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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, November 5, 2006

Rainbow Wahine top Utah St.

Advertiser Staff


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After watching its football team swamp Utah State earlier in the day, 16th-ranked Hawai'i hammered the Aggies in volleyball last night in Logan, Utah.

The Rainbow Wahine won their sixth straight, 30-17, 30-18, 30-24, before a Dee Glen Smith Spectrum crowd of 1,332 that included about 300 UH fans in town for the Rainbow doubleheader.

The Western Athletic Conference match was over in 77 minutes. The Aggies (12-15, 5-8) scored four more points last night than they did when they were swept in Honolulu.

Hawai'i coach Dave Shoji had few complaints. His team never trailed, hit .417 and played everyone.

With one of its best players injured (Beth Hodge), Utah State had to rally in the final game to hit positive numbers (.068). It had 34 hitting errors.

"I thought our block was very good even though it didn't have real high numbers," Shoji said. "We put up a solid block against their best hitters. Then there was nowhere to go."

A year ago, the Aggies played Hawai'i in the WAC Tournament final and reached the NCAA tournament. Last night, they could not stop the Rainbow attack, particularly Jamie Houston. The sophomore hit for a negative percentage Thursday at Nevada but came back with a vengeance. Her ninth double-double included 13 kills, no errors, 10 digs and .520 hitting. She is averaging 5 1/2 kills a game, fifth-best in the country.

"The big thing was that Jamie had no errors in the match," Shoji said. "It was a complete turnaround from the other night and that's encouraging. She worked hard at keeping the off plays inbounds and giving us a chance to win the rally. There were a bunch of plays she made good decisions on. She learned from Thursday's match. She tries to do too much sometimes and get a kill every swing."

Hawai'i has won its last 19 against Utah State, dating back 25 years. The last two times the teams had played in Logan, UH won in five.

The 'Bows (19-5) return today and play their final regular-season home matches Friday, against Louisiana Tech, and next Sunday against 23rd-ranked New Mexico State, which shares first with UH at 11-1.

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