Wahine get Fresno in semis


POSTED: Tuesday, November 24, 2009

LAS VEGAS >> The Orleans Arena is some 2,500 seats cozier than the Stan Sheriff Center.

The crowd—although heavily pro-Rainbow Wahine—is expected to be smaller as well, likely 4,500 less than the 6,500 they've averaged at home.

But, as far as top-seeded Hawaii is concerned, there is nothing small about tonight's Western Athletic Conference tournament semifinal vs. Fresno State (15-15). The third-ranked Wahine (26-2) are focused on winning their 10th consecutive WAC tournament title and playing well in doing so.

The Wahine had a 2-1/2-hour practice yesterday in getting acclimated to the court. They also watched the first half of last night's match between Nevada and Fresno State, leaving after Set 2.

The UH coaching staff stayed the entire 2 hours and 16 minutes that it took former Nevada player and current Fresno State coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell to defeat her alma mater and former coach for the first time.





        At Las Vegas; seedings in parentheses


        YESTERDAY Boise State (6) def. Idaho (3), 25-22, 26-24, 23-25, 25-21

        Fresno State (5) def. Nevada (4), 14-25, 25-23, 20-25, 26-24, 15-12

        TODAY New Mexico State (18-8) vs. Boise State (8-21), 3 p.m.

        Hawaii (26-2) vs. Fresno State (15-15), 5:30 p.m.

        TOMORROW Today's winners, 4:30 p.m.


        Radio: Hawaii matches, KKEA 1420-AM

        TV: Tomorrow's match, ESPNU

        Internet: Today's matches, www.WAC.tv ($9.95)

“;I'm not surprised by how even it was,”; Wahine coach Dave Shoji said. “;It didn't matter to us who we played. We know (Fresno State) well and, if we take care of our assignments, we won't have problems.”;

Fresno State 3, Nevada 2

Although Hawaii didn't play last night, the Wahine fans who bought all-session passes had no trouble adopting the Wolf Pack—with their four island products on the roster. Kylie Harrington (Saint Francis '07) put down a match-high 17 kills, but it wasn't enough.

Lauren Berger had 13 kills to lift the Bulldogs into the WAC semifinals for the first time since 2004.

“;We have nothing to lose and everything to gain against Hawaii,”; Netherby-Sewell said. “;We took a set off them earlier, one that we totally controlled. If we can do that three times ... anything is possible in sports.”;

Boise State 3, Idaho 1

Alisha King had 16 kills and the Broncos upset their in-state rival. The Vandals (15-15) were led by Sarah Conwell's 19 kills and Meredith Rice's 37 digs.

Danielson cited

Hawaii's Kanani Danielson yesterday was named the WAC's player of the week for the fifth time this season following her career-high 32 kills in last Monday's win at Utah State.