Wikiwiki Wahine


POSTED: Friday, September 11, 2009

It was like going from the Indianapolis 500 to a go-cart race. The difference in last week's level of competition to that of last night was that disparate.

Still, it may have been exactly what No. 6 Hawaii needed to shake off some frustration and end its two-match losing skid. Led by Kanani Danielson's 11 kills and a tough serving performance that resulted in nine aces—a career-high three by Stephanie Ferrell—the Rainbow Wahine dispatched Weber State in 70 minutes, 25-13, 25-13, 25-17.

A Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 3,114 saw Hawaii improve to 5-2 heading into tonight's match with UT-San Antonio. The Roadrunners (3-6) were similarly blitzed by No. 10 Stanford in yesterday's opener of the Honolulu Advertiser Volleyball Challenge, 25-17, 25-11, 25-9.

The Cardinal (4-2) hit an outrageous .554 with only one hitting error in 64 minutes. Stanford faces Weber State (1-7) at 5 p.m. today.

“;We go 3-0, playing pretty well, so I can't complain,”; said UH senior middle Amber Kaufman, who had eight kills, hit .538, and was in on four of the team's six blocks. “;There were flashes of greatness and we picked it up when we needed to. I'd say (Weber State) was a WAC-caliber team, so we're used to that.”;

The best thing for the Wahine was the level of consistency they maintained when coach Dave Shoji began changing the lineup.

“;I thought our passing was pretty consistent and our emotion wasn't flat-lining,”; said sophomore middle Lex Forsythe, who played in Set 3. “;Our dips were as low.”;

Shoji said the game plan included having setter Dani Mafua involve the middle blockers more in the offense. Mafua followed the instructions so well that senior hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru didn't have an attempt until late in Set 1, with her kill giving the Wahine a 20-9 lead.

“;We asked our team to come out with some energy and not have a letdown after a tough weekend last week,”; Shoji said. “;I thought we kept a pretty high level of play.

“;It was nice to have a night were we didn't have to work super hard. We worked hard enough to get the job done and we want to do that again tomorrow.”;

Chelsea Bair led Weber State with seven kills and eight digs.

“;I think we got a little intimidated,”; Wildcats coach Al Givens said. “;We're a little embarrassed that we didn't compete a little harder. We were on our heels most of the time and credit Hawaii for that.

“;The difference with Hawaii and Stanford is they're used to this level of play. They're not in awe of the caliber of athlete across the net. Our kids got a little intimidated just by the whole environment.”;

The Wahine's nine aces tied their season high that came in the opener against Western Michigan. Ferrell, who had two aces coming into the match, had three during one serving run in Set 1 that put Hawaii ahead 12-3.

Stanford 3, UT-San Antonio 0

What disappointed Roadrunner coach Laura Groff the most wasn't the outcome against the Cardinal. It was how her team performed during the 64 minutes.

“;We knew we were the underdog, but that was the most embarrassing showing I've seen,”; Groff said. “;All I wanted was for them to play with heart and they didn't. We didn't show people what we could do.”;

The Cardinal—the NCAA runner-up the past three seasons—didn't give them much of a chance to show anything, with a very efficient and somewhat unconventional 6-2 offense (two setters). Senior middle Janet Okogbaa led Stanford with 16 kills on 19 attempts and no errors, while junior setter-hitter Cassidy Lichtman had seven kills and 17 assists.



25-13, 25-13, 25-17



























































































































































































Wildcats (1-7)



Rainbow Wahine (5-2)

Key—s: sets played; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct: hitting percentage; d: digs; bs: block solo; ba: block assists; pts: points (kills + blocks + aces)

Aces—Weber St. (3): Bair, Fackrell, Penrod. Hawaii (9): Ferrell 3, Kaufman 2, Danielson, Cubi-Otineru, Ka'aihue, Brandt. Assists—Weber St. (21): Taylor 7, Penrod 7, Lissinna 3, Bair 2, Fackrell, Wray. Hawaii (33): Mafua 27, Brandt, Danielson, Kaufman, Ka'aihue, Lee, Cubi-Otineru.

T—1:10. A—3,114 .