Hawai’i sophomore outside hitter Kanani Danielson has been named the Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 26-Nov. 1. This is the fourth WAC Player of the Week honor of the season for Danielson and the fifth of her career.
The ‘Ewa Beach, O‘ahu (Kamehameha Schools) native tallied 37 kills, 12 digs, five blocks and five assists as Hawai’i went 2-0 in WAC matches last week to remain undefeated in conference play. Danielson averaged 5.29 kills on .368 hitting, 2.16 digs, 0.71 blocks and 0.57 assists per set. She opened the week by tying her career high with 22 kills on .425 hitting to go with seven digs and two assists in a nationally-televised match at Fresno State. It was the third time this season she posted 20 or more kills in a match. Danielson followed that up with 15 kills, five digs and four blocks in a sweep of Nevada.
Other nominees included: Sadie Maughan of Boise State averaged 4.00 kills and 1.50 blocks as the Broncos won their third-straight match … Fresno State’s Kelli Parker led the Bulldogs to a 1-1 record as she posted career highs in kills (17), attempts (44), service aces (4) and digs (8) against San Jose State … Debbie Pederson of Idaho averaged 1.78 kills and 1.00 blocks as the Vandals went 1-1 on the week … Louisiana Tech’s Kassia Pinto averaged 3.14 kills and 3.14 digs per set … Kylie Harrington of Nevada averaged 3.50 kills and 2.17 digs per set as the Pack went 1-1 on the week … New Mexico State’s Jennah DeVries averaged a WAC-best 13.86 assists to go with 1.71 digs and 0.86 kills on .357 hitting as the Aggies went 1-1 on the week ... Liz McArthur of Utah State recorded a career-high 25 kills to set a school record for kills in a three-set match in a win over Louisiana Tech last week.
BOISE STATE BRONCOS (5-18, 5-6 WAC)
The Broncos defeated Louisiana Tech in four sets (22-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-22) on Saturday in their only match last week ... Boise State out-hit the Techsters .201-.154 and also had more kills (63-50), assists (60-43) and digs (76-54) ... Sadie Maughan posted match highs in both kills (16) and blocks (six) ... The Broncos are on a three-match winning streak and have won four of their last five matches ... The win was Boise State’s fourth-straight at home ... Four of Boise State’s five wins this season have come at Bronco Gym ... Maughan currently ranks tied for seventh in the Boise State career record books in blocks per set (1.08) and eighth in hitting percentage (.263). She is also nine blocks away from the Top 10 in career blocks at 273 ... The Broncos play at New Mexico State on Thursday and at Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS (12-11, 5-6 WAC)
The Bulldogs fell to No. 3 Hawai’i in four sets (19-25, 25-23, 15-25, 20-25) on ESPNU last Thursday and beat San Jose State in four sets (27-29, 25-21, 25-20, 25-19) on Saturday ... Fresno State won a set against Hawai’i for the third-straight season and held the Rainbow Wahine to a .059 hitting percentage in set two, Hawai’i’s lowest hitting percentage in a set in WAC play and its third lowest of the season ... Lacey Gera led the team with 12 kills in the loss to the Rainbow Wahine ... Kelli Parker had career highs of 17 kills, 44 attempts, four service aces and eight digs against San Jose State ... The victory over the Spartans was Fresno State’s first since the 2005 season and first four-set win since 2004 ... The Bulldogs play at No. 3 Hawai’i on Friday in their only match this week.
HAWAI‘I RAINBOW WAHINE (21-2, 11-0 WAC)
The Rainbow Wahine defeated Fresno State in four sets (25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20) on national television last Thursday and swept Nevada (25-16, 25-20, 25-17) on Saturday ... Kanani Danielson tied a career-high with 22 kills on .425 hitting against Fresno State ... It was the third time this season she had 20 or more kills in a match ... Danielson also had a match-high 15 kills to go with four blocks and five digs vs. the Wolf Pack ... On Monday, Hawai’i swept San Jose State (25-12, 25-15, 25-15) to complete a three-match road swing ... The Rainbow Wahine have now won 17 straight matches and have swept 16 of 23 matches on the year ... Hawai’i has also won 20 straight WAC matches since falling to NM State on Oct. 12, 2008 ... The Rainbow Wahine host Fresno State on Friday and Utah State on Sunday in their final two home matches of the season.
