Rainbow Wahine sweep away Waves


POSTED: Sunday, September 20, 2009

Good balance and consistency when it was needed. Couldn't ask for anything more over an efficient 86 minutes.

Hawaii got exactly what it wanted last night by sweeping Pepperdine for the second time in two nights.

Led by Kanani Danielson's 11 kills and 10 from Stephanie Ferrell, the fourth-ranked Rainbow Wahine (9-2) concluded their nonconference season with a convincing 25-17, 25-17, 25-17 victory over the Waves (7-5) in front of 4,413 at the Stan Sheriff Center.

As good as the 9-2 record looks, “;I thought we'd have less losses,”; senior hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru said. “;But I think we did really well for having such a tough preseason. We learned a lot about ourselves, know what we need to work on.”;

“;I think we accomplished what we wanted to during the preseason,”; Wahine coach Dave Shoji added. “;If you told me before the season that we'd be 9-2 at this point, I would have been happy. I didn't know what to expect.

“;But you look back at Cal (a 3-2 loss Sept. 6) and you wish you would have won that one. But we've done what we wanted to do. We know if we play our game ... it's pretty darn good.”;

Good things came in threes for the Wahine in Set 1, as they used two 3-0 runs to open up a 15-13 advantage. The Waves stayed close at 16-15 only to see Hawaii run away to a 23-15 margin behind the serving of Jayme Lee.

The first block of the match came when Kristen Seaton and Victoria Adelhelm teamed to stuff Cubi-Otineru at 23-16. Cubi-Otineru was untouchable on her next swing, ending it at 25-17.

The Wahine got out to a quick 6-1 lead in Set 2, riding two service aces by Amber Kaufman. The Waves threatened briefly by closing to 16-13, forcing Shoji to call what would be his only timeout of the night.

Two booming kills by Ferrell gave Hawaii separation at 18-13.

Kaufman was in on two blocks and added a kill as the Wahine took a 2-0 lead into the locker room.

Shoji tinkered with the lineup for Set 3 and the Waves again went to their short serve. Pepperdine made things interesting when Rachel Grochman's kill sparked a 3-0 run that brought the Waves to within 15-14.

UH reserve hitter Corinne Cascioppo nailed one from the left side and Danielson had two kills and a block to go with Cubi-Otineru's two aces to push it out to 21-14. Reserve middle Lex Forsythe capped the Wahine's fifth straight sweep with her third kill.

Hawaii won the dig war 44-40, with libero Elizabeth Ka'aihue finishing with 14 and Cubi-Otineru 12. Pepperdine libero Stevi Robinson managed a match-high 17 digs.

The Wahine open their WAC title defense Thursday when they host Boise State and “;we have to keep practicing hard and not plateau,”; Ka'aihue said. “;We need to stay disciplined, have a high intensity in practice and not go down to a level that is not acceptable.”;

If there was a concern last night, it was Hawaii's hitting percentage dropped nearly 200 points from Set 1 to Set 3 (.333 to .136).

“;We had too many hitting errors,”; Shoji said. “;Other things were working, like our block and the defense was good. We just need to make better decisions.

“;I feel really good going into the WAC, but we have to keep pushing hard. The players have to understand that our practices may be harder than the games, but that means we have to practice efficiently and practice hard. We can't stay the same. We've got to keep getting better.”;


NO. 4 HAWAII DEF. NO. 25 PEPPERDINE 25-17, 25-17, 25-17

Waves (7-5)
 skeatt pctdbsbapts
Rainbow Wahine (9-2)
 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—Pepperdine (2): Fiers, Robinson. Hawaii (7): Kaufman 3, Cubi-Otineru 2, Ka'aihue, Brandt . Assists—Pepperdine (99): Fiers 70, Hunter 17, Grochmal 3, Robinson 3, Friedman 2, Frederick 2, Seaton, Hill. Hawaii (106): Mafua 85, Brandt 7, Ka'aihue 6, Cubi-Otineru 5, Ferrell, Kaufman, Lee. T—1:26. Officials—Dickson Chun, Ernest Ho. A—4,413.