UCLA homejobs itself to the MPSF title thanks to a surfeit of grace by
up ref Ken Taylor. Game scores were 12-15, 15-13, 15-7, and 15-5.
How much slack will Al Scates be cut at home? The answer, it appears,
is as much as it takes for UCLA to keep winning. UCLA jumped out
to an early 4-0 lead in game one due to shaky Hawaii passing. Nihipali
was lukewarm as was Yuval Katz. Hawaii went down 12-8 and finally
began to get some serves in. They ran off seven points to take game one
15-12. Taylor blew a call on a Hawaii ace, ruling it was out when it was
not. Rick Tune was skying high as was Jason Olive.
Hawaii took the lead in game two by forcing bad passes. Kevin Wong
did not start in favor of Brian Wells. After more blistering Rainbow
rockets, UCLA was down 12-8 when Taylor began to earn his paycheck.
Curt Vaughan makes a heroic set on
a transition pass, fully turned, and with great technique. Mishandled
ball. Jason Olive sets a ball in transition well away from the net.
Down ref Oshida calls him into the net. Manute Bol could not have hit
the net from Olive's position. UCLA serves, Nihipali is right back.
Scates is yelling instruction, Nihipali walks up to middle front Stein
Metzger and talks as the ball is served. No call.
Wong came back in for Wells at 11-12 and was left front on serve. He was
practicing his block jump with the ball in the air. With any other
team, instant sideout. Overlooked. In the meantime, UCLA sets in
transition, equally questionable, are not called. UCLA takes game two
Wong started games three and four and, by this time, Hawaii was
sufficiently rattled. The Rainbow players were warned (but not yellow
carded) for talking to the refs. Taylor kept motioning for them not
to talk, the captain excepted. Funny enough that Nygaard, Nihipali,
and company were questioning calls as well and never got chastised.
Sean Scott and Rick Tune kept Hawaii in the match while Katz was up
and down with his game. Mike Wilton subbed in Erik Pichel for setter
Curt Vaughn(egut) at 13-7 UCLA. The final point was pure jungle ball. UCLA
up 14-7, scrambling defense on both sides, one ref calls a UCLA player
for an illegal block (seemed like a good call,) Taylor overrules while
Erik Sullivan clambers on top of a table woofing it up, UCLA 15-7.
Wilton aksed his players not to change sides while he tried to reason
(to no avail) with Taylor.
Game four was more of the same with Hawaii able to do no right either
on passes, sets, or backrow attacks. Never have I seen so many "over"
calls in a single match. Curiously, they all went against
Hawaii. UCLA 15-5.
A fine kettle of fish, indeed. I would love to see the MPSF refs
audited. I would venture to suggest that foreign refs be brought in
for crucial matches since it is clear that "UCLA must not lose" is the
Prime Directive of West Coast volleyball.
If there is any justice, Hawaii will still get to go to Springfield.
--- Ravi Narasimhan
Ravi Narasimhan |"Mandrake! In the name of Her Majesty
Department of Physics, UCLA |and the Continental Congress, get down
Los Angeles, CA 90024 |here and help me with this thing!"