IRVINE — Both teams featured men in black Saturday night; fitting for a match to the death.
Well, at least one men's volleyball team's season was terminated in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament quarterfinal in front of an overflow crowd of 788 at UC Irvine's Crawford Court.
UCI (19-11), ranked No. 3 in the nation and seeded No. 4 in the eight-team tournament that will guarantee its winner a berth in the NCAA Final Four, made it a dark night for the black-clad Hawaii Warriors (15-13), ranked No. 6 and seeded No. 5.
The Anteaters, who featured an entire coaching staff in black suits with royal blue shirts, survived the first two sets, which could easily be considered a battle of wills, before imposing its will to close out a 28-26, 30-28, 25-21 sweep.
The win, its seventh straight, propels UCI into a semifinal duel with No. 1-ranked and top-seeded USC (21-2) on Thursday at the Galen Center.