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Sunday, January 19, 2003


[ UH VOLLEYBALL ]



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DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Joshua Stanhiser was blocked by Shanghai Oriental's Cui Xiao Dong last night in the Outrigger Invitational final.




Shanghai too much
for top-ranked Hawaii

The Chinese team rolls to victory
in the Outrigger Invitational

Banner night spurs memory


By Grace Wen
gwen@starbulletin.com

It was a splendid event before the match started.

The smoke came from the upper corner of the Stan Sheriff Center as the Warriors' 2002 national championship banner was unfurled to the delight of the crowd of 6,679, who rose to their feet in applause.

Hawaii coach Mike Wilton congratulated his players before the start of yesterday's championship match of the ninth annual Outrigger Hotels Invitational. That would be all the congratulating Wilton would do.

On the night No. 1 Hawaii saw its white national championship banner for the first time, there was a feeling in the arena that no team in the country was better. It was only fitting that the first team to hand the Warriors a loss this season was from a different country. Shanghai Oriental defeated Hawaii 30-27, 30-19, 30-27 to claim the championship. The team from China finished the tournament with a perfect 12-0 record in games.

The loss does nothing to damage Hawaii's record, as the match was considered an exhibition, but perhaps it was a humbling experience that could keep Hawaii focused for the rest of the season.

"This will be the toughest team we'll play this year," setter Kimo Tuyay said. "It's probably the toughest team I've played against here at Hawaii. We'll learn from this that we need to work harder and strive to be just as good as them."

Shanghai ran circles around Hawaii. The Chinese ran combination plays that were a split second quicker than anything the Warriors had seen. Shanghai outhit Hawaii .523 to .291. Tournament MVP Shen Qiong hit .714 with 16 kills while Shanghai terminator Tang Miao pounded 19 kills and hit .593 in the match. Wang ZhiTeng added 11 kills with a .444 hitting percentage.

"We played OK," Shen said through an interpreter. "We can play better. Hawaii was the best of the three teams, but we were prepared and we studied their tendencies.

"This tournament helped us a lot because we're preparing for our national tournament in China. These matches allowed us to simulate game situations."

Warrior seniors Tony Ching (11 kills, .600, four blocks) and Costas Theocharidis (10 kills) led Hawaii's attack, which was not multi-faceted. The Warriors' passing didn't allow much of a middle attack, as sophomore Delano Thomas saw just 12 sets, putting away half of them.

"We need to work on some things," Warriors assistant coach Tino Reyes said. "They showed up some of our weaknesses, which are serving and passing. They upped their level of play tonight. I think if they had played the way they did the first two nights, we might have had a chance.

"We need to be playing at a high level for a long period of time."

There were a few bright spots in the match for Hawaii. Freshmen Matt Motter and Pedro Azenha came off the bench to give the Warriors a spark. Azenha, making his Hawaii debut after sitting out four matches because he competed in an international tournament, had four kills in the loss. Motter was Hawaii's dig leader with four after replacing a struggling Jake Muise.

Shanghai started slow, but once it got rolling, there was no stopping it. The Warriors led 12-8 after a kill by Josh Stanhiser but ran into passing problems. Shanghai snatched the lead back after a 7-2 run in which it blasted jump serves at the Warriors. Hawaii couldn't set Thomas and the 6-foot-7 middle blocker saw just two sets in Game 1.

The jump-serving blitz continued in Game 2. The game was close only in the opening moments before Wang went back to the service line. Wang blasted five in a row that either led to quick points on blocks or kills by Shanghai. Setter He Jiong ran the offense to perfection in Game 2. He had Shanghai hitting .792 collectively with 19 kills, 24 attempts and no errors. Wang's next serving run turned the game into a blowout.

The Warriors battled in Game 3, but every good play was followed by a service error. Hawaii gave six free points to Shanghai, which would be too many. The match winner was symbolic of the game -- an overpass caused by Ching's serve landed on untouched on Hawaii's side.

In the early match, No. 7 Ball State came back to upset No. 4 Penn State 25-30, 30-25, 30-24, 30-20 for third place in the tournament.

The Warriors won't get much of a break as 12th-ranked Stanford comes to Hawaii for Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches on Wednesday and Friday.

Note: Middle blocker Cui Xiao Dong was an elementary school classmate of Yao Ming.

Shanghai def. Hawaii

30-27, 30-19, 30-27
SHANGHAI ORIENTAL (3-0 TOURNEY)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Miao 3 19 3 27 .593 0 1 2
Jiong 3 0 1 1 -1.000 0 5 5
Xiaodong 3 6 1 11 .455 0 5 1
Qiong 3 16 1 21 .714 1 3 5
Bo 3 3 2 7 .143 0 3 1
Zhiteng 3 11 3 18 .444 0 2 5
Xu 3 1 0 1 1.000 0 0 0
Yi 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 1
Yingchao 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Hong 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 1
Totals 3 56 11 86 .523 1 19 21

WARRIORS (4-0 OVERALL, 2-1 TOURNEY)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Tuyay 3 1 1 2 .000 0 1 3
Zimet 2 3 3 8 .000 0 3 0
Theocharidis 3 10 6 20 .200 0 2 1
Ching 3 11 2 15 .600 0 4 3
Thomas 3 6 1 12 .417 0 2 1
Stanhiser 3 4 1 11 .273 0 5 0
Motter 2 0 0 0 .000 0 0 4
Muise 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 3
Azenha 2 4 2 11 .182 0 1 0
Bender 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Totals 3 39 16 79 .291 0 18 15

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

Aces -- Shanghai (4): Miao, Xiaodong, Qiong, Zhiteng. Hawaii (4): Theocharidis, Ching, Thomas, Azenha. Assists -- Shanghai (51): Jiong 47, Miao, Xiaodong, Yi, Hong. Hawaii (39): Tuyay 34, Zimet 2, Theocharidis 2, Muise.

T -- 1:32. Officials -- Ernest Ho, Burt Fuller. Attendance -- 7,560.

Tournament MVP: Shen Qiong

All-tournament team: Tang Miao, Wang ZhiTeng, He Jiong, Delano Thomas, Costas Theocharidis, Josh Zudeima (Ball State)



UH Athletics



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