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Tuesday, September 2, 2003



[WAHINE VOLLEYBALL]



art
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Despite not starting the match because of a violation of team rules, Hawaii's Kim Willoughby led with 34 kills last night.



Wahine weather storm

Willoughby can't be stopped
as Hawaii holds off UCLA
in five games


Hurricane Jimena may have bypassed Oahu yesterday, but Hurricane Kim did not.

Just when it appeared the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team had been downgraded to a tropical depression -- emphasis on depression -- Willoughby blew in. The eventual tournament MVP put 34 kills past No. 11 UCLA -- including the match-ender -- to lead No. 2 Hawaii to the championship of the 16th Hawaiian Airlines Classic.

A crowd of 6,186 at the Stan Sheriff Center saw Hawaii (4-1) take 2 hours and 39 minutes to win its eighth title in this event, 25-30, 30-18, 30-24, 29-31, 15-13.

It was not easy, from the beginning -- with Willoughby benched for being late to practice -- to the end when UCLA refused to fold.

"A loss would have been disastrous for us nationally," said Hawaii coach Dave Shoji. "It was a huge win for us and will definitely help us.

"But we need to develop that killer instinct, win the match when we have that opportunity."

art
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Lauren Duggins made a dig in the backcourt last night during a match against UCLA.



The underdog Bruins were happy they had that upset chance.

"It can't get much closer than 15-13 in the fifth," said UCLA coach Andy Banachowski, whose team fell to 2-1. "It looked like it was going to be lights out for us after Game 2, Hawaii took it to us. But we kept coming back."

It certainly didn't look like it was going five, not with the Wahine seemingly breezing at 17-10 in Game 4.

The Bruins didn't panic, scoring eight unanswered points -- seven "real points" on the serve of reserve Haley Jorgensborg -- for an 18-17 lead.

The Wahine tried to regain the momentum and seemed to have tied it at 20 on an ace by Lily Kahumoku. But the linesman ruled it out, despite it appearing to land in as well as touching UCLA libero Chrissie Zartman.

UH was able to regain the lead at 27-24, but couldn't close it. At 29-29, Colby Lyman gave UCLA game point and Brynn Murphy put down one of her team-high 17 kills on a service overpass to force Game 5.

"That was a little nerve-wracking," said UH freshman Alicia Arnott, who started in place of Willoughby and had four aces. "It was 13-10 (UH leading) and we thought we had the game."

All the Wahine had to do was sideout to finish it. Instead the Bruins tied it at 13; they then gave up match point on a service error.

Willoughby's next attempt was a rollshot that landed softly and untouched in the middle of UCLA's backcourt to give the Wahine their fourth consecutive victory.

"As Dave (Shoji) told us, great players want the ball at the end," said Willoughby, who added a team-high 17 digs. "We had our ups and downs. Their run in Game 4 was unacceptable, we were looking for someone else to do our job. We made little mistakes and we have to be mentally prepared."

The night began inauspiciously for Hawaii, starting with Willoughby on the sidelines. UCLA scored its first point of Game 1 on a Hawaii rotation error to tie it at 1 and the Wahine's disorganization continued from there.

The Bruins were in control at 15-10 when Willoughby entered the game. The Wahine never got closer than four, the last at 29-25, before Cira Wright finished it.

Willoughby was just starting. Despite playing half of Game 1, she was Hawaii's kill leader with four.

The Wahine, who had just six hitting errors against Louisville on Sunday, had six by the end of Game 1.

Notes: Joining Willoughby on the all-tournament team were Wahine teammates Kahumoku and Kanoe Kamana'o, UCLA's Cira Wright and Brynn Murphy, Louisville's Lena Ustymenko, and Minnesota's Paula Gentil. ... With her second kill of the match, Kahumoku passed Deitre Collins for seventh place on the UH career-kill list. Collins, who played from 1980 to '83, has 1,384. Kahumoku is at 1,404 and is closing in on No. 6 Tita Ahuna (1984-87) at 1,411. ... In a pregame ceremony, Shoji was officially recognized by the university for his 800th career victory, attained on Nov. 27, 2002 when the Wahine defeated host Utah. He is just the fourth volleyball coach to reach that milestone.

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Hawaii def. UCLA

25-30, 30-18, 30-24, 29-31, 15-13
BRUINS (2-1) g k e att pct. bs ba d
Ringel 3 8 5 25 .120 0 1 1
Wright 5 12 6 26 .231 0 2 8
Murphy 5 17 7 52 .192 1 5 2
Lyman 5 11 2 29 .310 0 0 11
McFarland 5 4 1 10 .300 0 5 7
Cullen 5 12 4 35 .229 0 2 15
Barba 4 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Ray 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Jorgensborg 4 0 0 0 .000 0 0 2
Carter 2 0 0 2 .000 0 0 0
Green 3 9 2 18 .389 0 0 1
Zartman 5 0 0 0 .000 0 0 22
Totals 5 73 27 197 .234 1 15 69
WAHINE (4-1) g k e att pct. bs ba d
Tano 4 3 0 5 .600 0 2 4
Arnott 5 3 4 17 -.059 0 1 3
Kahumoku 5 20 7 55 .236 0 6 15
Kamana'o 5 1 1 4 .000 0 2 13
Gustin 5 11 2 23 .391 0 5 5
Duggins 5 10 1 21 .429 0 8 11
Boogaard 2 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Willoughby 5 34 7 61 .443 0 2 17
Lundqvist 2 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0
Watanabe 5 0 0 0 .000 0 0 3
Villaroman 5 0 0 0 .000 0 0 14
Totals 5 82 22 186 .323 0 26 85

Key -- g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct.: hitting percentage; bs: block solos; ba: block assists; d: digs.
Aces -- Bruins (4): Cullen 2, McFarland, Jorgensborg. Hawaii (8): Arnott 4, Willoughby 3, Duggins. Assists -- Bruins (65): McFarland 51, Jorgensborg 5, Zartman 5, Cullen 2, Lyman 2. Hawaii (77): Kamana'o 73, Arnott 2, Duggins, Willoughby.
T -- 2:39. Officials -- Ernest Ho, Wayne Lee. A --7407.


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