Wahine stay unbeaten despite Shoji absence

SAN JOSE, Calif. - With Charlie Wade filling in for Dave Shoji as head coach, the No. 3 University of Hawai`i Rainbow Wahine (19-0, 9-0 WAC) defeated the San Jose State Spartans (14-8, 5-4) 33-31, 30-21, 26-30 and 30-20 at Spartan Gym Wednesday. <p>

Shoji missed the road trip to stay home with his father, who is ill in a Honolulu hospital. Shoji believes the match was the first time he had ever missed a match in his 30-year career. Wade will coach both matches on this road trip.

The Rainbow Wahine had a season-high 19 team blocks. Alicia Arnott led the way for UH with 23 kills, 16 digs and five blocks. Kanoe Kamana`o had 64 assists, 12 digs and three blocks while Susie Boogaard had 18 kills, 18 digs and four blocks. Victoria Prince had another great match, putting up 15 kills, seven blocks, seven digs and two aces while hitting .464. Kari Gregory was in on eight blocks while Ashley Watanabe had 19 digs.

Arnott served notice that she would be a force early on as she scored all five points (four kills and one block) in a 5-1 run to put Hawai`i up 7-4. But the Spartans quickly responded, scoring six-straight points to take a 10-7 lead. From there it would be a battle, with neither team taking a lead of more than four points for the rest of game one. UH got to game point first at 29-28 on a kill by Gregory. But the Spartans fought it off, then proceeded to fight off two more game points before Prince put away two-straight blocks to give the Rainbow Wahine the 33-31 game one victory.

San Jose State opened a 10-7 lead in the second game before Tara Hittle put away her first two kills of the match to get the Rainbow Wahine within one point. The two teams again started to trade points in a tight game two. With a 24-21 lead, Hawai`i then made their run, reeling off six-straight points, including three kills and one block by Arnott, to give UH the 30-21 victory.

Game three would be another closely contested game with neither team holding more than a three-point advantage until a 6-1 SJSU run put the Spartans up 26-22. Hawai`i got back within a point with a 3-0 run before the Spartans took four of the next five points to take the game 30-26.

Hawai`i jumped out to a quick 9-4 lead on a big block by Juliana Sanders and Hittle. SJSU then ran off six-straight points to take back the lead at 10-9. The Spartans continued to hold the lead at 15-12 before the Rainbow Wahine started to make their run. UH went on a huge 15-2 run that basically put the match away, pushing to a 27-17 lead before taking the game 30-20.

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