Hawaii breezes past LaTech


POSTED: Tuesday, October 20, 2009

There was no letdown. There was no pressure.

History had already been made.

The only thing No. 3 Hawaii had to do last night was start coach Dave Shoji off on his second 1,000 wins.

The Rainbow Wahine did just that, dispatching Louisiana Tech in 75 minutes at the Stan Sheriff Center. As 3,841 watched, Kanani Danielson's 11 kills led a balanced attack and Hawaii (17-2, 8-0 Western Athletic Conference) won its 13th straight by sweeping the Lady Techsters 25-12, 25-8, 25-17.

“;It was business as usual,”; said senior middle Amber Kaufman, perfect on eight swings. “;I think everyone was in a good mood tonight. We all feel so honored to be part of his 1,000th win.

“;We felt a lot of pressure (Saturday) and I'm glad it's over.”;

“;I think the coaches expected us to be flat tonight, but we weren't,”; added senior reserve setter Stephanie Brandt. “;We were still happy from Saturday.”;

Louisiana Tech (12-12, 2-6) was in the spirit of bon ton roulle (let the good times roll) and tossed out Mardi Gras beads. The Lady Techsters had anticipated being part of Shoji's milestone victory Wednesday, buying beads, only to have their flight canceled.

“;We were looking forward to being here; it was a once in a lifetime experience,”; LaTech coach Matt Sonnichsen said. “;You can't mimic this environment anywhere else.

“;Our teams are coming from such different reference points. We want to emulate Hawaii. We had some good swings that against most teams would go down, but they're so disciplined. This Hawaii team seems more balanced, more mature than the ones in the past.”;

The Wahine were never in trouble, with Shoji having the luxury of playing most of his reserves in Set 3. With Brandt setting, Hawaii got good production from senior Cat Fowler (three kills, three block assists) and sophomore Lex Forsythe (two kills, six block assists).

Aneli Cubi-Otineru had eight kills and three service aces in the first two sets and Brittany Hewitt added six kills, hitting .417, in playing in two sets.

As for how his second team would fare in the WAC, Shoji diplomatically said, “;They'd be competitive.”;

Sonnichsen was less guarded.

“;The top five teams have second units that would be in the top three in most leagues,”; he said. “;Hawaii has what Penn State, Stanford have — second units who are able to beat most teams in their leagues.

“;They get better through team practices, which makes them great. We can't go 12 deep in practice.”;

Natalya Panova led LaTech with six kills, five of them coming in Set 1.

Hawaii again won the dig war, 48-28, with Elizabeth Ka'aihue and Danielson finishing with 10 digs.

If there was a concern for the Wahine, it was sophomore hitter Stephanie Ferrell having another off night. She had three kills and hit .143.

“;She still gives us the wow factor when she's on,”; Shoji said. “;She does have room for improvement.

“;It was nice to have Amber back on track and Brittany (Hewitt) continues to improve offensively. And Aneli was really steady, doing everything we need her to do.”;

Hawaii's seniors said they realize that there are only nine regular-season matches remaining, beginning with Friday's contest against Brigham Young-Hawaii.

“;We don't have that many left,”; Brandt said. “;We just want to keep getting better. We were pretty happy Saturday. The best thing was Dave. He'll always remember this team and we felt so honored to be part of it.”;

Shoji was fairly satisfied with last night's effort, with his team hitting more than .460 for the first two sets.

“;I'm sure we could have played better,”; he said. “;But it was nice to get everyone in. It was a more relaxed atmosphere tonight and we had fun out there. I have no gripes.”;


The annual alumnae match is at 5 p.m. on Friday. The celebration of Shoji's 1,000th continues with a parade of alumnae players, video tributes and other activities.


New Mexico State62.750211-7
Fresno State43.5713 1/211-8
Nevada34.4284 1/27-13
Utah State35.375512-9
Louisiana Tech26.250612-12
Boise State26.25062-18
San Jose State15.16761-16

Hawaii def. Louisiana Tech 25-12, 25-8, 25-17
Idaho def. Utah St., 24-26, 25-21, 24-26, 25-22, 15-9

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

BYU-Hawaii vs. Hawaii, 7 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center

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


NO. 3 Hawaii def. Louisiana Tech 25-12, 25-8, 25-17

Bulldogs (12-12, 2-6 WAC)



Rainbow Wahine (17-2, 8-0 WAC)


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 — Louisiana Tech (1): Fritz. Hawaii (6): Cubi-Ortineru 3, Mafua 2, Brandt. Service Errors — Louisiana (3): Bin, Hunsucker, Fritz. Hawaii (5): Ferrell, Kaufman, Mafua, Brandt, Robins. Assists — Louisiana Tech (16): Bin 9, Stanley 5, Goodwin, Crowder. Hawaii (39): Mafua 19, Brandt 17, Kaaihue, Forsythe, Lee.
T — 1:15. Officials — Wayne Lee, Ernest Ho. A — 3,841.