Sheriff Center since 2013.

“I think some of that team too were a pretty veteran group,” said Wade. “I got to think that’s the first time they’ve beaten us in their careers right, and you just get tired of losing and coming in here and playing in this (atmosphere), it’s the closest thing to the NBA that I’ve ever seen. Everybody plays good in this building.”

Freshman Louis Sakanoko led the way for the ‘Bows in the loss with 19 kills after recording just one kill in the opening set. Opposite Alakai’i Todd also finished with double digit kills with 12. The next leading attacker for Hawai’i just had four kills.

The ‘Bows will look to bounce back this weekend against UC Santa Barbara in their final home matches of the regular season.