Wahine Volleyball: Beat Wildcats in Three

The second ranked Wahine open the 2003 season with a three game sweep of 15th ranked Kansas State.

HONOLULU - The No. 2 University of Hawai`i Rainbow Wahine (1-0) defeated the Kansas State Wildcats (0-1) 30-26, 30-23 and 30-23 to advance to the State Farm Women's Volleyball Classic/NACWAA final vs. defending national champion USC. In the process, left-side hitter Kim Willoughby broke the career UH record for kills, formerly held by Teee Williams, with her 28 kills on the night, putting her career total to 1,874. The match was played in front of a crowd of 6,974.

Willoughby got her 28 kills on 39 attacks for a hitting percentage of .564, while adding nine digs. Lily Kahumoku had 14 kills, eight digs and three blocks while hitting .324. Kanoe Kamana`o played well in her first collegiate match, putting up 42 assists, six digs and two blocks. Lauren Duggins added seven kills and six digs while Melissa Villaroman led the way with 11 digs.

Hawai`i jumped out to a 9-3 lead early in game one as Willoughby, Kahumoku and Duggins put down two kills a piece. Kansas State get the deficit down to 11-7 and 12-8 before Willoughby took over, as she ended up with 13 kills in the first game, carrying the Rainbow Wahine to a 24-15 lead. Kansas State pulled to within 27-24 before a kill by Willoughby and a kill by Kahumoku ended the game at 30-26.

UH cruised through game two 30-23 before Kansas State came out to a 7-6 lead in game three. Hawai`i responded with a 8-2 run, going ahead 14-9. The Rainbow Wahine kept their lead above three points the rest of the way. Willoughby went out of the game with cramps at 11-8 but returned to score the record-tying kill at 24-16 and the record-breaker at 25-16. UH then took the All-American out for the remainder of the match, before taking the third game 30-23.

The Rainbow Wahine will now face No. 1 USC, who swept Florida 31-29, 30-17 and 30-25 earlier in the night, in the classic final at approximately 7 p.m. Saturday. No. 15 Kansas State will play No. 3 Florida in the consolation match at 5 p.m.

There is no live television for Saturday's Hawaii match. You can listen live to the match on KKEA 1420 AM or on the internet at: www.kkea1420am.com.

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