Friday, April 16, 1999
Coaches-USC: Pat Powers (3rd season, 56-41). UH: Mike Wilton (7th season, 136-60).
Southern Cal Trojans
Season-USC: 14-9 (10-7 MPSF). UH: 17-8 (10-7 MPSF).
Ranking-USC: No 10. UH: No. 7.
Series: Southern Cal leads, 21-18, but Hawaii has won the last eight meetings. The last time the Rainbows lost to the Trojans was Feb. 9, 1994, in Los Angeles. The last time the Trojans won in Honolulu was March 9, 1991.
Top players: Brook Billings (6-5 Fr. OH) 5.70 kpg, .304; Eli Fairfield (6-6 So. OH) 4.76 kpg, 27 aces; Omar Rawi (6-5 Jr. MB) 1.50 bpg; Beau Rawi (6-5 Fr. MB/OH) 1.34 bpg; Donald Suxho (6-4 Jr. S) 16.83 apg, 54 aces; Trevor Julian (6-4 So. OH) 2.47 kpg, 115 digs21 aces.
About the Trojans: Southern Cal is battling Hawaii for second place in the MPSF, and the right to host a first-round playoff match ... USC won three road matches in a five-game span last week, beating up on the three bottom teams in the league: San Diego State, Cal State Northridge and UC San Diego ... On the week, Billings had a combined 64 kills in the three victories. The freshman hitter was the top recruit in the country, according to Volleyball magazine ... Suxho leads the nation in ace average (5.75 per match) and leads the Trojans in assists and digs ... The Rawi brothers have combined for 216 of SC's 333 total blocks.
About the Rainbows: Hawaii won on the road for the first time since Jan. 29, ending a six-match road skid with two wins at Pacific. The victories clinched an MPSF playoff spot for the Rainbows, who are tied with the Trojans for second place in the Pacific Division. Should Hawaii win both, the Rainbows will likely host UCLA on April 24 (there's an outside chance it could be Pepperdine). A split and Hawaii still gets to host the first round via the tiebreaker with USC (highest-place common opponent in the division; the Rainbows were 2-0 against Pacific, USC 1-1) ... The Rainbows will start the same lineup they used in beating Pacific twice last week: Mason Kuo at setter, Dejan Miladinovic and Andre Breuer in the middle, Clay Stanley at opposite and Torry Tukuafu and Chris Kosty as swing hitters. Hawaii has used 11 different combinations this season ... Breuer is 10th in career block solos with 46. He needs four to pass Rick Tune for the ninth spot ... Miladinovic is third in career block assists with 279 and needs 31 to pass No. 2 Sivan Leoni ... Kuo is fifth all-time in assists with 2,163. Last month, he became only the sixth Rainbow to reach the 2,000-assist plateau. Kuo would need 418 to pass Erik Pichel for fourth place.
End quote: "It's pretty simple, we win, we host the first round," said Hawaii coach Mike Wilton.
Senior night: Tomorrow, the Rainbows will honor seniors Mason Kuo and Chris Kosty, as well as junior Andre Breuer, who will forego his final year of eligibility to return to Germany.
First serve: Tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center.
On the air: Both matches live on KHNL TV (Channel 5), 10:30 p.m. repeat. No radio.