IDAHO VANDALS (12-12, 8-3 WAC)
The Vandals fell in five sets (22-25, 25-19, 24-26, 26-24, 6-15) to Gonzaga last Tuesday before defeating New Mexico State in four sets (25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 31-29) last Thursday ... Alicia Milo had a match-high 20 kills in the loss to the Bulldogs ... Sarah Conwell had her WAC-leading 12th double-double of the season (12 kills, 10 digs) in the win over the Aggies, Idaho’s first since 2005 ... It was Conwell’s fifth consecutive double-double and her seventh in the last 10 matches ... Debbie Pederson committed just three hitting errors over the two matches ... Idaho leads the nation with 3.11 blocks per set, as Anna McKinney (1.43) and Pederson (1.41) rank 11th and 12th, respectively, in the individual rankings ... McKinney is fourth on Idaho’s career block assists list (402), while Pederson is ninth (369) ... The Vandals play at Louisiana Tech on Thursday and at New Mexico State on Saturday.
LOUISIANA TECH LADY TECHSTERS (14-14, 4-8 WAC)
The Lady Techsters fell in straight sets at Utah State (19-25, 29-31, 16-25) last Thursday and lost in four sets (25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 22-25) at Boise State on Saturday ... In the loss to the Aggies, Nataliya Panova was the only Techster to reach double-digit kills (10) ... Against Boise State, Kassia Pinto tallied her third double-double of the season with 13 kills and 14 digs ... Panova also had a double-double, finishing with 11 kills and 15 digs to move her season total to eight ... Despite the two losses, the Techsters remain in contention to qualify for the WAC Tournament. Tech is half a game out of sixth place with the top six teams qualifying for the conference tournament ... Kara Jones has a WAC-best 27 solo blocks this season ... The Techsters host Idaho on Thursday and Boise State on Saturday.
NEVADA WOLF PACK (8-16, 4-7 WAC)
The Wolf Pack swept San Jose State (25-15, 25-17, 25-13) last Thursday and fell in three sets to No. 3 Hawai’i (16-25, 20-25, 17-25) on Saturday ... Kylie Harrington led the team in kills in both matches, finishing with 11 vs. SJSU and 10 vs. Hawai’i ... The 3-0 win over SJSU was Nevada’s first three-set victory of the season and snapped a three-match losing skid ... Lindsay Baldwin recorded her 700th career kill vs. the Spartans and currently has 710 ... Baldwin moved into fourth place in career total blocks at Nevada over the weekend with her total of 346 ... Sonnie Sei is 16 assists from 1,600 for her career and currently ranks ninth in school history with 1,584 ... The Wolf Pack host UNLV for a non-conference match on Thursday and play at San Jose State on Saturday.
NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES (14-8, 9-3 WAC)
The Aggies fell in four sets (21-25, 25-21, 23-25, 29-31) at Idaho last Thursday and swept Utah State (31-29, 25-16, 25-21) on Saturday to remain in second place in the WAC standings ... In the loss to the Vandals, NM State tallied more kills (63-45), assists (60-43) and digs (62051), but also committed 15 service errors ... Kayleigh Giddens posted a match-high 18 kills ... Whitney Woods (14) and Kelsey Brennan (12) also had double-digit kills ... Giddens posted a match-high 17 kills in the win over the Aggies ... Jennah DeVries was three assists short of 100 in two matches as she averaged 13.86 per set ... In WAC play, Giddens leads the league with 4.48 kills per set and ranks second with 4.96 points per set ... The Aggies host Boise State on Thursday and Idaho on Saturday.
SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (1-21, 1-10 WAC)
The Spartans fell in straight sets (15-25, 17-25, 13-25) at Nevada last Thursday and lost in four sets (29-27, 21-25, 20-25, 19-25) at Fresno State on Saturday ... Kylie Miraldi had 14 kills on .500 hitting and no errors vs. the Bulldogs ... The Spartans were swept (12-25, 15-25, 15-25) by No. 3 Hawai’i on Monday for their fifth-straight loss ... Miraldi had 10 of the Spartans’ 22 kills in the match ... Hawai’i out-blocked San Jose State 8-0, marking the first time all season the Spartans were held without a block ... Caitlin Andrade remains the only player in the WAC and one of just 23 players nationwide to record a triple-double this season. The freshman had 10 kills, 12 digs and 32 assists against Saint Mary’s on Sept. 9 ... Kristal Tsukano currently ranks third in the SJSU career record books with 1,291 digs ... The Spartans host Utah State on Thursday and Nevada on Saturday.
UTAH STATE AGGIES (13-12, 4-8 WAC)
The Aggies swept Louisiana Tech (25-19, 31-29, 25-16) last Thursday and fell in straight sets to New Mexico State (29-31, 16-25, 21-25) on Saturday ... Against the Lady Techsters, Liz McArthur recorded a career-high 25 kills to set a school-record for kills in a three-set match ... Shantell Durrant tied her career-high with 11 kills and hit .733 in the match, while Chelsea Fowles tied her career-high with 13 digs to go along with 44 assists ... Meanwhile, Christine Morrill tied a school-record with 20 digs in a three-set match ... In the loss to the Aggies, