Hawai'i barely beats Boise
Hawai'i nearly went from first to worst last night.
The 13th-ranked Rainbow Wahine escaped with a 30-28, 30-32, 32-30, 30-22 Western Athletic Conference volleyball victory over Boise State at Bronco Gym.
The 'Bows (22-5, 14-1 WAC) can clinch their 12th straight regular-season title with a win tomorrow in Moscow, against Idaho. The streak goes back to their final year in the Big West.
The Broncos (11-16, 4-10 ) nearly short-circuited all the optimism created by Sunday's big win over then-No. 20 New Mexico State. The WAC's seventh-place team went toe-toe with the 'Bows for all but the final moments of the 2-hour-plus match.
"Boise played well and we played our worst match of the year ...," UH coach Dave Shoji said. "After a couple days to regroup, hopefully, we'll come out with a little more sense of urgency. I think we will. We had a tough turnaround and just didn't have anything going emotionally. That's our fault. It's not the fault of the schedule or anything else."
Boise blasted nine aces through Hawai'i's shaky passers in the first two games. Both teams finished with nine aces, but UH had 11 service errors and nine reception errors.
It took a 10-2 closing surge for UH to win the first game, with Sarah Mason getting four of her 25 kills. She hit .489 for the match and added 12 digs and four aces. Jamie Houston also had 25 kills and Juliana Sanders added a career-high 10 blocks.
A similar rally failed in the next game, but it was Game 3 that the Rainbow Wahine were at their worst, and ultimately best. With their passing still suspect and Cameron Flunder and Jeanette Jenkins blowing by their block, the 'Bows fell behind 29-24. Mason had four kills in an 8-1 run to end the game.
"When our backs were against the wall we started playing like we can," Shoji said. "Offensively, Sarah was virtually unstoppable. We had no other offense at times. Houston had a lot of kills at the end, but Mason was definitely the one who brought us back."
Boise broke to a 12-6 advantage in Game 4 but finally was worn down. UH scored 18 of the night's last 25 points.
Alix Klineman, one of the most celebrated recruits in volleyball history, signed with Stanford this week. The 6-foot-4 hitter from California had narrowed her choices to Hawai'i, UCLA, Texas, Washington and the Cardinal.
Sarah Mason got her 13th double-double of the season. It was also the third time this year she and Houston each went for 20-plus kills.
Hawai'i senior Kanoe Kamana'o had 60 assists last night, which moves her to 17th on the NCAA career list. She needs 40 more to climb into 13th.
Moanalua's Brianna Amian signed a national letter of intent to play volleyball at San Jose State. The 5-10 outside hitter helped the Menehunes to third at the New City Nissan/HHSAA State Championship last week. She is a two-time OIA second-team selection and was an honorable mention All-State selection last year.