Seventh-ranked UCLA won its fourth straight Outrigger Hotels Invitational after posting a 3-1 victory over 14th-ranked Hawai’i on Saturday night in Honolulu before over 3,500 fans. Scores of the match were 25-19, 14-25, 25-19, 25-16 . UCLA returns home with a 3-1 record on the season.
The Bruins broke open a close battle in set one on a block byTrent Kersten which put UCLA in front 19-15. The visitors led 22-16 after a kill by Gonzalo Quiroga and went on to take the initial set 25-19.
Hawai’i grabbed the early lead in set two at 6-4 and moved out to a 20-10 advantage. Bruin timeouts offered no answers and the host team captured set two by a score of 25-14.
UCLA took a 7-6 lead on a kill by Robart Page in set three. Hawai’i came back to lead before the Bruins managed to even things up at 15 on a kill by Quiroga. Some nice serving from setter Steve O’Dell helped to open up a little cushion for the Bruins. After kills by Page and Jackson Bantle, UCLA owned a 23-19 margin. Kersten’s kill provided set point and a 25-19 win.
In set four, UCLA established an early lead at 6-4 and gradually moved the margin out to 15-10 at the media timeout. The Bruins continued their steady play and led 23-16 after a kill by Page. Spencer Rowe and Quiroga teammed up on a block to end the match at 25-16.
Page, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, led UCLA with 16 kills. Kersten totaled 10 kills, hit .667 and had five blocks. Quiroga added 10 kills and seven digs. Rowe blocked six balls. Ian Sequeira registered nine digs. O'Dell finished with 37 set assists and a couple of aces. Quiroga and O’Dell joined Page on the All-Tournament team
UCLA returns home to begin MPSF play in Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 17 against fourth-ranked Stanford at 3 p.m. The Bruins will host UOP on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. in Pauley. Tickets will be available at the door.