Danielson leads Wahine to perfect WAC mark


POSTED: Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kanani Danielson had been fairly quiet on Hawaii's road trip, with a combined 12 kills in wins last week at Idaho and Boise State.

It was a new week, a new state and a new career high for Danielson yesterday. The sophomore hitter put down 32 kills, hitting .455, as the third-ranked Rainbow Wahine turned back Utah State 25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-13 in Logan, Utah.

Senior hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru matched her career high with 22 kills — 10 in Set 4 — as Hawaii (26-2, 16-0 Western Athletic Conference) finished regular-season conference play undefeated for the 12th time, the first since 2005. It also was the 22nd consecutive win for the Wahine, who have a bye into next Tuesday's WAC tournament semifinals in Las Vegas.

“;Obviously, Kanani was on tonight,”; Hawaii coach Dave Shoji said. “;And Aneli was on late after a fairly slow start. She worked herself out of it, which is what good seniors do.”;

Danielson was the first Hawaii player to surpass the 30-kill mark since Jamie Houston put down 35 in a victory over USC in the 2006 NCAA regional semifinal. She also had 55 attempts, the most for a Wahine since her 62 attempts in last season's win over Washington.

Cubi-Otineru added 11 digs for her third double-double of the season. Junior libero Elizabeth Ka'aihue had a team-high 13 digs and senior defensive specialist/setter Stephanie Brandt 11.

Last night's match was markedly different than the one nine days ago when the Wahine swept the Aggies in Honolulu in 74 minutes. Hawaii had seven aces at home and none last night when needing an hour and 40 minutes to win.

“;A lot of it has to do with altitude,”; Shoji said. “;You just can't make the ball move.

“;But it wasn't just our serving, which wasn't as good as it has been. Our block was off. Our middle attack wasn't working. And Utah State had some incentive to win.”;

The Aggies (14-14, 5-10), getting 12 kills from Shantell Durant, needed to defeat the Wahine to keep their slim WAC tournament berth hopes alive. Even if Utah State were to beat Nevada on Thursday and Fresno State lose to San Jose State, the Bulldogs hold the tie-breaker over the Aggies.

Hawaii also had incentive, beyond keeping its No. 3 ranking. After seven consecutive years with an unbeaten WAC record, the Wahine have had one loss the past three seasons.

When Utah State won Set 2, it was only the fourth set Hawaii had dropped this season. The Aggies did it with a big block, with five of their 11 1/2 stuffs helping even the match at 1-1.

Hawaii didn't take control in Set 3 until Brandt's 4-0 serving run put the Wahine ahead for good at 12-7. The Aggies pulled to 22-18, but kills by Danielson and Cubi-Otineru gave UH set point and, one sideout later, Danielson put down her 10th of the set.

Hawaii jumped out to a 6-1 lead in Set 4 and rode the arm of Cubi-Otineru at the end. She had five of the Wahine's final eight points to finish with a .462 hitting percentage.








xy-Hawaii (1)1601.00026-2
x-New Mexico State (2)133.786318-8
x-Idaho (3)105.7505 1/214-14
x-Nevada78.4678 1/211-18
x-Boise State78.4578 1/27-20
x-Fresno State69.4009 1/213-14
Utah State510.33310 1/214-14
Louisiana Tech412.3081215-18
San Jose State114.06814 1/21-24

        x-clinched WAC tournament berth

        y-clinched tournament top seed as regular-season champion

        Seedings clinched in parenthesis




Hawaii def. Utah State 25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-13




Fresno State at CSU Bakersfield



        Boise State at Idaho

        Fresno State at San Jose State

        Nevada at Utah State




NO. 3 HAWAII DEF. UTAH STATE 25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-23

Rainbow Wahine (26-2, 16-0 WAC)

 skeatt pctdbsbapts

Aggies (14-14,5-10 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 — Hawaii (0):. Utah St. (3): Kortsen, Durrant, Morrill. Service Errors — Hawaii (6): Cubi-Otineru 3, Mafua 2, Danielson. Utah St. (3): Morrill 2, Fowles. Assists — Hawaii (71): Mafua 61, Kaaihue 4, Cubi-Otineru 2, Danielson 2, Kaufman. Utah St. (38): Fowles 33, Morrill 2, Korsten, McArthur, Durrant.

T — 1:40. Officials — Ed Halik, Daphne Nelson. A — 852.