UH sweeps UC Irvine, sets up rematch with Long Beach

Rado Parapunov had 12 kills, four blocks and two aces as the top-ranked University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team swept past UC Irvine in the semifinals of the Big West Conference tournament Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

King Kekaulike High School graduate Colton Cowell and Stijn van Tilburg each added nine kills in the Rainbow Warriors’ 25-17, 25-16, 25-18 victory.

UH (26-2), the tournament’s No. 2 seed, takes on top-seeded and second-ranked Long Beach State in the tournament championship match tonight. The Beach handed the Rainbow Warriors a pair of five-set losses last week in Long Beach, Calif., for UH’s lone defeats of the season.

Cowell finished Friday’s match with five digs and four blocks, including one solo. He hit .412, and the Rainbow Warriors hit .441 as a team.

Joe Worsley added 29 assists for Hawaii.

Karl Apfelbach led the ninth-ranked Anteaters (18-11) with 12 kills.