Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, October 18, 1999

W A H I N E _ V O L L E Y B A L L

Wahine look forward
to playing Stanford

Bows take broom to SMU

By Cindy Luis


It's rather like waiting for Christmas. Oh, those last few days when there's this big, glittery package under the tree ... the anticipation just continues to build.

That's how the Hawaii women's volleyball team is feeling this week. No. 7 Stanford comes in for a visit next Sunday. The Wahine can't wait.

"It's going to be a long week,'' said Hawaii senior blocker Heather Bown. "We've got UTEP first (on Thursday) so we have to think about them first.

"We're still a little fatigued from the road and we're trying to catch up with school work. Between the time change and midterms, it's been mentally and physically draining.''

Hawaii wasn't particularly sharp Saturday night but it was more than enough to sweep SMU, 15-12, 15-3, 15-5 in 90 minutes. The Wahine (16-0, 5-0 WAC) ran their home winning streak at the Stan Sheriff Center to 31 and remained just one of two undefeated teams in the country, along with No. 19 Northern Iowa.

(Colorado State's perfect season came to an end Saturday night after 17 victories at the hands of UNLV, 3-1, in a Mountain West match).

Leading Hawaii Saturday night was Bown, who was the only Wahine in double-kill figures with 17. Bown hit .640 for the night on 25 attempts, and didn't have a hitting error until early in Game 3, on her 21st swing.

The Mustangs (12-9, 1-1) had no one who could - literally - touch Bown. The tallest SMU player is 6-feet to Bown's 6-3.

"She's hard to stop,'' said SMU coach Lisa Seifert. "Actually, all of Hawaii's attackers are very capable. We just couldn't shut down the slide (step-out play).

"But we did compete better than we did when we came here in 1997 with a freshman and four sophomores. We looked horrible (in losing 15-0, 15-5, 15-11). Tonight, we weren't intimidated.''

Senior hitter Erin Pryor led the Mustangs with 11 kills, hitting .455 with just one error. Junior hitter Kelly Klecka also had 11 kills for SMU, which is in its fourth year of collegiate volleyball.

Wahine sophomore Tanja Nikolic came into the match in Game 3 and had a nice first rotation through the front row. The 6-foot transfer from Oregon was in on three consecutive blocks as Hawaii took control at 8-3 in Game 3.

"I'm glad I had the opportunity to play tonight and I hope I can help the team much more,'' said Nikolic, who finished with 2 kills, 5 digs and 3 blocks. "I am looking forward to Stanford. I played against them last year. I think everyone on our team will be very excited to play them.'

"The difference between the Pac-10 (Stanford and Oregon's conference) and the WAC is, in the Pac-10, all the teams are very good. The WAC seems much easier ... or maybe we're just that much better than the other teams.''

"We have some work to do to prepare for Stanford,'' said Shoji. "I'm not sure if can simulate in practice what we'll see in the match. They're so big. We may have to put our players against each other in practice to practice against a big block.''

It will be a long, hard week for Stanford. The Cardinal (14-2, 8-1) put their 35-match home winning streak on the line tomorrow against No. 3 Pacific then will have their 51-match Pac-10 home win skein tested Friday by Cal.

Saturday's victory gave Shoji career win No. 697. He is seeking to become just the sixth women's college coach to notch 700 victories.

’Bows take broom to SMU

Wahine beat Southern Methodist 15-12, 15-3, 15-5

From Sat. evening Breaking News

By Cindy Luis


Start slow. Finish fast.

That seems to have become the routine for the No. 2 Hawaii women's volleyball team. But winning has also become the routine for the Wahine, as they remained undefeated tonight with a 15-12, 15-3, 15-5 victory over WAC opponent SMU.

Hawaii (16-0, 5-0 WAC) is now one of two unbeaten teams left in the country. Tonight, UNLV _ coached by former Wahine great Deitre Collins _ knocked off previously undefeated Colorado State, 3-1, in a Mountain West match.

"Everyone keeps asking me, 'Why do you have such a slow start?'" Bown said after Hawaii won its 31st consecutive match at the Stan Sheriff Center. "I don't know. If our passing is off, then we have some problems.

"But once we settle down, things are OK.''

Bown was more than 'OK' last night. She was nearly untouchable for the 90-minute match.

The 6-foot-3 senior finished with a match-high17 kills with one error on 25 swings, hitting .640. Going into Game 3, Bown was hitting .789 with 15 kills; her only error of the night came on her 21st attempt, early in Game 3.

"Heather is hitting much more intelligently,'' said Hawaii coach Dave Shoji, notching career win No. 697. "Plus she was getting more hittable sets, which is what we need are setters to do in getting the ball to her.''

A crowd of 6,365 (7,684 tickets issued) saw the Wahine struggled in Game 1. Their 10-6 lead turned into an 11-10 deficit as the Mustangs put together a 5-0 run behind the serving of Mariah Ohlsen.

Hawaii took control with four straight points in finishing off SMU with a 5-1 run. The Wahine rolled out to an 11-0 lead in Game 2 and the Mustangs never regrouped in falling to 12-9, 1-1.

"When they pushed us in Game 1, it's an awakening for us,'' added Bown. "Sure, the coaches vote us No. 2 but we have to earn it. People aren't going to give us the game just because we're the second-ranked team in the country.

"We have to have some pride and go hard all the time. If we don't, if we don't play well, we're going to be in trouble.'' Next up for Hawaii is WAC opponent UTEP on Thursday. The Wahine will host No. 6 Stanford next Sunday, Oct. 24, a team they have not defeated since 1991.

For the Mustangs, Erin Pryor and Kelly Klecka both put down 11 kills. "The most difficult thing for us is gaining any respect,'' said SMU coach Lisa Seifert. "We're a young program. We've only been around since1996. "I'm happy with certain parts of our game, but against the No. 2 team in the country, you can't have breakdowns. In Game 1, we passed extremely well and gave our offense a chance. But it wasn't enough.''


Through Oct. 17

		W	L	Pct.	GB 	Overall
Hawaii		5	0	1.000	--	16-0
San Jose St	4	0	1.000		18-1
UTEP		3	2	.600	2	5-13
Fresno St	2	2	.500	2	8-9
SMU		1	1	.500	2	12-9
Tulsa		2	4	.333	3	8-9
TCU		0	3	.000	4	6-12
Rice		0 	5	.000	5	8-14

Friday's results

Fresno State def. Rice, 15-4, 15-10, 4-15, 15-3

San Jose State def. Tulsa, 15-6, 15-11, 15-4

Saturday's results

Hawaii def. SMU, 15-12, 15-3, 15-5

Fresno State def. Tulsa, 15-6, 15-11, 15-4

UTEP def. TCU, 15-13, 15-7, 15-13

San Jose State def. Rice, 15-12, 15-12, 15-5

Yesterday's result

Texas Tech def. TCU, 15-6, 15-6, 15-5

This week's matches


California at San Jose State


UTEP at Hawaii, 7 p.m, Stan Sheriff Center

Sam Houston State at Rice


Fresno State at SMU

San Jose State at TCU


San Jose State at SMU

Fresno State at TCU

Tulsa at Rice


Stanford at Hawaii, 5 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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