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Sunday, August 24, 2003



[ WAHINE VOLLEYBALL ]


art
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Kanoe Kamana'o and Lauren Duggins tried to block a USC hit during last night's final of the State Farm Women's Volleyball Classic. UH fell in three.


No. 1 USC
sweeps Hawaii

The Women of Troy take
the tournament crown by
dispatching the No. 2 Wahine


The gap between No. 1 and No. 2 was at times mere inches, and at times seemingly as wide as the Pacific Ocean.

It was as simple as Southern California's 6-foot-6 middle blocker Emily Adams going up against Hawaii's 5-8 freshman setter Kanoe Kamana'o, and as obvious as the Wahine's early lack of offense when they hit negative in Game 1.

When the smoke cleared after last night's championship match of the ninth NACWAA/State Farm Volleyball Classic, two things were evident. Top-ranked USC is the team to beat this season. Second-ranked Hawaii has some work over the next three-plus months if it has any hopes of replacing the Women of Troy as national champions. But the Wahine do have hope.

Last night, USC extended its winning streak to 14 dating back to last season with a 30-22, 30-26, 31-29 victory over Hawaii at the Stan Sheriff Center. The turnstile crowd of 8,917 saw the Wahine get swept by a Pac-10 team for the third straight time.

But the Wahine also have a lot of hope after going one-on-one with No. 1 for an hour and 48 minutes.

"We learned we need to execute down the stretch when the match is on the line, which we didn't do," said Hawaii coach Dave Shoji. "We made a nice little run (in Game 3) but shot ourselves in the foot, made a couple of errors and all of a sudden the game's over.

"Game 2 we had a lead, the same thing happened. We couldn't make the plays when we needed to. And you have to against a great team."

Much like the difference between driving 50 mph on H-1 and 65 mph on I-10 in Los Angeles, any time Hawaii was close, USC found another gear and sped away.

The Wahine jumped out early 6-2 in Game 1, but faltered. The Women of Troy didn't need to be asked twice; when USC led at 24-18, Keao Burdine had six kills to UH's team total of five.

The Wahine managed just six kills for Game 1, hitting negative-.033. USC was in system, with 18 kills, hitting .208.

Hawaii regrouped to gain some momentum in Game 2, pushing ahead by as many as four (22-18). At 23-20, a service error brought USC to 23-21 and gave setter Toni Anderson the serve. She didn't give it back until she put her team up for good at 26-23.


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RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
UH's Kim Willoughby had 21 kills last night against USC during the final of the State Farm Women's Volleyball Classic.


The Wahine hung in during Game 3 but had few answers for the Women of Troy's multi-faceted offense until the end. Hawaii made it interesting, tying at 26-26 on Lauren Duggins' fifth kill and again at 27-27 on Kim Willoughby's 21st kill.

Hawaii scrambled to take leads of 28-27 and 29-28, the last on Lily Kahumoku's seventh kill. But kills by April Ross, the tournament MVP, and Bibiana Candelas gave USC match point.

The Women of Troy only needed one swing to end it, with Candelas putting down her 12th kill to end it.

Willoughby was the only Wahine in double-figure kills, putting down 21 of Hawaii's 41 kills.

Burdine finished with 13 kills. USC had 14 blocks to Hawaii's five. The Wahine had 60 kills to 56 for the Women of Troy.

"Lily struggled, but she'll rebound," said Shoji. "I don't think you'll ever see her play that kind of match again."

Kahumoku had seven kills but 10 errors in 33 swings, hitting negative .091.

"We're pretty pleased that we could come out here and play this well," said USC coach Mick Haley. "This is a pretty special group. One of the things we wanted to do was not focus on winning but focus on being a better team than last year.

"Hawaii has some super players. We were able to come out on top, but not without a battle from their team."

Named to the all-tournament team were Ross and Burdine of USC; Hawaii's Willoughby and Kahumoku; Florida's Aury Cruz and Benavia Jenkins; and Lauren Goehring of Kansas State.

In the third-place game, No. 3 Florida (1-1) topped No. 15 Kansas State (0-2), 30-16, 30-26, 29-31, 30-22.

The Gators were on 'Cruz control' for most of the night as senior hitter Cruz pounded down 22 kills over 2 hours and 8 minutes.

Cruz hit .075 in Friday's 0-3 loss to USC, thwarted by the taller block the Women of Troy put up. Last night against the smaller Wildcats, the All-American put up All-American numbers, with 17 digs, hitting .405 and putting down the match-ender.

Jenkins added 15 kills, hitting .419, while Jane Collymore added 10 kills before leaving the match in Game 4 with a severely sprained ankle.

Florida coach Mary Wise was not thrilled about the 20 service errors, particularly the seven in Game 3 that cost the Gators the sweep.

"I think the last time we played here in 1998, we were up 2-0 against Ohio State and lost (in 5) after 21 service errors," said Wise. "I think it's the garlic fries.

"Seriously, K-State played much better after Game 1. We had no answer for (Wildcat senior blocker) Lauren Goehring. You can see why she was the preseason co-Big 12 Player of the Year. The difference was the blocking by our middles and the ability to get double-digit kills by four players."

The Gators outblocked the Wildcats 14-2.5.

For K-State, Goehring put down 14 kills before committing an attack error, finishing with 15 in hitting .560. Also in double-figure kills were Cari Jensen (11) and Valeria Hejjjas (11). Leading the Wildcats in defense was libero Laura Downey-Wallace (17 digs).

"At times I thought our team played well," said K-State coach Susie Fritz. "I thought Lauren was fabulous and Lauren had a very good night. But late in the match, serving became an issue.

"We came (to this tournament) because we thought it would help us. This is where we want to be, these are the teams we have to beat to get there."


USC def. Hawaii30-22, 30-26, 31-29

TROJANS (2-0)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Anderson 3 0 0 0 .000 0 1 6
Candelas 3 12 1 21 .524 1 4 1
Burdine 3 13 6 43 .163 1 1 8
Adams 3 9 5 27 .148 2 5 3
Ross 3 10 2 26 .308 1 2 16
Olsovsky 3 7 1 16 .375 0 3 1
Freeburg 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 3
Seilhamer 2 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Davis 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 18
Lantz 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Robinson 3 1 3 11 -.182 0 2 0
Totals 3 52 18 144 .236 5 18 56

WAHINE (1-1)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Boogard 2 1 0 3 .333 0 1 2
Willoughby 3 21 9 53 .226 0 1 13
Kahumoku 3 7 10 33 -.091 0 1 13
Kamana'o 3 0 2 2 -1.000 0 2 6
Gustin 3 7 3 17 .235 0 3 3
Duggins 3 5 3 13 .154 0 2 5
Tano 3 0 0 2 .000 0 0 2
Lundqvist 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Arnott 2 0 0 6 .000 0 0 1
Watanabe 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 2
Thurlby 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Villaroman 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 13
Totals 3 41 27 129 .109 0 10 60

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

Aces -- Trojans (2): Burdine, Seilhamer. Hawaii (4): Willoughby 2, Boogard, Watanabe. Assists -- Trojans (48): Anderson 38, Freeburg 4, Davis 3, Candelas 2, Ross. Hawaii (37): Kamana'o 32, Thurlby 2, Villaroman, Duggins, Boogard.

T -- 1:48. Officials -- Mary Blalock, Joan Powell. A --9345.


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