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Saturday, November 13, 2004



[ WAHINE VOLLEYBALL ]


art
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Susie Boogaard hit against a block attempt by San Jose State's Nia Freeman during last night's match.


Spartans can’t stop
UH streak

But San Jose State did cause a scare
by scoring 11 straight points
on the Rainbow Wahine

They were the team everyone worried about at last year's Western Athletic Conference volleyball tournament. When they got hot, they were scary.

It wasn't Hawaii that had the rest of the field concerned. It was the San Jose State Spartans, who upset two teams before falling to the Rainbow Wahine in the title match.

The Spartans continued their troublesome ways last night, exposing some chinks in Hawaii's armor. The armor held -- despite giving up 11 straight points in Game 2 -- and so did the Wahine's impressive streaks.

No. 2 Hawaii needed 99 minutes and 19 kills from Alicia Arnott to subdue San Jose State 30-18, 30-27, 30-25 in front of 5,883 (7,321 tickets) at the Stan Sheriff Center. The victory kept the Wahine perfect at 22-0 overall and 12-0 in the WAC.

The Game 2 lapse also caught Hawaii's collective attention heading into tonight's final conference match against Nevada. The Wolf Pack nearly upset the Wahine in Reno last month and "I'm sure they think they should have won that one," said Wahine middle Victoria Prince. "We won't let what happened tonight (in Game 2) happen tomorrow."

Nevada (18-6, 10-2) and Hawaii meet at 7 tonight on senior night for Melody Eckmier and Teisa Fotu.

The Game 2 meltdown happened with Hawaii holding game point at 29-16. The Wahine had to wait for 11 more chances before Arnott put down her 15th kill to end the Spartans' comeback.

"I was walking to the locker room about six times before we finally got that last point," said Hawaii coach Dave Shoji. "I think everyone thought someone else would put the ball down. I can only call it an aberration. There was nothing wrong with that formation or the hitters we had out there.

"It was just an unbelievable stretch."

It came on the arm of 5-foot-5 sophomore libero Jessie Shull, who served for 10 straight points.

"I've never done that in a college game," the reigning WAC Player of the Week said. "I think Hawaii thought they had the game and we weren't ready to give up. I just kept the ball in and allowed our defense and our hitters to do the rest.

"It gave us a big confidence boost going into that last game, knowing we could run 10 (points) on them. We showed we could match up with them. At points we were better, at points they were better. A few more runs and we're right there."

Despite the close call in Game 2, Shoji kept to his game plan and switched setters (Cayley Thurlby for Kanoe Kamana'o) and a middle blocker (Eckmier for Juliana Sanders).

"I couldn't penalize them for what happened with the first unit," Shoji said. "My mind was set on putting them in and I had confidence that we'd win the third.

"We were playing really well until that stretch in Game 2. We know we can't do that tomorrow."

Susie Boogaard finished with 13 kills and Prince added 10 with no hitting errors on 17 swings. The Wahine outblocked the smaller Spartans 13-5, with Prince in on six.

Jennifer Senftleben and Sarah Christensen each earned 10 kills for San Jose State (14-12, 5-8). Shull, who set the WAC and school dig record last week with 42, had 19 last night.

"For most of the season we have played well, then went flat 10 days ago," said Spartan coach Craig Choate. "Maybe we've turned it around. I don't know if we will do it again (in the WAC tournament).

"It wasn't enough to beat the No. 2 team in the country on their home court. The difference is they're a lot smarter in the volleyball sense, they have a volleyball IQ that we don't have."

Hawaii now has a 51-4 edge on San Jose State in the series. The Wahine have won the last 27 meetings; the Spartans have won in Honolulu only once, a match in 1993.

Hawaii played about as efficiently as a team could in Game 1, with just three hitting errors, all by Boogaard. At one point, the Wahine had more blocks (three) than kills (two) in taking an early 7-2 lead.

Arnott helped Hawaii pull out to a 24-11 lead, a 7-0 serving run in which she put down two kills and an ace. The highlight came when seldom-used freshman defensive specialist Raeceen Woolford had four digs on one play, a point that the Spartans would win to pull to 26-18.

Hawaii closed it out with four straight points, capped by Boogaard's ace.


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Hawaii def. San Jose State

30-28, 30-27, 30-25

Spartans (14-12, 5-8 wac)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Nash 3 8 10 50 -.040 0 2 11
Christensen 3 10 1 32 .281 0 1 4
Conrad 3 1 0 6 .167 0 1 9
Rudd 3 8 2 27 .222 0 1 1
Orong 3 0 0 1 .000 0 0 6
Senftleben 3 10 2 24 .333 0 4 1
Shull 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 13
Herald 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 3
Thompson 1 0 0 0 .000 0 1 0
Freeman 3 4 2 12 .167 0 0 0
Totals 3 41 17 152 .158 0 10 54

Rainbow Wahine (22-0, 12-0 WAC)

g k e att pct. bs ba d
Boogaard 3 13 5 40 .200 0 1 10
Hittle 3 9 4 26 .192 0 2 10
Gregory 1 1 0 6 .167 0 4 1
Arnott 3 19 5 38 .368 0 3 10
Kamana'o 2 1 0 1 1.000 0 4 12
Prince 3 10 0 17 .588 1 5 1
Sanders 1 4 0 7 .571 0 2 0
Eckmier 1 1 0 3 .333 0 1 0
Watanabe 3 0 0 0 .000 0 0 16
Fotu 1 1 1 2 .000 0 0 0
Thurlby 1 0 0 2 .000 0 2 7
Woolford 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 4
Totals 3 59 15 142 .310 1 24 71

Key -- g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct.: hitting percentage; bs: block solos; ba: block assists; d: digs.
Aces -- SJSU (0). Hawaii (5): Boogaard 2, Arnott 2, Hittle. Assists -- SJSU (39): Conrad 31, Freeman 4, Rudd, Orong, Shull, Herald. Hawaii (58): Kamana'o 34, Thurlby 17, Hittle 5, Boogaard, Fotu.
T -- 1:39. Officials -- Verna Klubnikin, Ernest Ho. A -- 5,883 (7,321 tickets issued).

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