Star-Bulletin Sports


Saturday, October 30, 1999


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




Shoji one away
from his 700th win

The No. 3 women's volleybal
l team wins at San Jose State,
but it was 'pretty shaky'

Staff and wire reports

Tapa

SAN JOSE, Calif. - If the other 698 wins had been like this, Dave Shoji might not have stuck around long enough to go for No. 700. But, after 24-plus seasons, the Hawaii women's volleyball coach knows that every victory is not going to be easy.

Last night's certainly wasn't, as the third-ranked Wahine overcame a slow start to defeat San Jose State, 15-12, 15-9, 13-15, 15-7, after 2 hours and 12 minutes. Hawaii (18-1, 7-0 WAC) continues its road trip today at Fresno State ( 11-9, 5-2) at 4 p.m. HST.

"It was pretty shaky,'' said Shoji, after watching his team rebound from its first loss of the season. "Our team really pulled together and we got some pretty clutch performances when things looked like they could get away from us.''

Shoji pointed to sophomore blocker Tanja Nikolic, freshman hitter Lily Kahumoku and freshman defensive specialist Margaret Vakasausau as three key players who helped the Wahine through some rocky points of the match.

For the second consecutive match, Nikolic started in place of sophomore Veronica Lima, who was still weak from last week's bout with stomach flu. The transfer from Oregon responded with a double-double of 17 digs and 13 block assists, while hitting .400.

Kahumoku, slowed by back problems, came off the bench for 17 kills and hit .552. Vakasausau was credited with only seven digs, a number that didn't match Hawaii's stat sheet nor the value Shoji placed on the University Lab School product.

"Margaret just played great defense,'' he said. "She even blocked a ball (that the SJSU statisticians miscredited). She just won't let any ball touch the ground out there.

"Tanja did a nice job in just her second start and stayed in the whole match. As for Lily, we didn't expect to play her as much because of her back but she came through with a real gutty performance.''

Hawaii, the leading blocking team in the country, needed every one of its 29 blocks to turn back the upset-minded Spartans (19-4, 5-2). San Jose State jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead in Game 1, the same margin Hawaii led Stanford by last Sunday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Six days ago, the Cardinal rallied to win Game 1 as well as the match. Shoji said he flashed back to Stanford.

"It did cross my mind,'' he said. "But my thought was, if we just started playing better, I knew we'd dig ourselves out. We pretty much gave them those seven points and, if they had been earning then, then I would have felt we were in deep trouble.

"Our block really saved us tonight when our offense was sputtering. And (Heather ) Bown had a huge match.''

The 6-foot-3 Bown, the national block leader, was in on 16 stuffs to go along with her team-high 19 kills. Also finishing with a double-double performance was Jessica Sudduth (16 kills, 10 digs).

Two of Hawaii's eight aces came in the opening minutes of Game 4 as the Wahine jumped ahead, 9-1. The Spartans rallied to within 9-6 only to see Hawaii beat them for the 13th consecutive time with a 6-1 run.

"It was what you might expect when you hit the road after a loss,'' said Shoji.

"As for tomorrow, it's going to be a tough match, a hard-fought game. If we win, then we'll celebrate No. 700.''

Tapa

Hawaii def. San Jose State,
15-12, 15-9, 13-15, 15-7

Wahine (18-1, 7-0 WAC)

		g	k	e	att	pct.	bs	ba	d
Nikolic		4	7	1	15	.400	0	13	17
Carey		4	4	1	8	.375	0	8	12
Sudduth		4	16	11	58	.086	0	6	10
Bown		4	19	5	42	.333	2	14	8
Roberts		4	9	6	21	.143	0	9	4
Ilustre		4	0	4	8	-.500	0	0	8
Vakasausau	4	0	0	0	.000	0	0	7
Kahumoku	4	17	1	29	.552	0	4	3
Lee		4	0	0	1	.000	0	0	4
	Totals	4	72	29	182	.236	2	54	73
Spartans (19-4, 5-2 WAC)

		g	k	e	att	pct.	bs	ba	d
Blair		4	13	12	45	.022	0	1	11
Pascucci	4	21	8	44	.295	0	3	6
Lukens		4	7	11	47	-.085	0	3	8
Sarkees		4	4	1	6	.500	0	0	7
Smith		4	0	0	1	.000	0	5	13
Gallop		4	29	5	63	.381	2	6	12
Haldi		1	0	0	1	.000	0	0	3
Powers		1	0	0	0	.000	0	0	0
Brazil		1	0	0	0	.000	0	0	1
Fernandez	4	0	0	1	.000	0	0	8
	Totals	4	74	37	208	.178	2	18	69
Key--g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct.: hitting percentage; bs: block solos; ba: block assists; d: digs.

Aces--UH (8): Nikolic 2, Carey 2, Vakasausau 2, Bown 1, Kahumoku 1. SJSU (8): Lukens 4, Smith 2, Blair 1, Gallop 1. Assists--UH (70): Carey 60, Vakasausau 5, Sudduth 2, Roberts 1, Ilustre 1, Kahumoku 1. SJSU (70): Sarkees 61, Lukens 4, Blair 2, Smith 1, Gallop 1, Haldi 1, Fernandez 1.

A--945. T--2:12. Officials--Glen Sapp, Bill Forrester.



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