Bronco Volleyball Team Gets Chance for Redemption

 

      It's a big week of sports action for Boise State and Friday, prior to the big football game, the nationally-ranked Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine volleyball team will take on Boise State at 3:30 in Bronco Gym. 

 

 

     Hawai'i is 8-0 in the WAC and 18-0 overall and is ranked #3 in this week's USA Today Coaches' poll.  The Rainbow Wahine have made the final four in the NCAA volleyball championships in three of the past four seasons.  Boise State enters the contest with a 5-4 record in league play and 16-7 overall.  It's hard to believe it was earlier this month when Boise State cruised into Honolulu with a 14-3 record.  A three-game victory by Hawai'i that night started a Bronco slide that now totals 4 losses in their last 6 games. 

 

     Hawai'i dominates the league's statistics, ranking 1st in assists with 15.81 per game, 1st in kills with 16.86 per game, 1st in blocks with 3.07 per contest and 2nd in the WAC in hitting percentage (25.9%).   Boise State, by the way, is 2nd in hitting percentage defense, with opponents only hitting 14.3% of their shots. 

 

     The Rainbow Wahine are led by Salaia Salave`a with 351 kills on the season and Victoria Prince with a 40% hitting percentage (11th in the country) and Kanoe Kamana`o with 13.79 assists per game (9th in the nation).  All three Rainbow Wahine lead the WAC in those respective departments. 

 

     For the Broncos, Heather Malashak is 1st in the WAC and 12th in the NCAA with 1.65 blocks per game.  Cameron Flunder is second to Prince in hitting with 33.8% and also has 345 kills to lead the Broncos in that area.  Christina Melvin ranks 5th in the league in assists with 11.8 per game.

 

     The vastly improved Bronco team got a lesson in its first meeting with Hawai'i this year.  For Coach Scott Sandel's team to win, they'll have to play off the crowd and execute a near-perfect game to beat the heavily favored Rainbow Wahine.  Friday is "Catch the Wave" day, with everyone wearing a Hawaiian shirt or showing a Bronco-Hawaii football game ticket getting in free.   


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