Thursday, February 8, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, February 8, 2001

UH often spiking self in own foot

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

The search for the villain ended at the University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team’s mirror.

"The worst enemy," UH outside hitter Costas Theocharidis, "is ourselves."

That was apparent last week, when the Warriors swept UC Santa Barbara and then, two nights later, lost the rematch in four games. They had trouble serving, passing, setting and hitting — "the basic skills," middle blocker Brenton Davis said.

In preparation for tonight’s Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match against Cal State Northridge, the Warriors have worked extensively on fundamentals and intensity. Not only do this week’s matches count in the MPSF standings — the rematch is Saturday night — but the Warriors then go on the road for two matches next week.

"We have to take care of business," Davis said.

UH coach Mike Wilton said he hopes the Warriors learn from last week’s belly-flop. None of his warnings about UC Santa Barbara was heeded.

"There was nothing I could do or say (after the first match) that was going to convince them that Santa Barbara was any good," Wilton said. "They operated on what they saw. You know that old saying, Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me’? We were fooled once."

Northridge offers an imposing two-man punch. Sixty percent of the Matadors’ sets go to 6-foot-10 opposite Eckhard Walter and 6-6 left-side hitter Joe Nargl. The middle receives 2.5 sets per game.

The left-rocketed Walter offers two poisons. He does not need high serves to launch lasers from the outside. Also, he is a powerful server, averaging an ace per game.

Wilton said the Warriors must aggressively block the outside, but not commit too early on blocks. This year, several opponents have countered UH’s aggressive blocks with tips and push shots.

Most of all, Theocharidis said, "We have to play well, you know. Hopefully we’re going to be more mentally prepared. (Against UCSB) we kind of self-destructed. We thought we would have a real easy job."

Said setter Kimo Tuyay: "Sometimes, we make mistakes when we really can’t afford those mistakes. We need to forget those mistakes and move on."

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