Thursday, January 18, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 18, 2001

Hawai'i routs Penn State after slow start

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

The University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team went deep into the night before finally putting away Penn State, 24-30, 30-17, 30-22, 30-21, in the first round of the Outrigger Hotels Invitational.

Most of the crowd of 3,283 was on the H-1 when Penn State setter Jose Quinones’ serve landed long at 10:41 p.m.

Because of the length of the first match — UCLA beat Laval in five games — the UH-Penn State match did not begin until 1 hour, 11 minutes past the the scheduled 7:30 p.m. starting time. The introductions alone took 5 minutes, 5 seconds.

The Warriors also started slowly, struggling against the Nittany Lions’ towering block and self-destructing with service errors. They had seven service errors in the first game and five early ones in the second game.

But then, spurred by Eyal Zimet, the Warriors went to work.

"Instead of trying not to make a mistake (on serves), we decided to be aggressive," Zimet said.

In the second game, the Warriors scored 10 consecutive points to turn a 17-13 lead into a rout. Zimet was the server on nine of those points.

The tough serves forced the Nittany Lions to scramble to start their offense. For the match, Penn State made 30 hitting errors and finished with a .194 hitting percentage.

Meanwhile, the Warriors powered their way to a .443 hitting percentage. They made only 11 hitting errors in 106 swings.

Two ailing outside hitters — Torry Tukuafu and Costas Theocharidis — led the Warriors. Tukuafu, who discarded his girdle, withstood back pain to put down 16 kills. He hit .344.

Theocharidis added 14 kills before leaving with UH ahead, 15-7, in the fourth game. He was playing with a tendinitis in his right elbow, biceps, shoulder and fill-in-the-blank.

"I was sore," he said, "but I wanted to play. This was a good win for us."

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