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Sweet win for Hawaii's Huskies


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POSTED: Thursday, September 24, 2009

Daniel Te'o-Nesheim could only watch as the ball split the uprights, causing thousands of fans to rush the field in euphoria.

Instead of joining in, he hung his head and made his way to the locker room as quickly as possible.

“;That one hurt the most,”; Te'o-Nesheim said. “;Said some things pretty bad. A lot of explicit language.”;

That field goal came in November of last year off the foot of Nico Grasu, whose 28-yarder gave host Washington State a double-overtime victory in the Apple Cup, the annual rivalry game between the two Washington schools. It was the 11th of 12 losses the Huskies suffered in 2008.

“;We always came out optimistic we would win every game,”; said Te'o-Nesheim, a 2005 Hawaii Prep grad.

They never did. 0-12. The worst season in Washington football history.

HIS VANTAGE POINT was a little different this time. Instead of down in his stance ready to explode at the snap of the ball, he stood nervously clutching his shoulder pads.

He understood how special wins are in college football. Since he arrived at UW in the summer of 2005, Washington was 12-38. Its biggest win came against Boise State a year after the Broncos won the Fiesta Bowl. UW's record against ranked teams in that span was 1-18.

               

     

 

HUSKIES FROM HAWAII

        Daniel Te'o-Nesheim

        6-foot-3, 263 pounds

        Senior, Defensive Line

        Hawaii Prep '05
       

Kalani Aldrich
        6-foot-7, 250 pounds
        Sophomore, Defensive Line
        Kamehameha-Hawaii '07

       

Mykenna Ikehara
        6-foot-2, 260 pounds
        Freshman, Offensive Line
        Kamehameha '08

       

Kimo Makaula
        6-foot-2, 248 pounds
        Freshman, Fullback
        Punahou '09

       

Semisi Tokolahi
        6-foot-2, 340 pounds
        Freshman, Defensive Line
        Hilo '09

       

This kick was good as well, this time from 22 yards out. The celebration had to wait an extra play as 3 seconds remained on the clock, forcing the Huskies to kick off. But once Southern California's Garrett Green was planted on the Husky Stadium turf, even the normally mellow Te'o-Nesheim showed a little excitement.

A week after snapping the nation's longest losing streak at 15 games, Washington defeated No. 3 USC 16-13 last Saturday.

“;Last year was last year and even though we went 0-12, we knew we're a good team,”; said defensive end Kalani Aldrich, a 2007 Kamehameha-Hawaii grad. “;We just had to prove it to us and to other people.”;

Enough people took notice to rank Washington 24th in this week's Associated Press Top 25. It's the first time UW has been ranked in six years.

WHEN STEVE SARKISIAN took over for Tyrone Willingham in the offseason, he inherited a group of players that had hit the wall mentally and physically.

“;Every game you play, you expect to win, and after loss after loss after loss, it was hard on our minds and our bodies,”; Aldrich said. “;The whole mentality of the team was affected. People just weren't having fun.”;

Nobody knew what to expect from Sarkisian, a long-time USC coordinator who had no previous head coaching experience. But when the Huskies came out in their season opener and hung tough with No. 7 LSU before losing 31-23, expectations started to climb.

“;We felt like we were a much better team, but we didn't have anything to gauge ourselves on until the LSU game,”; Aldrich said. “;It was an eye-opener for everybody to see how we paired up against a good SEC team.”;

The Trojans were criticized after the UW loss for having a letdown following their big win over Ohio State a week earlier. The Huskies are faced with a similar situation this week, but Te'o-Nesheim says not to worry.

“;If there is (a letdown), it'd be pretty sad considering where we came from,”; he said. “;We've done a lot of losing and I think that taste in your mouth should prevent you from not preparing well for every team.”;

The Huskies travel to Stanford Saturday afternoon with the winner owning sole possession of the Pac-10 lead.

 

GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 6 Cal at Oregon

Fresh off stopping the nation's longest winning streak, Jeremiah Masoli (Saint Louis '06) and the Oregon Ducks face their third ranked team in four games when they open Pac-10 play at home against California.

Bears defensive lineman Tyson Alualu (Saint Louis '05), who is on the Lombardi Award watch list, will make his 30th consecutive start. He leads the team with 2 1/2 sacks, including two in last week's win over Minnesota.

