Wahine open WAC with sweep


POSTED: Friday, September 25, 2009

The dynamics were different.

The lineup had to be tweaked.

The preseason conference player of the year wasn't even in the arena, out with flu-like symptoms.

Basically, it didn't matter, as Aneli Cubi-Otineru put down 13 kills and Stephanie Ferrell added 11 as the No. 4 Rainbow Wahine dispatched Boise State 25-21, 25-14, 25-14 in 84 minutes.

A Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 3,394 saw Hawaii (10-2, 1-0) win its 14th consecutive Western Athletic Conference opener with its sixth straight sweep. The Wahine finish their season-opening homestand tomorrow when hosting Idaho (5-7, 1-0) at 7 p.m.

“We hope to get her back for Saturday and not have anyone go out,” Hawaii coach Dave Shoji said about the ailing Kanani Danielson. “;We do miss her all-around play, but we don't drop off a lot and had someone that's been ready to play (sophomore transfer Corinne Cascioppo).

“;I thought Boise came out spirited, played hard and their hitters hit for good percentage. We've held better teams to lower percentage.”;

It was a rough welcome to the WAC for rookie Broncos coach Shawn Gerus, who was hired June 30. Not only was it his WAC debut, but it was his first trip to Hawaii.

“;Hawaii's known for their hospitality and home environment, and it was better than I expected,”; Gerus said. “;Hawaii is a very good team, but I don't think they played their best.

“;It was nice not to have to worry about the superstar (Danielson). It was one less player to worry about, but it doesn't solve our problems. We had our moments.”;

The best may have been when Shoji was forced to call a timeout after Boise State had closed to 23-20 in Set 1. A hitting error by Bronco sophomore Elizabeth Griffin gave the Wahine set point and Gerus responded with a timeout.

“;We still thought it was winnable at that point, felt if we could get a sideout we could roll off a couple of points,”; he said. “;The players were believing that at that point.”;

Alisha Young got one point for BSU, but that was it, with Brittany Hewitt ending it with one of her four kills. The Broncos rarely threatened after that, with the Wahine continuing to serve tough in pulling away in the middle of both Sets 2 and 3.

Amber Kaufman had three of Hawaii's five aces and was in on four of the 10 blocks. Liz Harden led the Broncos with eight kills.

“;It was all about keeping our energy up, playing at a high level and not playing down to their level,”; Ferrell said. “;They were a different caliber than we've been playing, but we need to work on playing at the same level as if we were playing Cal, Texas, Stanford.”;

Idaho isn't ranked, but the Vandals do present problems.

“;They're a solid blocking team,”; Shoji said. “;We're going to have to hit smarter or they're going to block us.”;


Idaho warmed up for its trip to Honolulu with a 25-13, 23-25, 25-23, 25-20 win at San Jose State last night.

The Vandals got a double-double from Sarah Conwell (20 kills, 19 digs) in keeping the Spartans (0-11, 0-1) winless. San Jose State, with half its starters Kamehameha graduates, got 23 digs from senior Kristal Tsukano, 10 kills from freshman Alex Akana and 39 assists and three aces from freshman Caitlin Andrade.


WAC standings

New Mexico State101.0006-4
Louisiana Tech00.0001/210-6
Fresno State00.0001/27-5
Utah State01.00018-5
Boise State01.00010-11
San Jose State01.00010-11

Hawaii def. Boise State, 25-21, 25-14, 25-14
Idaho def. San Jose State, 25-13, 23-25, 25-23, 25-20
New Mexico State def. Utah State, 25-22, 26-24, 25-20
Idaho at Hawaii, 7 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center
Boise State at San Jose State
Fresno State at Nevada
Utah State at Louisiana Tech
New Mexico State at Louisiana Tech


NO. 4 Hawaii def. Boise State 25-21, 25-14, 25-14

Broncos (0-11, 0-1 WAC)
 skeatt pctdbsbapts
Rainbow Wahine (10-2, 1-0 WAC)
 skeatt pctdbsbapts

Key —s: 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—Boise St. (2): Remy, Duren. Hawaii (5): Kaufman 3, Cubi-Otineru 2. Assists—Boise State (30): Nesselhuf 15, Duren 11, Whitney 2, Griffin, Haren. Hawaii (38): Mafua 33, Kaaihue 2, Brandt 2, Lee.
T—1:24. Officials—Larry Schwartz, Dickson Chun. A—3,394.