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Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, December 13, 2000



Final Four



Back 4 more

It's cold in Virginia, where the
Wahine hope to put the
heat on Nebraska

Bullet Final Four team profiles
Bullet Kahumoku All-American

By Pat Bigold

RICHMOND, Va. -- Today was a big day for the University of Hawaii women's volleyball team.

The Wahine got to walk for the first time in their field of dreams: the Richmond Coliseum.

Hawaii (31-1) had a 10 a.m. practice in the building and then gave up the floor to its NCAA final four opponents, the top-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers (32-0).

If any of the Wahine still needed to snap out of the delirium of winning the West regional, the 40-degree chill that hit their faces when they stepped off their Delta flight yesterday afternoon did the trick.


Bullet Where: Richmond, Va.

Bullet When: Tomorrow's semifinals -- Hawaii (31-1) vs. Nebraska (32-0), 1 p.m. HST; Wisconsin (32-3) vs. Southern California (29-2), 4 p.m. HST. Saturday's final -- Tomorrow's winners, 10:30 a.m. HST

Bullet Radio: Hawaii matches live on KCCN-AM (1420).

Bullet RealAudio: 'Net broadcast Click Here

Bullet TV: Hawaii semifinal match, O16, 1 p.m. (live), ESPN2, 8:30 p.m. (delayed). Saturday's championship, ESPN2, 10:30 a.m. (live).



Bullet 4: National titles (1 AIAW, 1979; 3 NCAA, 1982, '83, '87)

Bullet 6: NCAA final four appearances (1982, '83, '87, '88, '96, 2000).

Bullet 13: Years since last title.

Watching their breath turn into vapor clouds as they talked convinced them they were no longer in Honolulu.

The Wahine will be trying to keep intact their head coach's record of five semifinal appearances without a loss. Dave Shoji led Hawaii to consecutive NCAA titles in 1982 and 1983 and a third in 1987.

Since then the Wahine have reached the final four twice more, losing in the championship match to Texas in 1988 and to Stanford four years ago in another cold setting (Cleveland).

Hawaii holds a 4-3 series edge over the Huskers, but the teams have never met in the postseason.

Nebraska, which has won one championship in seven NCAA tournament appearances, commanded a lot of attention this season with its outspoken first-year head coach John Cook.

Cook, the Huskers' associate head coach last season, spent the previous seven years as head coach of No. 4 Wisconsin. Cook's former team faces No. 2 USC in the other semifinal tomorrow.

If the Wahine should reach the final and face the Women of Troy, the Pac-10 team might be informed by interim head coach Jarrett Elliott that the program has a longtime score to settle with Hawaii.

In the 1982 championship match, Shoji's Wahine, led by Deitre Collins, lost games 1 and 2 and trailed in game 3 before rallying against the defending NCAA champs. It gave Shoji his first NCAA title and his second overall (Hawaii also won the 1979 AIAW championship).

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Senior Jessica Sudduth, left, is fired up for the NCAA
Volleyball Championship semifinal against
Nebraska tomorrow.

The Wahine hold an 18-14 series record against USC (29-2). But the Women of Troy are 1-1 with Hawaii in NCAA tournament play, having upset No. 1 Hawaii in the regionals in 1981.

Against the Badgers (32-3), the Wahine are 1-0 due to a 1993 home court sweep in an NCAA tournament second-round match.

The more pressing concern for the Wahine, besides finding gloves that fit them, is a Husker middle blocker named Amber Holmquist.

Holmquist is a major reason why Nebraska is second only to Hawaii in attendance this year. She is the NCAA's top middle blocker, averaging 2.01 a game, and is third in hitting percentage at .413.

Hawaii's answer to Holmquist is 6-3 freshman Maja Gustin, who is tied for 11th in the NCAA in blocking.

But Gustin, an AVCA West region first-team pick, averaged more than two blocks a game last week in matches against Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara.

Cook said being forced to go five games with South Carolina in the second round was a "big wake-up call for us."

Hawaii's big wake-up call was its loss at Long Beach State over Thanksgiving weekend.

