Wahine put Shoji within 1 of 1,000


POSTED: Saturday, October 10, 2009

Homecoming week continued for island prep products, with San Jose State bringing three Kamehameha graduates back to the Stan Sheriff Center last night. But thanks in part to the one Warrior who stayed home—sophomore hitter Kanani Danielson—fourth-ranked Hawaii kept on rolling ... and rolling up wins for coach Dave Shoji.

Boosted by Danielson's 11 kills and the return of senior hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru's stabilizing presence, the Rainbow Wahine swept the Spartans 25-12, 25-11, 25-17. As 4,250 watched the Western Athletic Conference volleyball match, Hawaii took only 74 minutes to win its 11th straight and give Shoji his 999th victory.

Playing in only the first two sets, freshman middle Brittany Hewitt added eight kills, hitting .700, and was in on six of the 10 blocks for the Wahine (15-2, 6-0 WAC). Cubi-Otineru added eight kills with no errors, with 10 digs and freshman Alex Akana (Kamehameha '09) led the Spartans (0-14, 0-4) with five kills.

“;Having played Washington, Stanford and Cal this year ... Hawaii's strength and power was impressive,”; San Jose State coach Oscar Crespo said. “;They're moving the ball faster to the antenna and have depth on the outsides.

“;I thought we passed well, and it was nice to see Alex bounce a few balls. She's going to be a good player for us.”;

The young, undersized Spartans had trouble with Hawaii's quickness and size. The Wahine had to adjust their blocking, keeping it tight and low, and remain focused against a struggling opponent.

“;Our coaches always tell us, no matter what, always respect your opponents,”; said Cubi-Otineru, who missed Thursday's win over Nevada to rest a sprained ankle. “;Everyone comes here wanting to beat us.”;

Although the Spartans never gave up, they also never found much success. The crowd cheered every attack by 5-foot-3 SJSU senior hitter Kristal Tsukano (Kamehameha '06), who kept swinging despite being overmatched by the taller Hawaii block; she had three kills, all in Set 1.

Adding four kills and 10 digs was SJSU freshman setter Caitlin Andrade (Kamehameha '09).

The Wahine served tough, with seven aces, five by senior Stephanie Brandt. As a defensive specialist, she served the final nine points of Set 2, including the set-ending ace; as the setter in Set 3, her fifth ace ended the match.

Hawaii hit .333 to SJSU's negative-.011.

“;I do worry about going backward, but it's hard to look good and play sharp against a team that is clearly struggling,”; Shoji said. “;I thought we blocked well and we're trying to get Hewitt up to speed with her offense.

“;Jayme Lee did ask to play front row ... but that wasn't going to happen.”; (Lee, a senior libero-defensive specialist, is generously listed at 5-foot-2).

Shoji said he's tried not to think about win No. 1,000, just wanting to get No. 999 in the books.

“;It's starting to sink in,”; he said. “;I have the weekend to think about it.

“;All the wins have to be shared with all the players, the coaches, the staff. You just don't do this job alone.”;


It is anticipated that Shoji will become only the second Division I women's coach to reach 1,000 wins Wednesday against Louisiana Tech. He will be honored in a post-match ceremony.

Fans will be able to redeem their tickets from the milestone match for a memento during the following two home matches.

WAC standings

New Mexico State41.8001 1/29-6
Fresno State22.50039-7
Louisiana Tech23.4003 1/212-9
Utah State23.4003 1/210-7
Boise State14.2004 1/21-15
San Jose State04.00050-14

Hawaii def. San Jose State 25-12, 25-11, 25-17

Louisiana Tech at New Mexico State
Boise State at Idaho State
Idaho at Fresno State
Utah State at Nevada

No. 4 Hawaii def. San Jose State 25-12, 25-11, 25-17

Spartans (0-14, 0-4 WAC)

 skeatt pctdbsbapts

Rainbow Wahine (15-2, 6-0 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—San Jose State (1): Pham. Hawaii (7): Brandt 4, Ferrell 2, Cubi-Otineru. Service Errors—San Jose State (5): Zellmer 3, Tsukano, Tumer. Hawaii (7): Kaufman 3, Kaaihue 2, Cubi-Otineru, Brandt. Assists—San Jose State (20): Andrade 12, Casino 4, Zellmer 2, Tsukano, Pham. Hawaii (38): Mafua 22, Brandt 12, Ferrell, Kaufman.

T—1:14. Officials—Ron Stahl, Ernest Ho. A—4,250.