They entered with the same No. 8 ranking, went back in forth dividing up the first four sets and then UC Irvine and the University of Hawaii took turns trading points in the decisive game.
The Anteaters won the last three Sunday night, walking away with a 25-20, 17-25, 25-15, 15-25, 18-16 nail-biter in men’s volleyball at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
The fifth set was tied for an 11th time at 16-16 when Jeremy Dejno’s kill denied the Rainbow Warriors (11-8, 9-7 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) the match.
Sinisa Zarkovic led UH with 19 kills on crisp .378 hitting, but his attack error secured the two-match sweep for defending national champion Irvine (13-8, 10-7). Brook Sedore compiled 17 kills as Hawaii hit .293.
Dejno came through with 21 kills for Irvine, while Connor Hughes added 11 on just 24 swings. His biggest kill put Irvine ahead 17-16 in game 5.
Kacy Clemens hit an RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning, and Texas went on to hand Hawaii two losses in Austin, Texas.
After the Longhorns beat UH 3-2 in a game that had been suspended by rain a day earlier, they used four pitchers in a 4-1 victory.
Scott Kuzminsky (1-2) started for Hawaii (7-9) but failed to get an out in the third inning. Jordan Richartz drove in a run with a single in the third.
C.J. Hinojosa was 3 for 4 with two RBIs for Texas (13-4).
James Madison’s Heather Kiefer threw a five-hit shutout to send UH to a 6-0 defeat at the Jack in the Box Spring Fling Tournament.
Loie Kesterson (5-3) allowed eight hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings for UH (11-10).
Jailyn Ford hit two home runs for the Dukes (14-8).
Zoe Respondek and Emily Carr each scored two goals, but No. 13 Hawaii’s five-match winning streak ended in a 9-6 loss to No. 9 Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles.
The Wahine fell to 11-5 heading into their March 21 home opener.