The difference is that Hawaii had the experience of being beaten and then coming back to avenge the loss against the same team 12 days later.

"That loss was important to us," said All-American sophomore left side hitter Lily Kahumoku.

Key outside hitter Laura Pilakowski (4.33 kpg), who missed three weeks due to an appendectomy, is back in action and, according to Cook, getting stronger every day.

Pilakowski had a 17-kill performance against Arizona in the regional championship.

Then there's the Husker setter who concerns Shoji.

"This (final four) is something that we have been working toward since last spring," said Nebraska sophomore Greichaly Cepero, the Big 12 Player of the Year.

Cepero is averaging 11.93 assists a game. She's led her team to a 16.60 kills per game average and a .315 hitting percentage.

Hawaii's Jennifer Carey averages 12.90 assists and her offense averages 17.21 kills and hits .294.

In other comparisons in a volleyball tale of the tape, Hawaii averages 15.53 assists to Nebraska's 14.65; 1.59 service aces to the Huskers' 1.74; 16.56 digs to Nebraska's 15.38; and 3.21 blocks to the Huskers' 4.17.

The Wahine believe they have two big things going for them. One is desire and the other is better balance than last season.

Kahumoku is the offensive leader, Gustin is the best percentage hitter and freshman Kim Willoughby leads the team in digs.

The Wahine also have the steadying influence of their senior defensive specialist, Aven Lee, who is the only player remaining from the last UH team to make it to the final four (1996).

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
UH Rainbow Wahine Lily Kahumoku puts a kill past
Long Beach State 49er Keri Nishimoto in a
match earlier this season. Kahumoku was named
an All-American.

Kahumoku: All-American

Star-Bulletin staff

The progression has been steady.

WAC Freshman of the Year (1999).

WAC Player of the Year (2000).

Now, All-American.

Sophomore outside hitter Lily Kahumoku today became the 14th University of Hawaii women's volleyball player to be honored as a first-team All-American.

The 6-foot-2 Kamehameha Schools graduate also becomes the fifth Hawaii high school product to earn All-American honors since the NCAA began sponsoring the sport 20 years ago. She joins the outstanding ranks of Tita Ahuna, Nahaku Brown, Joyce Kapuala Kaapuni and Robyn Ah Mow.

The rest of the first and second teams were to be announced today.

The All-American banquet is Friday.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii



Record: 31-1 overall, 16-0 WAC

Coach: Dave Shoji, 25th season (741-138-1), 4 national titles.

Ranking: No. 3 AVCA Coaches poll, No. 3 Volleyball magazine poll.

Leading players: Lily Kahumoku (4.51 kpg, 2.11 dpg, .306), Jessica Sudduth (3.35 kpg, 2.76 dpg, .247), Kim Willoughby (3.12 kpg, 2.99 dgp, .266), Veronica Lima (2.90 kpg, 2.28 dpg, 1.20), Maja Gustin (2.81 kpg, 1.56 bpg, .379), Jennifer Carey (12.90 apg, 2.46 dpg).

Team hitting: .298. Blocking: 3.09.

NCAA Championship history: The Wahine are making their sixth appearance in the NCAA final four. Hawaii won titles in 1982-83 and 1987, and finished second in 1987 and 1996. The Wahine are 8-2 in the final four, including 5-0 in the semifinals. Overall in the NCAA, Hawaii has appeared in 19 of the 20 tournaments and has a 44-15 record. The Wahine's 44 victories is the fourth-most in NCAA history, behind Stanford (57), UCLA (51) and Nebraska (45).

Series: Hawaii leads the series with Nebraska, 4-3. Last meeting: The Wahine won, 3-0, for the 1996 NACWAA Classic title. Hawaii leads the series with Southern Cal, 18-14. Last meeting: The Wahine dropped a pair of 1993 Thanksgiving week matches in Klum Gym, 2-3 and 1-3. Hawaii leads the series with Wisconsin, 1-0. Last meeting: UH swept the Badgers in the 1993 NCAA Tourney first round.

