Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, October 27, 2001



Nevada has last chance
this season to end streak

By Grace Wen

Volleyball isn't a timed sport, but the clock is ticking for teams in the Western Athletic Conference.

With half the matches in conference play over, time is running out for a WAC team to challenge Hawaii's dominance.

Supposedly more vulnerable this year, UH hasn't missed a beat in the WAC. The Wahine have won 46 straight conference matches.

Hawaii has defeated all the teams in the East Division and two West Division foes en route to winning 12 matches in a row.

But the Wahine have one more opponent with a chance to break the streak.

Hawaii meets Nevada today at 7 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Wahine play Boise State tomorrow at 5 p.m.

Wahine vs. Nevada

When: Today at 7 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
TV: KFVE, Ch. 5
Radio: Live, KCCN 1420-AM
Tomorrow: Boise Stateat 5 p.m.

Hawaii hasn't lost in the WAC in nearly three years, but Nevada poses a legitimate threat.

The Wolfpack are second in the West with a 7-2 conference record and they've proved capable of upsetting ranked teams. Nevada swept No. 15 Pacific earlier this season for coach Devin Scruggs' first win in five tries against her alma mater.

Nevada's two conference losses were to San Jose State and Fresno State. But the Wolfpack avenged the loss to the Bulldogs last week with a four-game win at Virginia Street Gym. Nevada is 9-0 at home but 3-3 on the road, including a four-game loss to Cal State Sacramento on Tuesday.

Hawaii coach Dave Shoji says the Wolfpack have to be more upset-minded, because a win against UH could help their chances to reach the NCAA tournament.

But Nevada has a tall order ahead trying to stop Kim Willoughby. The sophomore leads the nation in kills per game at 6.91, a full kill ahead of anyone else. In conference matches she has destroyed opponents, hitting .435 and averaging 7.71 kills.

And the unbeaten Wahine may get tougher as they spread the attack around. Hawaii found more balance in last Saturday's match against Fresno State.

"I've been very consistent throughout the season," Willoughby said.

"Going into the Fresno game, we just looked at how we played. We had a great all-around game. From now on there's going to be a lot more team stuff. We found that spreading the offense is a lot better. ... We just have a great all-around team."

And so does Nevada, with three players ranked among the conference's top nine in hitting.

Middle blocker Michelle More (.318, 3.81 kills), Kellie LaBossiere (.314, 2.36 kpg) and Suzanne Stonebarger (.281, 2.90 kills) have helped the Wolfpack to second in attack percentage behind Hawaii.

Note: Boise State will not play Nittaidai at 5 p.m. as originally scheduled.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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