No.2 ranked Hawaii triumphs over No.14 ranked CSUN in this Big West Showdown
In this Big West Showdown we find No.2 ranked Hawaii visiting Northridge to take on No.14 ranked CSUN. Hawaii visits the Matadors with an impressive season record of 18-2, 1-1 in Big West Conference play and coming off a series split against Long Beach State. The Rainbow Warriors look to reclaim that number 1 spot in the Men’s National Division I-II coaches poll rankings against Northridge. As for CSUN, they’re 12-7, 1-1 in Big West play and coming off a series win against Daemen University and are now set to take on Hawaii in hopes to go up in the rankings with a win against the Rainbow warriors in this first of two-weekend series.
It was a back-and-forth first set where CSUN and Hawaii battled it out to claim the decisive first set. Hawaii opened the set with Guilherme Vows grabbing a kill to start it off while Kyle Hobus of CSUN grabbed a point back for CSUN which would prove to be the rest of the story for the first set when Hawaii won the first set with a score of 25-22. Hawaii led the way with 14 kills and 25 attack attempts with Chaz Calloway leading the charge with 4 kills and Spyros Chakos with 4 as well.
Onto the second set, it was Hawaii leading the way in the early part of the second set with the Matadors just trailing behind every so often getting close. The set did find itself tied 7-7 when Kyle Hobus committed a kill. But it was Dimitri Mouchlias and Chaz Galloway who not only broke the tie but also increased a wide margin to help Hawaii in their efforts to help their team claim the critical second set to a score of 25-14. Hawaii had 15 kills to go along with 2 blocks to help claim the second set while CSUN only had all but one block with 10 kills to only produce 14 points.
In the third set to start off CSUN handed Hawaii a point when it was Kyle Hobus who committed an attacking error which was blocked by Chakas and Voss of Hawaii. Throughout the beginning, to the middle half of the third set, CSUN was never consistent and had 6 attack errors and 4 service errors never giving themselves too many chances to capitalize off attacks and blocks. But in the third CSUN was able to get it to a 5-point deficit while capitalizing off sole blocks and kills mainly led by Malcolm King and Griffin Walter. Hawaii would go on to win the third and final set against CSUN with a score of 25-18.
In the end, CSUN was never in contention in the game to compete with the 2nd ranked university, Hawaii, and lost in 3 sets to none against the Rainbow Warriors. Chaz Galloway was the star of the night for Hawaii being involved in 20 total attacks and 12 kills while only committing 2 errors in the three sets. Along with having a superb performance with Galloway was Dimtrios Mouchilas who was in 15 total attacks and helped his team earn 11 points. After the game, he explained the keys to success for the victory over CSUN, “We know that CSUN was gonna give their best and they fought hard every game and they tried our best and we won.”
Both Hawaii and CSUN take each other on round 2 on Saturday, March 25th for the second game of the weekend series at Northridge with CSUN looking to avoid twice and Hawaii looking to take both games.