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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Stanford bringing big block to Hawai'i

By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer

After nine weeks of whaling on opponents ranging from good to bad to ugly, top-ranked Hawai'i will finally know where it stands Sunday night.

Rainbow Wahine volleyball

• WHO: Top-ranked Hawai'i (21-0) vs. Nevada (18-5) Friday, Boise State (1-20) Saturday and fourth-ranked Stanford (21-3) Sunday.

• WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday

• WHERE: Stan Sheriff Center

• TV/RADIO: KFVE (5) and 1420 AM will broadcast all matches live

• TICKETS: Friday and Saturdayi$12 lower bowl, $9 upper, $8 senior citizens, $5 students. Sundayisold out.


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Autograph time

Players will be available for autographs after Friday's match. Saturday's match will be preceded by a 5 p.m. alumnae match. Sunday is Senior Night, honoring Jennifer Carey, Hedder Ilustre and Margaret Vakasausau.

Fourth-ranked Stanford (21-3), the best barometer in women's volleyball, plays the Rainbow Wahine (21-0) in a 6 p.m. non-conference match at Stan Sheriff Center. UH warms up with Western Athletic Conference matches against Nevada Friday and Boise State Saturday.

Sunday's Stanford match is the 11th sellout for Rainbow Wahine volleyball since the arena opened midway through their 1994 season. They sold out matches against the Cardinal in 1996 and '99, and lost both times.

Hawai'i was last ranked No. 1 in the AVCA Coaches Poll on Oct. 28, 1996. Five days later, Stanford slammed the then-unbeaten Rainbow Wahine before 10,225 suddenly silent fans. The teams would meet in the NCAA championship that year, where the Cardinal would again carve up Hawai'i. Last year's NCAA title was its fifth.

Stanford upset previously unbeaten and top-ranked Southern California Saturday in Los Angeles. The Cardinal won 16-14 in the fifth game, with Olympian and 2001 NCAA Player of the Year Logan Tom amassing 28 kills. That upset eased the pain of a 24-22 fifth-game loss to the Trojans earlier in the season. Stanford had seven match points that night and out-hit USC by nearly 100 points.

The Cardinal block is second in the country, with middles Jen Harvey (1.53 a game) and Sara McGee (1.42) accounting for more than the UH team averages. With Tom, they should create the toughest wall Hawai'i All-Americans Kim Willoughby and Lily Kahumoku have faced. The 'Bows lead the nation in kills, assists and hitting.

Stanford plays 16th-ranked Arizona tomorrow and 23rd-ranked Arizona State Friday. Arizona beat the Cardinal earlier this season. Stanford's other loss came in three games at Florida, without Tom. The Cardinal has defeated eight ranked teams.

The Rainbow Wahine are on a 48-game winning streak. They have gone four just twice, against Pac-10 teams UCLA and Washington. But their biggest win this year might have come in April, when they took out Stanford in a four-game exhibition.

Hawai'i's only victories over ranked teams this season have acquired asterisks. UCLA dropped to 19th since it played here. Ohio State and Colorado have fallen out of the rankings. Washington has moved in, at No. 21.

Hawai'i will not be at its deepest this weekend.

Karin Lundqvist injured her left knee Friday at Nevada. Lundqvist had an MRI last night to determine the extent of the injury, but UH doctors believe she tore her anterior cruciate ligament. She will not play this weekend and could be out the rest of the season.

Lundqvist, who tore the ACL in her right knee after high school, has started 19 matches. She is in the top six in WAC blocking and hitting. Maja Gustin will start in her place. The all-region middle missed 14 matches with a stress fracture in her foot.

Nohea Tano, who missed the last six matches with a sprained ankle, is practicing again but probably will not start Friday. She and Melody Eckmier, who was out with an injured knee earlier, are the Rainbows' only front-row backups.

QUICK SETS: Hawai'i leads the series with Stanford, 16-9, but has lost the last five. ... Lauren Duggins and Kim Willoughby are both hitting better than .400 against WAC teams. ... Willoughby needs three kills to tie Suzanne Eagye for third on the career kills list, at 1,553. Willoughby needs 20 to reach Angelica Ljungquist in second (1,570). ... Nevada lost to Hawai'i and San Jose State last week, keeping coach Devin Scruggs from getting her 100th victory. In her five-plus seasons in Reno, she has taken the Wolf Pack to its first two NCAA Tournaments. ... Nevada's Michelle More leads the WAC in hitting percentage at .390. The next four players are from Hawai'i — Duggins (.389), Willoughby (.375), Karin Lundqvist (.356) and Lily Kahumoku (.348). ... Louisiana Tech, which won one WAC match all last season, earned its third consecutive home victory last week by upsetting UTEP. The Miners began last week in first place in the Eastern Division but now trail Rice.

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