Hawai’i wipes out Stanford in front of packed “White-Out” crowd for Alumni Night

Hawai’i wipes out Stanford in front of packed “White-Out” crowd for Alumni Night

UH floor captain Spyros Chakas goes for a ball in a matchup against #5 Stanford. | Photo Credit: Michael Lasquero, HSRN

Hawai’i wipes out Stanford in front of packed White-Out” crowd for Alumni Night

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED FEB 9, 2024

HONOLULU — Who said sweeping white-outs was only for wintry weather? 

The University of Hawai’i men’s volleyball team celebrated “Alumni Appreciation Night” in style, sweeping through the Stanford Cardinal in straight sets Saturday night, 27-25, 25-7, 25-20, in front of a season-high attendance of 8,930 screaming fans. Floor captain Spyros Chakas’ season-best 23 kills led the way as the UH attack dominated all evening to the tune of a hitting percentage of .594% while committing only three attack errors the entire night. 

The fifth-ranked Cardinal opened the match’s first frame by scoring three of the first four points of the night before seeing the ‘Bows re-find their footing to tie the set at five by notching four of the next six points. Much like the first match between the two on Thursday, neither side allowed for much breathing room as the teams traded point-for-point until a quick run pushed Hawai’i ahead by three, 13-10, and forced a Cardinal timeout. 

After Stanford knotted the match at 15, the tug-of-war, back-and-forth trading of points resumed as the ‘Bows and the Cardinal attempted to snatch the coveted first set point. Hawai’i got the chance first after a Chaz Galloway service ace but would need three set points in total to take the opening frame in extras, 27-25. 

For as closely contested as the first set was, the second frame was the exact opposite as the ‘Bows raced out to a 15-4 lead to go into the media timeout behind the amped-up Chakas and his 99th career ace, tying him with Naveh Milo for 10th-most in UH program history. After the stop in the action, Hawai’i held Stanford to just three more points en route to an impressive 25-7 win in the frame. 

Stanford tried to stave off the sweep with a quick start to the third set that mirrored the opening one, scoring three of the first four points before allowing Hawai’i to draw to a tie again. Once again, Hawai’i would jump ahead with both teams into double-digit points, 13-10, forcing a Cardinal timeout. The pause did not help matters much for the visitors as the UH lead grew to four points after a Tread Rosenthal kill and then again with a kill from Thursday’s star performer Alaka’i Todd making it 21-17. 

The ‘Bows would not play with their food, either. Hawai’i rattled off four of the next seven points to finish out the match with their third straight set win, 25-20. 

Everything was clicking for the Rainbow Warriors as Spyros Chakas set the tone with his 23 kills while Alaka’i Todd finished with nine kills on 15 swings. Freshman setter Tread Rosenthal tallied 33 assists throughout the match as he continued to spearhead a Hawai’i attack that leads the nation in efficiency. 

Hawai’i returns to action in 13 days when the Rainbow Warriors play host to Missouri S&T on back-to-back nights, looking to extend their nine-match winning streak to double figures. First serve for the first of the two matchups is scheduled for February 22 at 7 p.m. HT. 

Hawai’i turns on jets, hand Stanford second loss of year in four sets

Hawai’i turns on jets, hand Stanford second loss of year in four sets

Hawai’i turns on jets, hand Stanford second loss of year in four sets

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED FEB 7, 2024

HONOLULU — The University of Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors dispatched the fifth-ranked Stanford Cardinal in four sets Wednesday night, 21-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-12, in the first of two meetings between the nationally-ranked programs in Mānoa this week.  

The visitors surprised UH out of the gate, taking control over the opening frame from the hosting Rainbow Warriors with a 5-0 run to jump ahead, 13-9. While Hawai’i stabilized, the Cardinal was more than happy to trade points on the way to an opening set win, 25-21. The ‘Bows hit just .185% on the attack, dropping the first set of a match for just the second time this season and the first inside Stan Sheriff Center. 

The third-ranked Rainbow Warriors responded with a vengeance, dominating the second set behind the consistent play of local boy and Punahou alum Alaka’i Todd to jump ahead by six at the media break, 15-9. Hawai’i continued to steamroll on the other side of the stoppage, closing out the frame, 25-15, on a rocket of an ace by outside hitter Spyros Chakas. The missile serve was the 98th ace in Chakas’ decorated collegiate career, placing him just one away from entering the top-10 in program history. 

The home team got an assist from the “Mānoa Roofing Company” deciding to open in time for the seesaw third set with five blocks helping to decide a closely contested frame and give a 2-1 set advantage to Hawai’i as Kurt Nusterer emphatically closed the door on a Cardinal comeback try with a solo block for the 25th and ultimate point. 

Stanford stuck closely with Hawai’i in the fourth set until the midway point when Keoni Thiim showed off the sizzling service skills to rattle off an avalanche of seven straight points and finish the frame on an 8-0 run, closing the heavyweight bout with a knockout blow, 25-12. 

Hawai’i, after hitting a ghastly .185% in the first frame, stabilized to finish with a hitting percentage of .346 on the night to hand Stanford its second loss in a row. The Cardinal were without the services of two-time All-American outside hitter Will Rottman as he did not make the trip to the islands as he deals with an injury to his lower extremities. 

Hawai’i was led by Todd’s career night as the Punahou alum finished with a match-best 17 kills to set a new career-high mark for himself. OIA product ‘Eleu Choy turned in his second double-digit digs match of the year, finishing with exactly 10 on the night.  

Chakas also finished with double-digit kills, posting 15 through four sets in front of the Rainbow Warriors’ biggest crowd of the season so far. 

Hawai’i (9-1) returns to the floor on Friday for a rematch against Stanford (7-2) with first serve scheduled around 7:00 p.m. HT. Fans are encouraged to wear white as the Rainbow Warriors look to sweep the Cardinal and win for the 11th consecutive time against their MPSF adversaries.