Stanford Ends Hawaii's Title Hopes

Hawaii's season comes to a finish at the NCAA national semi-finals as Stanford beats Hawaii in three.

 

 

 

New Orleans, LA. - The Wahine volleyball team will have to wait another year.

 

The Stanford Cardinal ended Hawaii's season Thursday night at the NCAA national semi-finals with a three game sweep of the Wahine, 30-25, 30-27, 30-24.

 

The Cardinal now advances to Saturday's national championship match and an opportunity to defend their national title they won last year.

 

The Cardinal have now beaten Hawaii seven straight times.

 

The Wahine, at times, had Stanford against the ropes, but every time, just like when the two teams played in Honolulu over a month ago, the Cardinal found a way to pull it out.

 

If it wasn't the offense of Logan Tom or Ogonna Nnamani, it was their defense that would pull them through.

 

Hawaii held leads late in games two and three, but just couldn't put away the defending champs. Nnamani was in on three huge blocks towards the later half of game two.

 

Nnamani finished with a team high 15 kills and five blocks while Tom, the reigning national player of the year, had 13 kills and 21 digs.

 

Hawaii got a 22 kill, 11 dig effort from Louisiana native Kim Willoughby and 10 kills and 14 digs from Lily Kahumoku.

 

For the match, Hawaii hit .117, more then 200 points below their season average, and the Cardinal had a .212 hitting percentage.

 

Hawaii out dug the Cardinal 65 to 58 while Stanford had the advantage at the net, out blocking Hawaii 11 to 9.

 

The loss marked the ending of the careers of three very talented Wahine. Setters Jennifer Carey and Margaret Vakasausau as well as defensive specialist Hedder Illustre played their final game for Hawaii.

 

Hawaii returns a strong nucleus next season with all-Americans Kim Willoughby, Lily Kahumoku and Lauren Duggins all returning, along with starters Nohea Tano and Maja Gustin.

 

Hawaii finished the 2002 season with an outstanding 34-2 record, both losses coming at the hands of Stanford. The Cardinal improved to 33-4.

 

 


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