New Mexico no match for Hawaii


POSTED: Saturday, December 05, 2009

LOS ANGELES » The surface streets surrounding USC's Galen Center are pretty torn up.

Ask New Mexico coach Jeff Nelson about it, and he just might blame Kanani Danielson for the damage. When the Hawaii sophomore hitter wasn't shredding the Lobo block, she was going over it ... and there was little that could be done.

“;She was a one-person wrecking crew out there,”; Nelson said after Danielson put down 17 kills in yesterday's first-round match of the NCAA volleyball tournament. “;She was just fantastic. Even when we committed on her, we couldn't stop her.”;

Danielson had plenty of help in the 25-22, 25-16, 25-21 victory that lifted the Wahine (29-2) to their 25th consecutive win. Sophomore hitter Stephanie Ferrell added 11 kills and junior Dani Mafua was very impressive over the 88 minutes it took for Hawaii to advance to today's second round.






» Hawaii (29-2) at USC (22-9), 5 p.m. today




» Radio: KWAI, 1080-AM >> Series: Hawaii leads, 21-16




For the second straight year, Hawaii will take on host USC (21-9) with a regional berth on the line. The Women of Troy got 23 kills from Alexis Jupiter in turning back Oklahoma 25-21, 26-24, 25-20.

“;It would be nice to be on a neutral court,”; Wahine coach Dave Shoji said. “;Their left-sides will be taller and more of a challenge (than New Mexico). You never like playing a really good team on their home court.

“;I thought the key to the match was pulling out Game 1. We were fortunate to do that, to weather the storm, and then it seemed to get easier. Except for spots in Games 1 and 3, I thought we played well.”;

Giving the Wahine a lift and tough serves every time she came in was senior Stephanie Brandt. Hawaii scored runs of points nearly every time Brandt went to the service line, starting in Set 1, in which she served for three straight, giving Hawaii a 17-15 lead.

At 22-22, Ferrell put down a kill to put the Wahine ahead for good. Brandt served for the final two points, with Lisa Meter's hitting error and Danielson's seventh kill putting Hawaii in control.

“;We had a pretty bad start, but after we pushed through it, it came a lot easier,”; said Brandt, who added six digs and five assists. “;The vibe on the court got better. The best part was we battled through it.”;

Hawaii also started blocking better, with five of the stuffs coming in Set 2. Freshman middle Brittany Hewitt was in on four.

“;Britt's been a good solid blocker, but she kind of fell off toward the end of the season,”; Shoji said. “;I'm happy for her and the team that she decided to get some blocks tonight.”;

Danielson said blocking was the difference after Set 1.

“;We started to block their tendencies, follow the game plan,”; she said. “;But we have to keep it up from the start. The next few teams are going to be tougher and we can't let them get ahead of us.”;


USC 3, Oklahoma 0

The Women of Troy played catch-up for most of the 98 minutes against the Sooners, including being down 7-0 in the opening minutes of Set 1. But Jupiter's offense and a defensive effort that frustrated Oklahoma (18-10) all night, including 21 digs by senior libero Alli Hiligren, helped the host team advance to yet another meeting with the Wahine.

Hawaii has ended USC's season two of the past three seasons, including a 3-0 victory here last year.

“;The things Hawaii does they do very well,”; USC coach Mick Haley said. “;We know we're going to be challenged tomorrow.”;

As good as Jupiter, Jessica Gysin (10 kills) and Lauren Williams (10 kills) were, the best shot of the night may have come from Haley, who said that the Wahine were closer to being where the coaches poll ranked them (No. 3) than where the NCAA committee seeded them (No. 12). This came before Haley learned that sixth-seeded Washington was eliminated in last night's second round at unseeded Colorado State.

The Pac-10, the conference with the highest RPI, sent eight teams to the tournament. Besides Washington, Washington State and Arizona have been eliminated as well.



Hawaii sophomore hitter Corinne Cascioppo underwent tests after complaining of chest pains Thursday. She said that doctors discovered minor heart valve problems but that it wasn't serious and that she would see a cardiologist when returning to Honolulu. She was on the bench last night but not in uniform.


NO. 3 HAWAII DEF. NEW MEXICO 25-22, 25-16, 25-21











































































































































LOBOS (20-10)
 skeatt pctdbsbapts



 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—New Mexico (5): Buck 2, Meeter, Morris, Hadfield. Hawaii (2): Kaaihue Kaufman. Service Errors—New Mexico (5): Buck 2, Morris 2, Meeter. Hawaii (8): Kaufman 2, Cubi-Otineru 2, Kaaihue, Lee, Mafua, Danielson. Assists—New Mexico (28): Michaelsen 22, Meeter 2, Buck 2, Morris 2. Hawaii (49): Mafua 39, Brandt 5, Kaaihue 2, Hewitt, Danielson, Cubi-Otineru.
T—1:28. Officials—Patsy Malta, John Martin. A—1,149.