UH earns ugly win over Fresno


POSTED: Friday, October 30, 2009

Dave Shoji doesn't remember much about Oct. 29, 1975, other than he picked up his first coaching win.

Except for earning victory No. 1,003, the Hawaii coach would like to forget most of what happened on his 34th anniversary. The third-ranked Rainbow Wahine struggled on national television last night before turning back Fresno State 25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20 in Fresno, Calif.

Sophomore hitter Kanani Danielson tied her career high with 22 kills, hitting .425, and senior hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru added 13 kills, hitting .407, to lead Hawaii (19-2, 9-0 Western Athletic Conference). A crowd of 4,132 — a record for volleyball in the Save Mart Center — saw Lacey Gera put down 12 kills to lead the host Bulldogs (11-11, 4-6).

The Rainbow Wahine ran their series record against the Bulldogs to 45-0. For much of the hour and 55 minutes, it wasn't easy.

“;Fresno played well and we didn't,”; Shoji said after his team won its 15th straight. “;It was closer than it should have been.

“;Our passing was off, we didn't handle their serves very well, didn't follow our game plan. None of the phases of our game were very good tonight.”;

After winning Set 1, Hawaii got into a bad rotation early in Set 2. Stephanie Ferrell was blocked three times as Fresno State took a 5-1 lead.

The Bulldogs led by as many as seven (11-4) before the Wahine rallied. A hitting error by Lacey Gera gave Hawaii its only lead of the set at 21-20.

The Bulldogs used a 4-0 run to take set point at 24-21; an ace by Amber Kaufman helped the Wahine close to 24-23 but Ferrell was blocked again to even the match.

It was only the third set in WAC play dropped by Hawaii. The other two came against New Mexico State. Shoji flopped the lineup in Set 3, which meant Ferrell wasn't starting at left-front.

“;At that point, she had no kills and five errors,”; Shoji said. “;But I thought she came back to play well, especially in Game 4, getting key points for us.”;

After dominating Set 3, the Wahine against struggled when switching sides. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 6-1 lead only to have Hawaii counter with a 5-1 run to close to 7-6.

Neither team could break away to more than a one-point lead until Cubi-Otineru's 10th kill and a block by Brittany Hewitt and Ferrell on Gera put the Wahine ahead 20-17.

Fresno State hung around, with Taylor Horton's only kills bringing the Bulldogs to within 22-20. As she did at New Mexico State, Danielson took over, putting down the match's last three kills.

“;Kanani came through for us again,”; Shoji said.

Hawaii continues its road trip at Nevada tomorrow followed by at San Jose State on Monday. Thanks to Idaho upseting New Mexico State last night, the Wahine increased their WAC lead to 1 1/2 games.



New Mexico State83.7271 1/213-8
Idaho83.7271 1/212-12
Fresno State46.4005 1/211-11
Nevada46.4005 1/28-15
Boise State46.4005 1/24-18
Utah State47.363613-11
Louisiana Tech47.363614-13
San Jose State18.11181-19

NO. 3 HAWAII DEF. FRESNO STATE 25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20
RAINBOW WAHINE (19-2, 9-0)


BULLDOGS (11-11, 4-6 WAC)

Gera, La.412428.28610112.5
Gera, Li.4000.0005000

Totals 4 51 26 137 .182 43 0 10 60.0

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 — Hawaii (6): Kaufman 2, Cubi-Otineru 2, Mafua, Lee. Fresno State (4): Platt 2, Munson, Mason. Service Errors — Hawaii (8): Kaaihue 2, Kaufman 2, Danielson, Mafua, Cubi-Otineru, Lee. Fresno State (9): Clarke 3, Munson 2, Platt, Horton, Mason, Gera, Li. Assists — Hawaii (52): Mafua 48, Danielson 2, Kaaihue, Lee. Fresno State (49): Gera, Li. 24, Munson 20, Clark 3, Agraz, Leonardo.

T — 1:55. Officials — Eric Asami, Bob McCarthy. A — 4,132.