Wahine dominate All-WAC honors


POSTED: Monday, November 23, 2009

LAS VEGAS » Perfect in the regular season. Perfect in the top all-conference awards.

No. 3 Hawaii dominated the Western Athletic Conference volleyball season with a 16-0 record. Last night, the Rainbow Wahine also batted 1.000 by picking up the player, coach and freshman of the year awards at the WAC tournament banquet, as well as having all seven of the regular starters named to either the first or second team.

Sophomore hitter Kanani Danielson kept the Hawaii streak alive by being named player of the year. A Wahine has shared the honor or won it outright every season since Hawaii joined the conference in 1996.

“;Kanani has certainly lived up to the hype (of being named preseason player of the year),”; said Dave Shoji, the WAC coach of the year. “;She's responded whenever we've needed her.”;

It was the seventh such honor—first since 2005—for Shoji, who became the second Division I women's coach to win 1,000 matches earlier this season. Shoji said he voted for Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan.

Middle Brittany Hewitt became the seventh Wahine to earn freshman of the year honors, an award won by Danielson last year. Hewitt has been in the top 15 in blocking in the country all season, and the national leader for several weeks.

“;I think Brittany's the best freshman in the league,”; Shoji said. “;She contributes so much to our team.”;

Joining Danielson on the first team were senior middle Amber Kaufman, senior hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru and junior setter Dani Mafua. The four were also on the 12-member preseason All-WAC team.

Sophomore hitter Stephanie Ferrell, a preseason selection, was named to the second team. Joining her were junior libero Elizabeth Ka'aihue and Hewitt.

Island players at other schools picked up their share of honors. Named to the first team was Nevada junior hitter Kylie Harrington (St. Francis '07), while the Pack's Elissa Ji (Maryknoll '09) made the all-freshman team. Also named to the all-freshman team were San Jose State setter Caitlin Andrade and hitter Alex Akana, both '09 Kamehameha graduates.






























































































































First Team
Sarah ConwellOHSr.Idaho
Aneli Cubi-OntineruOHSr.Hawaii
Kanani DanielsonOHSo.Hawaii
Kelsey BrennanMBSo.New Mexico St.
Jennah DeVriesSSo.New Mexico St.
Kayleigh GiddensOHJr.New Mexico St.
Kylie HarringtonOHJr.Nevada
Amber KaufmanMBSr.Hawaii
Dani MafuaSJr.Hawaii
Anna McKinneyMBSr.Idaho
Debbie PedersonMBSr.Idaho
Whitney WoodsOHJr.New Mexico State



Second Team
Lindsay BaldwinMBJr.Nevada
Erin BirminghamMBSr.New Mexico State
Brianna ClarkeOHSo.Fresno State
KC ClaytonMBSr.Louisiana Tech
Stephanie FerrellOHSo.Hawaii
Brittany HewittMBFr.Hawaii
Elizabeth Ka'aihueLJrHawaii
Kelly LeonardoMBSr.Fresno State
Sadie MaughanMBJr.Boise State
Liz McArthurOHSo.Utah State
Breann NesselhufSSo.Boise State
Alisha YoungOHJr.

Boise State



Player Pos.School
Alex Akana OHSan Jose State
Caitlin Andrade SSan Jose State
Marissa Brand MBFresno State
Liz Harden OHBoise State
Brittany Hewitt MBHawaii
Elissa Ji OHNevada

Player of the year: Kanani Danielson, Hawaii
Freshman of the year: Brittany Hewitt, Hawaii
Coach of the year: Dave Shoji, Hawaii