Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, September 17, 1999

W A H I N E _ V O L L E Y B A L L

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
Hawaii's Jessica Sudduth spikes the ball against Long Beach
State in the Wahine's four-set win yesterday.

Wahine take it
to ‘The Beach’

Hawaii uses a varied attack
to snap the defending NCAA
champs' 42-game win streak

By Cindy Luis


Only in Hawaii do the fans still do the wave. Last night at the Stan Sheriff Center, it was a wave of relief.

No. 4 Long Beach State blew into town wearing a 42-match win streak and rings as defending NCAA champs. Third-ranked Hawaii braced itself for a hurricane that -- after 2 hours and 17 minutes -- was downgraded via a balanced Wahine attack and a roaring crowd of 8,110.

Along the way a few ghosts were exorcised. Heather Bown was 0-6 against The Beach in her two years at UC Santa Barbara; Jessica Sudduth, Heidi Ilustre, Jennifer Roberts and Aven Lee were the remnants of the Wahine team that got smoked in 47 minutes at the Pyramid in 1997, 15-8, 15-5, 15-0.

"I just remember them bagel-ing us (15-0)," Sudduth said after tying her career high with 19 kills. "So many of us come from Southern California and we do not want to lose to The Beach. It's a big thing with us. "For me tonight, it was one of those games when the competitive vibes come out."

So did Hawaii's tough serving (8 aces), which kept Long Beach State's passers off balance for most of the night. Except for Game 3, when the Wahine played catch-up for 34 minutes, Hawaii took control and a big lead, stumbled then but was able to hold against the 49ers' late surge.

"A lot of people didn't think we could beat them, but in our hearts, we felt we could," said Bown, who added 15 kills and 8 blocks. "It was an important match. They are right behind us in the rankings and I think playing such a solid match sends out a statement.

"They're a real good program and deserve to be where they are. But we played real hard tonight and we got the better of them at the end."

The end was impressive. Hawaii's 12-4 lead melted into one of 12-10.

After Veronica Lima put down her 10th kill with authority, the Wahine regained the serve and never gave it back. A 49er hitting error and Sudduth's 19th kill gave Hawaii match point; the Wahine block ducked as the attempt by 6-foot-6 Tayyiba Haneef went long to end it.

The last time Long Beach State lost was to Stanford on Dec. 18, 1997, in the NCAA Tournament semifinals. The 49ers were 36-0 last season and had opened this year with six straight wins, with the 42 wins being the third-longest streak in NCAA history.

"Their streak never crossed my mind," said Hawaii coach Dave Shoji. "We were just trying to win a volleyball game. They could have come in after losing 40 in a row, it wouldn't have mattered.

"Any time you beat Long Beach, it's a good win. They may be the premier team in the country over the past 10 years. Any time you beat them, it's pretty sweet."

Had the Wahine managed to sweep the 49ers, it would have been the first time in 87 matches. The Beach last lost in straight sets on Nov. 9, 1996 to Pacific.

"I would have liked to have had these players set the record so they could develop their own identity separate from last year's team," said 49ers coach Brian Gimmillaro. "We didn't play very well but, then, Hawaii is also a good team.

"I could have scheduled differently if the record was all we wanted. But it wasn't the key. It's the chance to play here and play at the final four site."

Hawaii will host the NCAA final four Dec. 16-18. The only other time the Wahine hosted the national tournament was in 1989, when the 49ers won their first NCAA title.

Long Beach State showed more than enough potential to be back here in three months to defend its title. Sophomore Cheryl Weaver, who was on her recruiting trip at Long Beach the night the Wahine played in 1997, put down a team-high 16 kills and hit .448.

Sophomore Haneef (14 kills) is still developing but will be hard to stop once she gets the connection down with either of the 49ers' young setters.

Also in double-figure kills for Hawaii were Lily Kahumoku (17) and Lima (10).

"Jen (freshman setter Carey) is getting really good at distributing the ball," said Bown. "We knew they'd stack the blockers on me, which frees up our outside hitters. They did awesome.

"Now, we can't let down against Colorado. If we do, then everything we accomplished tonight will be useless. We need to come out and play real strong again."


Hawaii def. Long Beach State,
15-13,15-10, 10-15, 15-10

Long Beach (6-1)

		g	k	e	att	pct.	bs	ba	d
Kierulff	4	2	1	7	.143	0	0	8
Walls		4	7	4	24	.125	0	5	3
Grabovac	4	10	7	31	.097	0	4	8
Nishimoto	4	1	0	7	.143	0	4	9
Barratt		4	14	4	29	.345	2	2	19
Weaver		4	16	3	29	.448	1	7	8
Haneef		4	14	7	38	.184	0	7	2
Ohta		4	0	1	3	-.333	0	0	13
	Totals	4	64	27	68	.220	3	29	70
Rainbow Wahine (8-0)

		g	k	e	att	pct.	bs	ba	d
Carey		4	4	1	12	.250	0	4	10
Sudduth		4	19	8	52	.212	0	4	11
Bown		4	16	6	30	.333	0	8	6
Kahumoku	4	17	9	46	.174	0	2	8
Lima		4	10	5	26	.192	0	4	7
Roberts		4	8	2	16	.375	0	4	2
Vakasausau	4	0	0	0	.000	0	0	3
Lee		4	1	0	2	.500	0	0	3
Ilustre		4	2	0	6	.333	0	0	12
	Totals	4	77	31	190	.242	0	26	62
Key--g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct.: hitting percentage; bs: block solos; ba: block assists; d: digs.

Aces--LBS (3): Kierulff 1, Grabovac 1, Weaver 1; UH (8): Bown 3, Lima 2, Sudduth 1, Roberts 1, Ilustre 1. Assists--LBS (60): Nishimoto 57, Walls 1, Weaver 1, Ohta 1; UH (65): Carey 60, Sudduth 2, Ilustre 2, Lee 1.

A--8,880. T--2:17. Officials--Wayne Lee, Dan Hironaka.

Wahine volleyball

Bullet Tonight: No. 3 Hawaii (8-0) vs. No. 20 Colorado (6-1), 7:05 p.m.
Bullet Where: Stan Sheriff Center.
Bullet Broadcasts: Live on KFVE-TV (Channel 5) and KCCN (1420-AM).
Bullet RealAudio: Live Internet broadcast
Bullet Tickets: $5-$9.

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