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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, September 30, 2006

Rainbows sweep Fresno St. again

Advertiser Staff

The University of Hawai'i women's volleyball team was a success in its road debut yesterday, sweeping Fresno State for the second time in six days.

Jamie Houston, who was held out of the Rainbow Wahine's previous match with the Bulldogs for violating team policy, had a match-high 12 kills for Hawai'i in a 30-23, 30-22, 30-23 victory before 1,404 at the Save Mart Center.

No. 15 Hawai'i improved to 8-4 overall and 2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference. Fresno State dropped to 2-13 and 0-3.

"I think we needed this match just to kind of get the feeling of playing on a different court," Hawai'i coach Dave Shoji said. "We didn't play well, but won the key points."

Hawai'i outhit Fresno State, .282-to-.064, and held a 13-4 advantage in blocks.

The result was pretty much a carbon copy of Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center when the Rainbow Wahine triumphed, 30-21, 30-15, 30-18.

"They started a different lineup, but they were doing the same things, just different personnel," Shoji said. "They didn't give us any problems."

The Rainbow Wahine have won 127 consecutive conference matches heading into tonight's matchup with San Jose State. The game will not be broadcast on ESPN 1420 AM because of a conflict with Warriors football.

Houston, a sophomore outside hitter, started and played the first two games. Entering the match, she led the Rainbow Wahine with 5.15 kills per game.

"Jamie has been improving as the season has gone on," Shoji said. "She's giving us a lot of offense."

Freshman middle blocker/outside hitter Amber Kaufman added 10 kills and three blocks in two games for Hawai'i.

"Amber gives us a lot of offense when she's out there," Shoji said. "We'll continue to give her more playing time and she'll continue to get better."

Leading the Hawai'i block was sophomore outside hitter Jessica Keefe with seven and junior middle blocker Juliana Sanders with six.

"We put the block in a good position for most of the match," Shoji said.

Sarah Mason, a senior outside hitter, had a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs, and senior All-America setter Kanoe Kamana'o had 45 assists and 10 digs.

The only disappointing stat for the Rainbow Wahine was eight aces by Fresno State, including five in the first game.

"That is way too many points to give up on serve-reception," Shoji said.

The first game was close until junior middle blocker Kari Gregory served five consecutive points to put Hawai'i up 28-22. Houston had three kills during the run. Sanders and Houston had a double block, and Gregory capped the spurt with an ace.

Hawai'i hit .324 in the game, while Fresno State hit .000.

In the second game, Houston served four straight to put the Rainbow Wahine ahead 14-8. Later in the game, junior defensive specialist Raeceen Woolford also served four in a row to put Hawai'i up 19-10. The Bulldogs couldn't get closer than six the rest of the game.

Hawai'i senior setter/outside hitter Cayley Thurlby served five in a row to give Hawai'i a 12-6 lead in the third game. Fresno State got within 18-16 when Mason hit into the net.

The Bulldogs closed to 21-19 before freshman libero Jayme Lee served five straight to put Hawai'i up by seven.

The score was 26-23 when Gregory had a kill and Keefe had two more to set up match point.

The Bulldogs' Alison Pitton had a hitting error to end the match in 1 hours, 44 minutes.

The Rainbow Wahine are 39-0 all-time against the Fresno State.

They are 53-4 all-time against San Jose State.

"San Jose will be the tougher of the two matches; they have a veteran ball club," Shoji said. "We're playing back-to-back, which we normally don't do on the road. It'll be a challenge for us, but I think we'll be ready."

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