Volleyball star Willoughby given 5 years of probation


POSTED: Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sara Daniel said she was the sober, designated driver when she went to the Pipeline Cafe, where she suffered severe facial injuries in a beating by former University of Hawaii volleyball star and Olympian Kim Willoughby.

The prosecution says the friend who accompanied Daniel got into a fight with Willoughby on Dec. 16, 2006, and when Daniel tried to separate the two, Willoughby pushed her in the face, knocking her down.

When Daniel and the friend left the Kakaako nightclub, the prosecution says, Willoughby followed them outside and punched Daniel in the face several times, breaking her nose and eye socket.

“;I cannot put into words the pain I endured physically and mentally, after having major reconstructive surgery in the hospital for a week and recovering for life,”; Daniel said yesterday at Willoughby's sentencing in Circuit Court.

She accused Willoughby of abusing her talent and using her fists as weapons.

;[Preview]  Former UH Volleyball Star and Olympian Issues Apology

Kim Willoughby said “;sorry”; to both the woman she assaulted and the children of Hawaii for letting them down.

Watch ]


Under a plea agreement, Circuit Judge Karen Ahn sentenced Willoughby to five years' probation for second-degree assault and ordered her to pay $2,027 in restitution for Daniel's out-of-pocket medical expenses and $400 in court fees.

Willoughby, 28, apologized to Daniel in court and to her fans outside the courtroom. She said she hopes people will not judge her by a 15-second incident.

“;I really, really feel very small about the incident, and I do regret it,”; she said. “;There's nothing I can do about it now except take full responsibility and finish what I'm doing.”;

She said that includes clearing herself of an accusation that she tested positive for the steroid nandrolone after a professional match in Europe on April 5, while playing for the club team Perugia.

Willoughby was a three-time all-American at UH and the 2003 National Player of the Year her senior season. In 2008 she was a member of the U.S. women's volleyball team, which claimed the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics.