The Bruins were the comeback kings this weekend after clinching a four-set win Sunday to give the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors their first loss of the season.
Although No. 2 UCLA men’s volleyball (8-1) fell to No. 3 Hawai’i (7-1) on Friday, ending the Bruins’ undefeated season, Sunday marked a rematch opportunity for UCLA.
Both teams proved to be formidable offensively, as they each posted hitting percentages over .300.
Three of UCLA’s players hit more than 10 kills, with senior opposite Christian Hessenauer leading with 20. Hawai’i also managed two players with kills in double digits, with opposite Rado Parapunov leading the team at 18.
The Bruins fell to the Rainbow Warriors in the first set by a score of 22-25. UCLA won the following three sets with scores of 25-20, 25-22 and 32-30.
The first set was reminiscent of Friday, when the Bruins lost in four sets. The Rainbow Warriors took a 21-17 lead after a series of five kills. This lead pushed Hawai’i to take the opening set.
In set two, the Bruins created distance from the Rainbow errors by hitting .400. This marked a significant improvement from the first set when they hit .143.
UCLA edged out Hawai’i with a service ace by junior outside hitter Dylan Missry to push the Bruins up to a 16-12 lead. UCLA utilized that momentum to secure the set victory.
The beginning of the third set was defined by errors from both side as two service errors and two attack errors marked the first plays of the set.
UCLA had 17 service errors and 13 attack errors while Hawai’i was held accountable for 18 service errors and 23 attack errors by the end of the match.
The Bruins took the third set 25-22 through a combination of kills from UCLA and attack errors from Hawai’i. Two attack errors by Parapunov secured the Bruin victory.
UCLA and Hawai’i were tied 13 times in the fourth set.
The Bruins were finally able to get an edge up when junior opposite setter Micah Ma’a jumped into the audience to clinch the 31st point for the Bruins.
A service ace by Hessenauer clinched the victory for the Bruins at 32-30.
UCLA will head back to Westwood to face Princeton on Thursday.