No. Player Pos. Ht. Cl
1 Margaret Vakasausau DS/S 5-8 So.
2 Tanja Nikolic RS 6-0 Jr.
3 Kim Willoughby LS/MH 6-0 Fr.
4 Jennifer Carey S 6-1 So.
5 Jessica Sudduth LS/RS 6-2 Sr.
6 Rebekah Cravens DS 5-7 Fr.
8 Melody Eckmier MH 6-3 Fr.
9 Lily Kahumoku LS 6-2 So.
10 Veronica Lima MH 6-2 Jr.
11 Andrea Gomez Tukuafu DS/LS 5-8 Sr.
12 Maja Gustin MH 6-2 Fr.
13 Aven Lee DS/LS 5-8 Sr.
14 Lauren Duggins MH/RS 6-0 Fr.
15 Melissa Villaroman DS 5-6 Fr.
Head coach: Dave Shoji

Associate: Charlie Wade.

Assistants: Kari Anderson, Shelton Tang

2000 results

def. Texas A&M, 3-1
def. Iowa, 3-0
def. UCLA, 3-0
def. Oregon, 3-0
def. Creighton, 3-0
def. Northwestern, 3-0
def. UCSB, 3-1
def. UNLV, 3-0
def. Pepperdine, 3-2
def. Pepperdine, 3-1
def. Fresno State, 3-0
def. San Jose State, 3-0
def. SMU, 3-0
def. TCU, 3-0
def. Nevada, 3-0
def. Tulsa, 3-0
def. UTEP, 3-0
def. Rice, 3-0
def. TCU, 3-0
def. SMU, 3-0
def. San Jose State, 3-0
def. Fresno State, 3-0
def. Tulsa, 3-0
def. Nevada, 3-0
def. Rice, 3-0
def. UTEP, 3-0
def. Cal Poly, 3-1
lost to Long Beach St, 1-3
def. Davidson, 3-0
def. Utah, 3-0
def. Long Beach St., 3-2
def. UCSB, 3-1.


Women of Troy

Record: 29-2 overall, 16-2 Pac-10

Coach: Jerritt Elliott (2nd, 49-11)

Ranking: No. 2 AVCA Coaches poll, No. 4 Volleyball magazine poll.

Leading players: April Ross (3.68 kpg, 3.04 dpg, 38 aces, .288). Jennifer Paho (2.23 kpg, 1.33 dpg, 1.26 bpg, .409). Toni Anderson (2.06 dpg, 8.04 apg, 20 aces, .229). Janae Henry (3.22 kpg, 3.33 dpg).

Team hitting: .314. Blocking: 2.95

NCAA Championship history: The Women of Troy are in their 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament and have competed in 18 of 20 tournaments. Southern Cal missed the 1986 and 1990 tourneys. They won the inaugural NCAA championship in 1981 and finished second to Hawaii in 1982.

Series: USC leads the series with Wisconsin, 3-2. Last meeting: Wisconsin won, 3-2, for the 1998 Badger Invitational title. USC leads the series with Nebraska, 3-1. Last meeting: Nebraska won, 3-2, in the 1997 Pacific Regional. USC trails in the series with Hawaii, 14-17. Last meeting: The Wahine won, 3-1, in the 1999 Wahine Challenge.

Fun facts: Southern Cal's freshman class was ranked No. 1 coming into this season...Janae Henry is 31 digs away from reaching the 1,000 career mark. USC broke Stanford's 45-match home winning streak on Sept. 22, then swept the regular-season series with a 3-2 win on Oct. 20.

No. Player Pos. Ht. Cl
1 Tracy Lindquist S 5-7 So
2 Julie Mariani DS 5-5 So
3 Antoinette Polk OH 5-10 Sr.
4 Nicole Davis DS 5-6 Fr.
5 Toni Anderson S 5-10 Fr.
6 Jaime Carroll DS 5-8 Fr-
8 Sara Peterson MB 6-1 Sr
12 Kelli Lantz MB 6-3 Fr-
14 April Ross OH 6-1 Fr,
15 Lauren Killian OPP 6-1 So
22 Janae Henry OH 6-0 Sr,
26 Jennifer Pahl MB 6-1 Jr,
33 Katie Olsovsky MB 6-3 Fr

