Tournament attendance not meeting expectations
LAS CRUCES, N.M. » Attendance is not what the Western Athletic Conference officials had hoped for this week.
About 1,102 watched No. 11 Hawaii defeat Nevada in yesterday's first semifinal with an announced 2,034 for the host Aggies' win over San Jose State last night.
Tonight's title match might be a tough sell, despite having the Nos. 11 and 13 teams in the country. When the Wahine outlasted the Aggies in five back on Sept. 22, the crowd was announced at 4,361. NMSU's top volleyball crowd is 7,115, in a five-game loss to Hawaii on Oct. 1, 2005.
Today's biggest conflict is the downtown "Remembering Las Cruces" centennial celebration, marking the 100th birthday of the city.
It's not that the city doesn't support sports. A crowd of 29,000 packed adjacent Aggie Memorial Coliseum (30,343 capacity) last Saturday for the big high school rivalry game between Las Cruces and defending state champion Mayfield.
Following next year's tournament in Honolulu, the WAC will no longer ask for host bids but will rotate the tournament among its nine member schools.
Big night for Houston
's 27 kills last night against Nevada put her career total at 1,499. The junior hitter is one kill away from becoming just the sixth Rainbow Wahine to reach the 1,500 kill mark.
Houston is also 55 kills away from passing Suzanne Eagye (1,553) for fifth place on the UH career kill list.
Houston's career high is 35, coming in the regional semifinal win over USC last season. Her season high of 29 came in the five-set win over New Mexico State here two months ago.
The UH record for kills in a three-game match (rally-scoring era) is 34, set by Kim Willoughby against UC Santa Barbara in 2001. Teee Williams had 28 twice in 1988, pre-rally scoring.
Santiago signs with Nevada
Kamehameha setter Tatiana "Tati" Santiago
has signed a letter of intent to play for Nevada next season.
The 5-foot-7 Santiago helped the Warriors, ranked No. 5 by prepvolleyball.com, to their third consecutive state title earlier this month. She was a four-year starter at Kamehameha and team captain this year.
"We're very excited to have her," Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said. "She's a phenomenal setter, knows how to run a fast offense and has such a great court presence."