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Wahine eye better effort vs. Nevada


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POSTED: Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hawaii saw some scary things during Thursday's win at Fresno State, things that the Rainbow Wahine don't want repeated tonight against Nevada.

Foremost, Hawaii (19-2, 9-0 Western Athletic Conference) wants to prove that it is not masquerading as the No. 3 team in the country to the rest of the volleyball world.

“;I'd have to say it was our worst performance of the season,”; Wahine coach Dave Shoji said after yesterday's practice at Virginia Street Gym, site of tonight's match with Nevada (8 -15, 4-6). “;We've had a bad (set) here and there, but not a whole match. We've played at a pretty high level most of the season.

“;We worked on a lot of skills and technique today. We can and should have played better last night. Just about every phase of our game was out of sync. And Nevada is getting better. We've got to pay attention.”;

The Wolf Pack ended a three-match losing skid Thursday with a 25-15, 25-17, 25-13 win over San Jose State, the first sweep of the season for the Pack. Junior hitter Kylie Harrington (Saint Francis '07) had a match-high 12 kills, while junior middle Lindsay Baldwin added 10.

Baldwin did not play in last month's 25-12, 25-17, 25-16 loss at Hawaii. But neither did Wahine senior hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru, second on the team in kills and digs, and the WAC leader in service aces (40).

“;We're a different team with Lindsay back,”; Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said. “;But Aneli didn't play against us the first time. I think it's going to be even a tougher match for us with her back.

“;We want to compete and play well. We're not looking to knock them off. If we do, great, but we're a huge underdog. We're looking forward to playing them. We're anticipating a record crowd, although most might be Hawaii fans.”;

(The volleyball match follows today's Hawaii-Nevada football game).

Scruggs said she didn't see tapes of Thursday's nationally televised contest between Hawaii and Fresno State, a match in which the Wahine struggled before putting away the Bulldogs 25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20. She did look at the box score and also sent a text message to Fresno State coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell, who played for Scruggs at Nevada in the late 1990s.

“;I told her good job in taking a set off Hawaii,”; Scruggs said.

While Scruggs would enjoy getting a similar message from Netherby-Sewell, the Nevada coach said the focus was on the rest of the season. Only the top six teams will advance to the WAC tournament, and there is only a half-game separating the Nos. 4 through 8 teams in the conference.

“;It's going to be a real dogfight the next few weeks,”; Scruggs said.

The battle for Hawaii is to get back in sync and get NCAA-tournament-ready.

“;The good thing is everything that was out of sync Thursday is correctable,”; Shoji said. “;I think we're back on track.”;

 

WAHINE VOLLEYBALL

» What: No. 3 Hawaii (19-2, 9-0 WAC) at Nevada (8-15, 4-6)
» When: 5 p.m. today
» Radio: KKEA 1420-AM
» Series: Hawaii leads 32-1