Hawaii battles Rice in WAC opener for both schools.
Hawaii opens defense of its WAC championship against Rice on Friday at the Stan Sheriff Center…. Hawaii has beaten the Owl all nine times they have played, having only lost one game in the series…. Hawaii has a perfect 10-0 record and has beaten three teams ranked in the Top-25 (Ohio State, Colorado & UCLA)…. The Owls are the defending Eastern Division champs….Rice is 8-6 on the season and are 0-2 against ranked teams ( N. Iowa & Georgia Tech)….Rice has won 8 of last 10 matches….University of Houston is the only common opponent. Hawaii beat the Cougars in three games last weekend. The Owls lost to Houston in four games a few weeks ago….Rebeca Pazo, last season's WAC Freshman-Of-The-Year, leads the team in kills with 4.17 per game….Setter Rebekah Neal leads the team in assist per game at 11.10 and averages 2.78 digs a game….Hawaii's Kim "Bayou Basher" Willoughby is second in the country in kills per game at 6.25 and is ninth in the country in aces per game at 0.91….Hawaii is also ranked nationally in many team categories….tied for first in assist per game (16.88), fourth in digs per game (19.00), fifth in hitting percentage (0.327), second in kills per game (18.22)….The Wahine have won six consecutive WAC regular season titles, 52 consecutive conference regular season matches and 58 overall conference matches….Hawaii has been ranked in the AVCA/USA Today Top-25 poll for 137 straight weeks….Head Coach Dave Shoji is 20 wins shy of 800 for his career…First serve is set for 7:05 pm and can be heard live on the internet at: www.hawaiisportsnetwork.com
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