Interim Head Coach: Jerritt Elliott

Assistants: Paula Weishoff, Erikka Gulbranson, Rob Machan

2000 results

def. Texas, 3-0
def. Arkansas, 3-0
def. Rhode Island, 3-0
def. UTSA, 3-0
def. Temple, 3-0
def. Washington St., 3-0
def. Washington, 3-0
def. Stanford, 3-0
def. California, 3-0
def. Oregon State, 3-0
def. Oregon, 3-0
def. UC Irvine, 3-0
def. UCLA, 3-1
def. Arizona State, 3-1
lost to Arizona, 0-3
def. California, 3-0
def. Stanford, 3-2
def. UCSB, 3-2
def. Oregon State, 3-0
def. Oregon, 3-0
lost to UCLA, 0-3
def. Arizona State, 3-1
def. Arizona, 3-1
def. San Diego, 3-0
def. Washington St., 3-1
def. Washington, 3-0
def. Notre Dame, 3-2
def. Georgia State, 3-0
def. Cal Poly, 3-0
def. Florida, 3-0
def. Penn State, 3-0



Record: 32-0 overall, 20-0 Big 12

Coach: John Cook (1st).

Ranking: No. 1 AVCA Coaches poll, No. 1 Volleyball magazine poll.

Leading players: Amber Holmquist (3.20 kpg, 2.01 bpg (1st NCAA), .413 (3rd in NCAA).Greichally Cepero (11.93 apg, .330) 1.47 blocks. Laura Pilakowski, 4.33 kpg, 2.60 dpg, .344.

Team hitting: .315. Blocking: 4.17.

NCAA Championship history: The Cornhuskers are making their seventh appearance in the NCAA Championship final four (1986, '89, '90, '95, '96, '98, 2000). They own a 45-17 record in 19 of 20 NCAA Tournaments. The only tournament they missed was the first one in 1981. Only UCSB, Pacific, Penn State and Stanford has played in all 20. Nebraska won the title in 1995, behind setter Fiona Nepo of Honolulu. Nebraska's seven final four appearances is tied for third with Pacific and Long Beach; Stanford (12) is first and UCLA (10) is second. The Huskers are 4-5 in the final four, 1-2 in title matches. Their 45-17 in the tournament. Their 45 wins is third overall, behind Stanford (57) and UCLA (51). Nebraska is looking to become just the second team to finish as a national champion with an undefeated record. The other team was Long Beach State (36-0) in 1998.

Series: Nebraska trails in the series with Hawaii, 3-4. Nebraska leads Wisconsin, 10-1. Nebraska trails USC, 1-3.

No., Player Cl. Pos Ht.
1 Greichaly Cepero So. S 6-2
2 Angie Oxley Sr. RS 6-0
3 Amber Holmquist So. MB 6-4
5 Lindsay Wischmeie So. DS 5-9
6 Jenae Dowling Fr. DS 5-6
7 Nancy Meendering Sr. RS 6-1
9 Laura Pilakowski So. OH/MB 6-1
10 Jill McWilliams Sr. S 6-0
11 Rachel Baumstark Fr. OH 6-1
12 Pam Krejci R-So. MB 6-2
16 Anna Schrad Fr. OH 6-2
17 Jenny Kropp Jr. MB 6-3
25 Kim Behrends Sr. OH 6-0

Head Coach: John Cook.

Assistants: Staci Wolfe, Craig Skinner

2000 results

def. Northwestern, 3-0
def. Georgia, 3-0
def. Colorado State, 3-0
def. Oral Roberts, 3-0
def. Notre Dame, 3-0
def. Michigan State, 3-0
def. UCLA, 3-2
def. Texas, 3-0
def. Missouri, 3-0
def. Kansas, 3-0
def. Oklahoma, 3-0
def. Colorado, 3-0
def. Texas A&M, 3-0
def. Creighton, 3-0
def. Iowa State, 3-0
def. Baylor, 3-0
def. Texas Tech, 3-1
def. Kansas State, 3-0
def. Texas, 3-1
def. Missouri, 3-0
def. Kansas, 3-0
def. Oklahoma, 3-0
def. Colorado, 3-0
def. Texas A&M, 3-1
def. Iowa State, 3-0
def. Baylor, 3-0
def. Texas Tech, 3-0
def. Kansas State, 3-2
def. Princeton, 3-0
def. South Carolina, 3-2
def. Ohio State, 3-0
def. Arizona, 3-0



Record: 32-3 overall, 18-2 Big Ten

Coach: Pete Waite (2nd, 54-33)

Ranking: No. 4 AVCA Coaches poll, No. 7 Volleyball magazine poll.

