Willoughby leads UH in WAC honors
Another year, another University of Hawai'i Wahine as the Western Athletic Conference volleyball player of the year.
This time it is sophomore outside hitter Kim Wil-loughby, who was voted the honor by the conference's coaches. A Wahine has either won outright or shared the award all six years UH has been a WAC volleyball participant.
Reflecting UH's dominance in a 13-0 conference season, Willoughby led a familiar UH blitz of awards with Dave Shoji named coach of the year and four Wahine named to the first team: Willoughby, setter Margaret Vakasausau, defensive specialist Hedder Ilustre and middle blocker Maja Gustin.
Middle blocker Lauren Duggins was a second-team selection.
The only major award UH didn't win, freshman of the year, went to Rice outside hitter Rebeca Pazo.
Willoughby leads the nation with 6.95 kills per game and led the WAC in hitting percentage (.349). She was co-freshman of the year last season.
In other news, the conference announced top-seeded UH (23-4) opens play in the WAC Tournament Friday at the Event Center at San Jose State at 11 a.m. (Hawai'i time) against the winner of Thursday's match between eighth-seeded Tulsa and ninth-seeded Boise State.
With a victory, UH would meet the winner of fourth-seeded Rice and fifth-seeded Fresno State Saturday at 3 p.m., Hawai'i time.
The conference finals that determine the WAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament will be held Sunday at 11 a.m., Hawai'i time.
Willoughby was named the WAC Player of the Week for leading UH to wins over UC Santa Barbara, San Jose State and Fresno State. It was the fourth time this season she won the weekly honor.