Star-Bulletin Sports


Tuesday, November 16, 1999


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




Wahine a
step closer to
WAC crown

Hawaii will have to beat Rice
and San Jose State to finish
the regular season unbeaten
and win the conference title

From staff and wire reports

Tapa

EL PASO -- A popular dance here is called the Texas two-step.

And now there is the Texas three-step.

The University of Hawaii women's volleyball team drew a step closer to a perfect conference season yesterday, sweeping Texas-El Paso, 15-1, 15-7, 15-10, in 71 minutes. The third-ranked Wahine successfully completed a three-match swing through Texas with their third win in four days, clinching a share of the Western Athletic Conference title as well.

Hawaii (23-1, 12-0) has two WAC matches remaining, and will host Rice on Thursday and San Jose State next Tuesday. The only way the Wahine would not own the title outright is if they were to lose their last two games and San Jose State win their remaining three.

UH coach Dave Shoji said his team will be back in the gym tomorrow to prevent the letdown and to refocus on the final regular-season matches.

"It's hard, being on the road like this, and playing three games in four days,'' he said. "We need to get back in the practice gym and pick up our intensity.

"Tonight, Game 1 went pretty well, but I'm disappointed that we let them make a run at us in both Games 2 and 3. When you win 15-1, it's hard to keep the intensity. You lose interest.

"We talked about staying focused but doing it is another thing.''

The Wahine got bored 20 minutes into the match after taking an 11-1 lead in Game 2. They also ran into a tricky jump serve from UTEP senior hitter Catherine Porter, who had two aces during a 6-0 run.

At 11-7, Hawaii reeled off four straight points on the serve by senior Heidi Ilustre to finish off the game. Porter's serve again bothered the Wahine, who fell behind in Game 3, 5-0.

Hawaii appeared to take a comfortable lead at 12-8 but the 5-foot-8 Porter put down two of her team-high 11 kills to bring the Miners to within 12-11. Jennifer Roberts served for the Wahine's final four points, with Heather Bown slamming back an overpass to end it.

Bown was the only Wahine in double kill figures with 13. Hawaii hit .322 as a team, including a phenomenal .625 in Game 1.

It was the ninth consecutive loss for the Miners (5-22, 3-11).

"What continues to bug us is when we get into a lull,'' said Shoji. "Our concentration has not been good at times.

"But give UTEP some credit. They hit high and hard, and that's what they needed to do to make those runs. Volleyball is a game of runs. Thankfully, our runs were longer than theirs.''

In the national polls released yesterday, Hawaii remained No. 3 in both the AVCA Coaches Top 25 and Volleyball magazine. The only change among the top 10 was UCLA and Long Beach State trading spots; the Bruins moved to No. 6 while the 49ers slipped to No. 7 following their 3-1 loss to fifth-ranked Pacific last Saturday.

The win by UOP gave the Tigers the Big West's Western Division title. It also snapped Long Beach State's home winning streak at 57.

Tapa

WAC

Through Nov. 15

	 	W	 L	Pct.	GB 	Overall
Hawaii		12	0	 1.000	--	23-1
San Jose St	9	2	 .818	2	23-4
SMU		7	3	 .700	4 	18-11
Fresno St	8	4	 .667	4	14-11
TCU		3	7	 .300	8	 9-17
UTEP		3	11	 .214	9	 5-22
Rice		2	9	 .181	9	11-20
Tulsa		2	10	 .167	10	 8-16
Yesterday's result

Hawaii def. UTEP, 15-1, 15-7, 15-10

4 p.m. HST

Today's match

San Jose State at St. Mary's

Thursday's matches

Rice at Hawaii, 7 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center
SMU at Fresno State



Hawaii def. Texas-El Paso,
15-1, 15-7, 15-10

Wahine (23-1, 12-0 WAC)

		g	k	e	att	pct.	bs	ba	d
Vakasausau	2	0	0	0	.000	0	0	2
Carey		3	1	0	3	.333	0	5	5
Sudduth		3	4	4	18	.000	0	4	9
Bown		3	13  	4  	23	.391	0	7	4
Lima		3	7	2	13 	.385	0	5	9
Roberts		3	8	3	14	.357	0	2	2
Kahumoku	3	6	0	16	.375	0	1	3
Lee		1	0	0	0	.000	0	0	2
Ilustre		3	3	0	3	1.00	0	0	9
	Totals	3	42	13	90	.322	0	24	45
Miners (5-22, 3-11 WAC)

		g	k	e	att	pct.	bs	ba	d
Porter		3	11	6	31	.161	0	0	5
Davis		1   	0	0	0	.000	0	0	0
Zimmerman	3	5	10	30	-.167	0	2	1
Mosher		3	8	4	27	.148	0	1	1
Nosan		3	2	3	12	-.083	1	2	3
Gronert		3	2	0	3	.667	0	1	5
McMillan	2	0	0	0	.000	0	0	1
Polhamus	3	2	4	7	-.286	0	2	1
Marquell	2	0	0	3	.000	0	0	11
	Totals	3	30	27	113	.027	1	8	28
Key--g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct.: hitting percentage; bs: block solos; ba: block assists; d: digs.

Aces--UH (2): Bown 1, Roberts 1. UTEP (3): Porter 2, Gronert 1. Assists--UH (35): Carey 30, Sudduth 2, Roberts 2, Ilustre 1. UTEP (26): Gronert 26.

T-1:11. Officials: Charles Miller, Tom Given.



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