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Star-Bulletin Sports


Thursday, October 4, 2001


[ WAHINE VOLLEYBALL ]



UH


Wahine make
quick getaway


Staff and wire reports

HOUSTON >> Hawaii coach Dave Shoji was concerned that the University of Houston would have a breakthrough performance against his Wahine volleyball team last night.

He needn't have worried.

It took Hawaii less than 90 minutes -- a quick match by rally scoring standard -- to dismantle the Cougars at Hofheinz Pavilion, 30-22, 30-18, 30-10. The 13th-ranked Wahine (8-4 overall) won their fifth match in a row while the Cougars fell to 5-8.

"We played really well," Shoji said. "Just overall, we executed pretty well. We played pretty much errorless ball and we blocked much better tonight. It might have been our best blocking night (this season)."

The Wahine, who had 12 team blocks to the Cougars' five, were hoping for a quick exit so they could catch Barry Bond's possible record-tying performance at nearby Enron Field. Shoji said it was an incentive for the team who watched Bonds and the San Francisco Giants play last night against the Houston Astros.

Everything clicked for the Wahine who played their entire bench. Hawaii attackers were virtually unstoppable and hammering balls at will, hitting .376 to Houston's negative .018.

Sophomore Kim Willoughby turned in another double-double performance with 24 kills and 13 digs.

The Wahine found offensive production from their middles as well with Lauren Duggins turning in a solid all-around performance (12 kills, 9 digs, .526). Nohea Tano had four kills in five attempts and added four blocks while freshman Melody Eckmier put up a nearly impenetrable wall with five blocks in Game 3.

Jennifer Wittenburg, the Cougars' leading attacker at 5.67 kills per game, was held to just four kills and a -.067 hitting percentage in playing in Games 1 and 3.

After a sluggish start in Game 1, where Houston matched Hawaii almost point for point until 17-15, the Wahine pulled away when Willoughby blocked a Cougar attack and Duggins put down one of her 12 kills. Duggin's kill keyed an 11-7 run that closed out the game.

Game 2 started out much like Game 1, with neither team holding more than a three-point advantage. Hawaii jumped out to the early 6-3 lead but Houston responded with a 4-2 run to pull within one.

The Cougars, however, seemed to tire down the stretch as the Wahine rattled off points in bunches including runs of 5-1 and 6-1 to take a commanding 24-14 lead.

The Wahine quickly pounced on Houston in Game 3, opening with a 7-1 lead. Maja Gustin's kill made it 14-5 and Hawaii held Houston to just five points the rest of the way. Duggins was the last Hawaii server, firing off the final six points before a Willoughby attack error gave Houston a sideout. But Willoughby made up for the mistake by blasting the match winner on the next play.

The outside hitter also blasted the game winner in each of the first two games.

Hawaii (1-0 Western Athletic Conference) was to face Rice (8-4, 1-1) today at 2 p.m. HST. The Wahine play Tulsa (3-6, 0-3) on Saturday at 2 p.m. HST before coming home on Sunday.

"We have a challenge with Rice," Shoji said. "They're much improved over last year.

"(But) we've matured a lot. We played two good matches on the road and it's just a matter of trying to stay focused for tomorrow night."

Hawaii def. Houston, 30-22, 30-18, 30-10

WAHINE (8-4)


g k e att pct. bs ba d
Vakasausau 3 0 1 1 -1.000 0 1 9
Nikolic 3 6 2 15 .267 0 5 0
Willoughby 3 24 6 49 .367 0 2 13
Tano 2 4 0 5 .800 0 4 2
Ilustre 3 0 0 1 .000 0 0 5
Duggins 3 12 2 19 .526 0 2 9
Carey 3 3 0 4 .750 0 2 5
Eckmier 1 1 1 4 .000 0 5 0
Gustin 3 7 1 19 .316 1 1 7
Villaroman 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 3
Totals 3 57 13 117 .376 1 22 53

Cougars (5-8)


g k e att pct. bs ba d
Sellen 3 1 1 4 .000 0 0 0
Wittenburg 2 4 5 15 -.067 1 0 5
Baggett 3 4 4 18 .000 0 1 2
Tanneberger 3 5 2 21 .143 0 2 6
Dews 3 2 1 5 .200 0 0 0
Karasek 3 6 7 28 -.036 2 1 8
Meusborn 2 0 2 2 -1.000 0 0 5
Carbone 3 2 3 13 -.077 0 0 8
Vasconcellos 3 0 0 1 .000 0 0 0
Prince 3 0 1 3 -.333 0 0 4
Totals 3 24 26 110 -.018 3 4 38

Key--g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct.: hitting percentage; bs: block solos; ba: block assists; d: digs.

Aces--Hawaii (4): Gustin 2, Carey, Villaroman. Houston: none.

Assists--Hawaii (53): Vakasausau 44, Carey 4, Willoughby 2, Ilustre, Nikolic, Villaroman.

Houston (22): Sellen 17, Vasconcellos 4, Wittenburg.

T--2:27. Officials--Michael Denardo, Debbie Stanford.



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