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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 31, 2002

Volleyball Warriors sweep No. 2 Stanford

Advertiser Staff

STANFORD, Calif. —With stone-cold efficiency, the University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team again rocked second-ranked Stanford, this time winning, 33-31, 30-25, 30-28.

Vernon Podlewski handled Stanford's jump serves last night.

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The fourth-ranked Warriors, who won Tuesday's match between the teams in five games, left the hosts in a Cardinal-tinted daze to improve to 5-2 overall and 2-0 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Stanford fell to 5-3 and 4-3.

The Warriors play at Pacific tomorrow and Saturday.

For the Warriors, Tuesday night's problems — serving and passing — were last night's strengths. The Warriors repeatedly tried to serve to freshman libero David Vogel, who struggled to start the Cardinal's offense. Vogel played in place of Seth Ring, who suffered a dislocated left shoulder in Tuesday night's match. Ring is the younger brother of former Warrior Jason Ring.

Meanwhile, UH libero Vernon Podlewski, who has had problems passing in recent matches, cleanly handled the Cardinal's jump serves. Setter Kimo Tuyay was able to parlay Podlewski's passes into smooth sets to outside hitters Costas Theocharidis and Jose Delgado.

"A setter can only do so much," UH coach Mike Wilton said. "It's like being a quarterback in football. If you have a Swiss-cheese line, you're going to have problems. We were passing nicely to Kimo, and he did a good job of setting the ball."

Wilton had considered benching Podlewski, but decided during a team shopping trip that "I needed to go back to Vernon. He did a good job."

So, too, did middle blockers Brian Nordberg, who played his first complete match of the season, and Dejan Miladinovic, who dominated the net. After Miladinovic scored on consecutive solo blocks in the third game, the Cardinal rarely hit toward the middle again.

The Warriors also answered most of Stanford's challenges.

"Sometimes, I think some of our guys don't handle success very well," Wilton said. "They forget the mindset that got them the lead. They relax. I tried to tell them, 'Remember how you got the lead and keep playing that way.' Tonight, they did that."