Texas wallops UH


POSTED: Sunday, September 06, 2009

Undersized and overmatched.

At times, the gap between No. 4 Hawaii and No. 2 Texas felt as wide as the Pacific Ocean last night.

At times, the Rainbow Wahine more than held their own ... just not long enough.

Out of system and out of sync for much of the 114 minutes, Hawaii saw its perfect season washed away by the taller and very athletic Longhorns at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The largest crowd of the season (7,615) watched as Texas setter Ashley Engle ran a balanced attack and kept the Wahine off balance during the 25-11, 25-22, 22-25, 25-11 victory. The Longhorns (4-0) finish out their Hawaiian Airlines Classic schedule with today's 3 p.m. match against No. 19 Saint Louis.

The Billikens (3-2) stunned No. 10 Cal in 86 minutes yesterday, 25-20, 25-20, 25-22.

Today's 5 p.m. finale pits two teams coming off very disappointing losses when the Golden Bears (2-3) try to salvage their trip against the Wahine.

“;I'm just hoping we have some energy, hoping we can come back,”; Hawaii coach Dave Shoji said. “;Overall, we couldn't handle the pace of some of (the Longhorns') balls.

“;When we were in system, we were able to sideout and score. We just weren't in our system enough.”;

The Wahine were never in Set 1, falling behind 6-1 on the bombs Destinee Hooker sent over from the service line. Hawaii's ball control wilted under the serving pressure and the block was kept off balance by the 6-foot-3 Engle, who had almost as many kills (five) as assists (eight).

Shaking off their worst single-set loss at home since 2006 (30-10 against Stanford), the Wahine took a quick 9-4 lead in Set 2 and seemed in control at 20-18. The Longhorns didn't fold, scoring four straight and finishing it out with a 7-2 run.

To their credit, the Wahine “;didn't close down,”; as UH senior hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru said.

“;We could have been defeated after that. We knew we were right with them (in Set 2), but we made some mistakes.”;

As happened in Set 2, Hawaii took a big lead in Set 3. This time it was 24-18 before Texas made its run. The Wahine needed five swings at ending it before Kanani Danielson finally did.

Set 4 was a near replay of Set 1, as Texas pulled away 6-1 and 15-5. Juliann Faucette finished off Hawaii with her match-high 18th kill.

Engle had 13 kills with no errors in 22 attempts en route to a triple-double (13 digs, 38 assists). She has 25 kills and no errors in the tournament “;and she's a weapon no one else in the country has,”; Shoji said.

Hooker added 12 kills and Rachael Adams 11 kills with no errors on 13 attempts. Defensive specialist Sydney Yogi (Punahou '08) had a career-high 10 digs.

Leading the Wahine with 11 kills was Stephanie Ferrell.

“;We'll take this match as a learning experience,”; Ferrell said. “;It has me fired up, knowing we were not at our best and we stayed with them at points.”;

“;We need to forget about this game,”; Cubi-Otineru said. “;Tomorrow is a new team and they're going to be fired up after losing today, too.”;


No. 19 Saint Louis 3, No. 10 Cal 0

The Billikens (3-2) didn't practice Friday, opting for a trip to Hanauma Bay and a luau. Neither experience, however, could top their surprising sweep of the Golden Bears.

The only bad thing? SLU coach Anne Kordes said it was too late to call anyone back on the mainland and share the news about one of the biggest wins in her program's history.

“;They play so hard and passionate, we thought it was worth it to let them enjoy Hawaii,”; Kordes said of Friday's excursions. “;If we had an edge, it was that we don't have anything to lose. The pressure was on (Cal).

“;I'm always preaching that we can compete at the level. A win like this shows kids that you can come to a smaller, academic school, that you don't have to be from a big-name conference to compete.”;

The Billikens did just that, with smart blocking, tough serving and a difficult-to-track offense led by Bridget Fonke (14 kills) and Megan Boken (12).

All-America hitter Hana Cutura put down 26 kills for Cal.


NO. 2 TEXAS DEF. NO.4 HAWAII 25-11, 25-22, 22-25, 25-11

Longhorns (4-0)

 skeatt pctdbsba

Rainbow Wahine (4-1)

 skeatt pctdbsba

Key —g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct: hitting percentage; d: digs; bs: block solo; ba: block assists; pts: points (kills plus blocks plus aces)
Aces—Texas (3): Hooker 3. Hawaii (3): Cubi-Otineru 2, Kaufman. Assists—Texas (51): Engle 38, Kisner 6, Faucette 3, Yogi 2, Adams, Doris. Hawaii (43): Mafua 39, Ka'aihue 2, Cubi-Otineru, Danielson.
T—1:54. Officials—Dan Hironaka, Ernest Ho. A—7,615.