Masoli went just 4-for-16 passing, but rushed for 47 yards and two touchdowns as the Ducks ended Utah's 16-game winning streak with a 31-24 win.

California would like a repeat of its last trip to Autzen Stadium. The Bears beat the Ducks 31-24 in 2007 to propel themselves to a No. 2 ranking, the highest in school history.

               

     

 

NOTABLES

       

FOOTBALL

        » Oregon State starting middle linebacker David Pa'aluhi (Waianae '07) had seven tackles, including 2 1/2 for a loss, and a half sack in the Beavers' 28-18 loss to No. 14 Cincinnati. Safety Suaesi Tuimaunei (Kahuku '06) added two tackles and Castro Masaniai (Waipahu '07) and Kevin Unga (Kahuku '06) each had one.

        » Weber State quarterback Cameron Higgins (Saint Louis '06) went 25-for-31 for 265 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-17 victory over Idaho State. Tight end Cody Nakamura (Baldwin '05) had six catches for 58 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown reception, but suffered a knee injury in the second quarter and will miss the rest of the season. Freshman Michael Hoke (Kamehameha '08) completed all three of his pass attempts for 40 yards and Adam Sagapolutele-White (Saint Louis '09) had four tackles.

        » Idaho linebacker Jojo Dickson returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown and had six tackles in the Vandals' 34-20 win over San Diego State. Sophomore Kama Bailey (Damien '08) returned two kickoffs for 48 yards. Sophomore Mike Matamua (Kapolei '07), senior Ikaika Aken-Moleta (Kapolei '05) and junior Trask Iosefa (Punahou '05) all started on the offensive line for the Aztecs, who only gave up one sack.
       

 

       

CROSS COUNTRY

        » Northern Colorado's Matt Nakamoto (HBA '09) finished in 94th place in 27:31.80 at the ASICS/UC Irvine Invitational on Sept. 12.

        » Willamette (Ore.) freshman Amanda Tamanaha (St. Andrew's Priory '09) took fifth place in 19:53.79 in a 5K race at the Willamette Grass Course on Friday.
       

 

       

WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL

        » Boston College sophomore outside hitter Jordan Meredith (Kamehameha '08) had 11 kills and six digs, but the Eagles dropped their Atlantic Coast Conference opener to Maryland 25-17, 28-26, 12-25, 25-21 on Tuesday. Sophomore Brennan Clark (University '08) added 14 digs off the bench.

        » UC Irvine junior Larissa Nordyke (Punahou '07) had three kills, two aces and two digs in a three-game sweep of San Jose State last weekend. Kristal Tsukano (Kamehameha '06) had 13 digs and two kills and Alex Akana (Kamehameha '09) had five kills and hit .231 for the Spartans. SJSU setter Caitlin Andrade (Kamehameha '09) added 17 assists and six digs.

        » Oregon State senior setter Camilla Ah-Hoy (Kahuku '06) had 33 assists, eight digs and an ace as the Beavers handed then-No. 6 Michigan its first loss, sweeping the Wolverines in three sets on Saturday.

        » Long Beach State sophomore Lauren Minkel ('Iolani '08) had a team-high 17 digs and chipped in two aces and a kill in the 49ers' three-game sweep of UCLA last weekend.

        » Washington (Mo.) University freshman Kelly Pang ('Iolani '09) was named to the Teri Clemens Invitational all-tournament team on Saturday. Pang tallied 65 digs in three matches, averaging 5.91 per set.

        » Hofstra freshman Maile Scarpino ('Iolani '09) finished with 63 digs, seven aces and seven assists in the Seton Hall Invitational last weekend. Scarpino had a career-high 25 digs against Yale as the Pride finished 1-2 in the tournament.

        » Puget Sound senior libero Leigh Sumida ('Iolani '06) had 16 digs in a four-set victory over Lewis & Clark (Ore.) on Saturday. Pioneers freshman Leia Matsunaga (Kamehameha '09) had 41 assists and nine digs and Jessamy Holland (Punahou '06) added 11 digs and eight kills.

        » Linfield (Ore.) sophomore libero Samantha Lau (St. Francis '08) led the Wildcats with 35 digs in wins over Whitman and Whitworth last weekend.