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UH sweeps CSUN, secures Big West regular-season title

The Maui News

The undefeated University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team swept past Cal State Northridge 25-20, 25-20, 25-21 on Saturday in Northridge, Calif., clinching the program’s first outright conference regular-season championship since 1980.

Rado Parapunov had a match-high 15 kills to lead the top-ranked Rainbow Warriors, who won the Big West Conference regular-season title for the first time and secured the No. 1 seed for the Big West tournament set for April 22-24 at UH’s SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

Guilherme Voss added nine kills and King Kekaulike High School alum Colton Cowell contributed seven kills, four digs, three aces, three blocks and three assists for Hawaii.

UH jumped out to an early 5-2 lead in the first set. Kills by Voss on consecutive plays made it 9-4 but CSUN slowly fought its way back and closed to within 17-16 after scoring four straight. The teams then traded side-outs until Parapunov pounded three straight kills and the Warriors scored the final four points to take the set.

Cowell served up back-to-back aces during a 5-0 run to give UH a 12-8 lead in the second set. The Matadors trimmed the deficit to one after consecutive aces, but the Warriors responded with three straight for an 18-13 advantage and went on to take the set.

The third set was close throughout until Hawaii scored five consecutive points, including three straight CSUN hitting errors, for a 23-18 lead. Jakob Thelle’s kill completed the sweep.

Griffin Walters and Cole Chea each had nine kills to lead the Matadors (1-7, 1-7).

UH wraps up the regular season with a pair of home matches against UC Irvine next Friday and Saturday.

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