Leading players: Sherisa Levingston (5.20 kpg, 1.39 bpg, .386), Jenny Maastricht (4.43 kpg, 2.81 dpg, 27 aces, .244), Lizzy Fitzgerald (1.22 kpg, 2.58 dpg, 13.93 apg, .310).

Team hitting: .280. Blocking: 3.10

NCAA Championship history: The Badgers are making their first-ever appearances in the final four. Wisconsin is 15-8 in nine NCAA Tournaments.

Series: Wisconsin trails in the series with Nebraska, 1-10. Wisconsin trails the series with Hawaii, 0-1. Wisconsin trails in the series with USC, 2-3.

Fun facts: Wisconsin won its third Big Ten title this season... Among its only three losses of the season, Wisconsin fell to Florida, 0-3, Ohio State, 2-3, and Penn State, 2-3... Middle blocker Sherisa Livingston was tabbed Big Ten Conference Co-Player of the Year... The Badgers also boast the 2000 Freshman of the Year in Claudia Rodriguez... Livingston led the squad with 5.2 kills per game, 1.39 blocks per game and a .386 attack percentage... Rodriguez averaged 2.97 kills and 1.10 blocks per game... Wisconsin was also guided by setter Lizzy Fitzgerald was named All-Big Ten first team... Pete Waite was honored as the Big Ten Coach of the Year.

No., Player Ht. Pos Cl
1 Claudia Rodriguez 6-3 OH/MB Fr.
2 Lizzy Fitzgerald 6-0 S Jr.
3 Meggan Kohnen 6-2 OH Sr.
5 Jamie Gardner 5-7 DS Sr.
6 Lisa Zukowski 5-10 OH/DS Fr.
8 Marie Meyer 6-1 MB Jr.
10 Korie Gardner 5-8 DS Fr.
11 Lori Rittenhouse 6-1 OH So.
12 Jenny Maastricht 6-1 OH Sr.
13 Erin Byrd 6-0 OH So.
14 Sara Urbanek 5-9 OH Jr.
15 Morgan Shields 5-11 S/OH So
16 Angie Sanger 5-4 DS Fr.
17 Anya Van Dort 6-2 MB Fr.
18 Sherisa Livingston 6-2 MB Jr.
19 Jill Maier 5-7 DS Fr.
25 Kim Behrends Sr. OH 6-0

Head Coach: Pete Waite.

Assistant: Christy Johnson.

2000 results

def. Ball State, 3-0
def. UNLV, 3-0
lost to Florida, 0-3
def. Northern Iowa, 3-1
def. Colorado, 3-0
def. Tulane, 3-0
def. LSU, 3-0
def. Wis-GB, 3-0
def. Dayton, 3-0
def. South Florida, 3-0
def. Rice, 3-0
def. Penn State, 3-0
def. Indiana, 3-0
def. Northwestern, 3-0
lost to Ohio State, 2-3
def. Minnesota, 3-0
def. Iowa, 3-0
def. Michigan State, 3-1
def. Michigan, 3-0
def. Purdue, 3-0
def. Illinois, 3-0
def. Iowa, 3-0
def. Minnesota, 3-1
def. Northwestern, 3-0
def. Ohio State, 3-1
def. Indiana, 3-1
lost to Penn State, 2-3
def. Illinois, 3-0
def. Purdue, 3-0
def. Michigan, 3-0
def. Michigan State, 3-0
def. Bucknell, 3-0
def. Northern Iowa, 3-0
def. kansas State, 3-1
def. UCLA, 3-2

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