No. 1 Hawaii bounces back from slow start to beat No. 6 Ball State

Jan. 14—Dimitrios Mouchlias made up for a rough start from the service line by firing a career-high six aces and the top-ranked University of Hawaii men's volleyball team completed a series sweep of No. 6 Ball State with a four-set victory tonight at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

UH outside hitter Spyros Chakas put away a match-high 22 kills, Mouchlias added 13 and Chaz Galloway finished with 12 and the Rainbow Warriors (2-0) rebounded from an error-plagued opening set in the 23-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-18 win before a crowd of 6,148.

Libero Brett Sheward set a career high with 17 digs and UH hit .439 while holding Ball State to .295 and overcame 23 service errors to win its 11th straight dating back to last season.

UH libero 'Eleu Choy and outside hitter Makua Marumoto shared the honors of unfurling the 2022 national championship banner from the catwalk above the court prior to the introduction of the starting lineups.

Ball State wasted no time in dousing the festivities by scoring the first three points of the match and sending back three blocks to take a 6-3 lead. The Cardinals opened up a 12-6 lead on an ace down the line by Felix Egharevba. UH challenged the call, but it was upheld.

>> PHOTOS: Hawaii vs. Ball State

The Warriors, who pride themselves on efficiency from the service line, struggled to keep the ball in play and committed nine service errors in the set. Even so, they chipped away and closed to within a point on six occasions, the last time at 24-23 on Cole Hogland's ace to fend off Ball State's second set point. But his next serve landed long to give the Cardinals the set.

The Warriors took their first lead of the match at 3-2 in the second set when Chakas converted a Sheward dig into a kill. UH got a glimmer of separation at 18-15 when Chakas put down an overpass of Jakob Thelle's serve and the Warriors evened the match when Ball State was called for a net violation on set point.

Mouchlias had four service errors through two sets, but made up for it with four aces in the third. His first ace gave UH a 9-4 lead and prompted a Ball State timeout. After Hogland and Galloway blocked Kaleb Jenness, Mouchlias pulled the string to drop his second ace into the middle of the court and cap a 6-0 UH run. He fired back-to-back aces on his next service turn to tie his career high in the third set alone and the Warriors took a 2-1 lead in the match.

Mouchlias maintained his hot hand from the service line with two more aces in the fourth set, the second giving UH a 16-12 lead. Hogland's solo block on Jenness gave UH match point and Ball State's 16th service error ended the night.

Jenness led Ball State with 15 kills with eight errors in 37 attacks. Punahou graduate Keau Thompson had five kills in eight swings.