Rainbows sweep Baylor
By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer
|||WHERE: Stan Sheriff Center
WHEN: Todayi5 p.m., Wichita State vs. Baylor; 7, Hawai'i vs. Pacific.
TV/RADIO: KFVE (5) and 1420 AM will broadcast all UH matches live
TICKETS: Today and tomorrowi$14 lower level, $11 upper, $8 senior citizens (65-older), $6 students 4-18, $3 UH system students. Saturdayi$16 lower level, $13 upper, $9 senior citizens (65-older), $6 students 4-18 and $3 UH system students.
Dr. Allen Richardson died of cancer Monday, never making it to his 25th year as the team physician. The Rainbow Wahine dedicated their season to him and honored him last night with a remembrance, a moment of silence and an empty, lei-covered NCAA Championship chair three seats from the end of their bench.
"He's such a blessing to our team," said senior co-captain Lauren Duggins. "We'd go to him with injuries and all our problems. I can't imagine being a close part of his family and losing him. Dedicating the season to him is the least we can do. A lot of us wanted it. We'll play every game in memory of him."
UH coach Dave Shoji said the dedication came about with few words spoken: "The whole team felt like it was something that might focus us. It was something other than just the national championship. He will be with us in spirit."
The Rainbow Wahine (6-1) lurched to a ragged five-game victory over UCLA the night of "Doc's" death. Thursday, they rolled over Wichita State much as they did against Baylor last night. In between, they heard about the NCAA stripping the men's team of its national championship.
Shoji forbade his team from talking about it. "It's not our place," he said. "What we think is not relevant and we don't know any more than anyone else."
So, in front of 5,011 at Stan Sheriff Center, the 'Bows took it out on Baylor (3-3), which started five underclassmen. All-Americans Kim Willoughby (21 kills) and Lily Kahumoku (18) anchored an exceptional UH offense that hit .485, its third match this season over .480. Willoughby also tied a school record with six aces; with 140 in three-plus seasons, she broke Martina Cincerova's career record.
Baylor was in the match until Willoughby rotated to the back row a second time. Hawai'i was ahead 13-11. Nine rocket serves later the tenor had been set for the night and it was all Rainbow Wahine.
"She hits her serve with velocity and sometimes it has a weird spin. You think it's coming at you and all of a sudden it's across the court," Duggins said. "You really don't know where it's going.
"She was awesome tonight, great focus out there. We didn't have to do anything really. Lily was like, 'Move over, I'm taking all the overpasses.' I just said OK."
Willoughby served three aces the Bears never touched. "That was brutal. Three of them landed on the line in the back," Baylor coach Brian Hosfeld. "She definitely set the tone for the night."
Twice more, the Bears shanked the pass into Kahumoku's waiting fist. Another time, Baylor scrambled only to fire a free ball long. The one time the Bears actually got a good swing, Duggins and Kahumoku snuffed it. Two setting mistakes accounted for the other points.
By then, Baylor didn't know what hit it. After Willoughby finally missed her jump serve, Kahumoku blasted her sixth kill to tie Tita Ahuna at No. 6 on the career list .
The Bears had one kill from the time Willoughby started her service run to the end of the game.
In Game 2, UH hit .514 and scored the last six points on Kahumoku's serve. Hawai'i substituted freely in Game 3 and still won with little suspense.
In the opener, Pacific beat Wichita State, 24-30, 30-27, 30-24, 30-24.