The last time the University of Hawaii womens volleyball team dropped its season opener, Jessica Sudduth, Tehani Miyashiro and Jameka Stevens were just emerging from the rug-rat stage. Heidi Ilustre and Nikki Hubbert were toddlers, and Cia Goods and Therese Crawford were headed for kindergarten.
Wahine survive scare
in volleyball opener
The year was 1980 and the Wahine were coming off their first national championship champaign. They were also regrouping after losing seven seniors, including five All- Americans.
Friday night, 17 years of tradition weighed heavily on the shoulders of a rebuilding Hawaii team. Last night, the young Wahine took a big step toward maturation with a 15-6, 15-1, 8-15, 11-15, 15-11 victory over Illinois State.
No. 11 Hawaii needed 2 hours and 2 minutes to pull away from the Redbirds at the Special Events Arena, using a 7-1 run in the final minutes of rally scoring to win the nightcap of the Astons Imua Wahine Challenge.
A freshman (Miyashiro) served the final three points. A freshman (Sudduth) put down two kills and was in on the match-ending block.
The next question test of the Wahine would be Sunday's doubleheader. Hawaii was to take on San Francisco at 1 p.m. and Kansas State at 7 p.m.
The match went back and forth for 89 minutes with the University of Hawaii Wahine having an edge in quality scoring opportunities against the St. Marys College Gaels at Ala Wai Field Friday night.
Socceer Wahine drop
match to St. Mary's
However, a soccer match lasts 90 minutes and St. Marys took advantage of one early opportunity to post a 1-0 victory.
Val Williams, the Gaels accomplished striker, collected a loose ball just inside the midfield line, dribbled down the left side and, after putting a nifty inside move on UH sweeper Denise Tsukada, drilled a shot from the top of the penalty box just under the crossbar to beat Wahine goalkeeper Demarre Sanchez.
That was 58 seconds after the opening kickoff.
In the first match of the Outrigger Hotels Wahine Festival, Auburn rallied on goals by Becky Robertson at 84 and 87 minutes to edge Cal State Sacramento, 3-2.
Last year St. Marys beat UH in overtime and Gaels coach Randy Ferris saw an improvement in the Wahine passing game, especially the 1-2 wall passes, last night. He added, they dominated about 90 percent of this match.
UH coach Pinsoom Tenzing might not agree with that percentage, but his 1997 edition certainly created more offense Friday night, outshooting the Gaels, 6-3, a statistical edge that was rare a year ago.