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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, October 19, 2001

Wahine volleyball team taken to five, but wins

Advertiser Staff

Last night, San Jose State did something no WAC volleyball team had done against the University of Hawai'i in three years. But it still didn't win.

Kim Willoughby leads the rally in Wahine's fifth-game win.

Advertiser library photo

At their Event Center, the Spartans took the 12th-ranked Wahine to the limit before UH prevailed, 30-19, 26-30, 30-20, 27-30, 15-13. Kim Willoughby launched 43 kills — a WAC record and one off Teee Williams' school record — to lift UH to its 11th consecutive victory.

It was the first time since UH and Brigham Young played the longest match in NCAA history on Nov. 28, 1998 that a WAC team had taken Hawai'i to five games. The Wahine have won their last 47 against WAC teams.

Last night, Hawai'i (14-4) needed every one of Willoughby's kills to stop the Spartans (16-4). The Wahine scored the first five points of the final game, but were trailing 12-10 when Willoughby finished off the Spartans.

She put Hawai'i ahead with three straight kills. After a timeout, San Jose tied it. But Willoughby's 43rd kill gave UH match point and she scored it with a roof.

"When the match is on the line everybody knows where we're going," UH coach Dave Shoji said. "But she hits with such velocity, even if you're in position you can't dig her. They blocked her a few times, but she's hitting for a great percentage."

It was .386 last night and the Wahine hit .318, with Ma-ja Gustin adding 22 kills and Nohea Tano a career-high 10. UH out-dug the WAC's best digging team, 91-58.

The Wahine (6-0) are a full match ahead of the Spartans, Nevada and Fresno State.

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