Wahine pull through


POSTED: Sunday, August 30, 2009

Quickness vs. height.

Outsides vs. middles.

One coach 14 victories shy of reaching 1,000 victories vs. the only Division I coach ahead of him.

Today's 67th meeting between No. 7 Hawaii and No. 9 UCLA is expected to be yet another chess match between two storied programs. Much is riding on the outcome of the 5 p.m. match at the Stan Sheriff Center ... the title of the Chevron Invitational ... an undefeated season ... and, for the Wahine seniors, their first win over the Bruins in their careers.

Coming into the showdown, Hawaii (2-0) was anything but impressive for most of last night's 2 hours, 2 minutes. The Wahine struggled against No. 25 Santa Clara before finally pulling out a 25-19, 25-27, 30-28, 25-13 win in front of 4,619.

Sophomore hitter Kanani Danielson tied her career high with 22 kills, while senior middle Amber Kaufman hit .765—a career high—while also tying her career high with 13 kills on 17 swings with no errors.

Coming up with her first career double-double was freshman Brittany Hewitt (10 kills, 11 blocks).

Krista Kelley led the Broncos with 14 kills.

“;It was our first big challenge,”; Wahine setter Dani Mafua said. “;We just stayed together. It was a matter of grinding it out, pushing through.”;

“;We just didn't play our game in that second game,”; Kaufman added. “;I got frustrated because I felt I was going in circles when I wanted to help the team and I wasn't.”;

Hawaii coach Dave Shoji said he hopes his team has enough left for the match with UCLA.

“;We had to play way harder than they did,”; Shoji said.

Led by Kaitlin Sather's 10 kills and a 10-2 block advantage, the Bruins swept Western Michigan, 25-17, 25-14, 25-15 in 75 minutes, using their entire travel roster of 14 in yesterday's early match.

“;UCLA is really good, has smart hitters,”; Shoji said. “;They have good size and a freshman setter who has no problem at this level. I think tonight we made key plays at the end of Game 3.”;

Hawaii held off two set points before tying it at 24 on an ace by Elizabeth Ka'aihue. Danielson and Aneli Cubi-Otineru came up with big plays down the stretch, helping Hawaii take its third set point at 29-28. Hewitt and Cubi-Otineru stuffed Katherine Douglas to give the Wahine the 2-1 lead and the momentum.

The Broncos had little left.

“;Hawaii made some brilliant plays at the end of Game 3,”; Santa Clara coach Jon Wallace said. “;Amber had a wonderful night. I think they'll be OK against UCLA.”;

“;I think it will be a great match. I wish we could stick around to see it,”; said Western Michigan coach Colleen Munson said, whose Broncos were swept by Hawaii and UCLA during the tournament. “;You have two very good setters and two defenses where things keep coming up off the ground. You can't buy a point.

“;It should be a battle, point for point.”;

Munson's 0-2 Broncos face the 0-2 Broncos of Santa Clara at 11 a.m.

No. 9 UCLA 3, Western Michigan 0

Jessica Brown led Western Michigan (0-2) with 11 kills.

The turning point of the match came early, when a kill by Sather ended a rally that lasted 1 minute, 12 seconds, breaking a 13-13 tie that put the Bruins up for good.

“;That did deflate us,”; Munson said. “;Then it was error after error that caused us to doubt ourselves.”;

Wahine get commitment

Hawaii got an early oral commitment from Molokai High junior Kalei Adolpho, a 6-foot-1 middle who attended her first Wahine match last night.

“;It was so cool to be here,”; Adolpho said. “;I want to play here.”;


Hawaii def. Santa Clara

25-19, 25-27, 30-28, 25-13
























































































































































Broncos (0-2)



Rainbow Wahine (2-0)

Key—g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct: hitting percentage; d: digs; bs: block solo; ba: block assists.
Aces—SCU (2): Douglas. Hawaii (6): Cubi-Otineru 2, Ka'aihue 2, Brandt, Kaufman. Assists—SCU (45): Palmer 23, Burke 17, Morrison 2, Kelley, Douglas, Lommori. Hawaii (62): Mafua 52, Brandt 4, Danielson 3, Cubi-Otineru 2, Ka'aihue.
T—2:02. A—4,619.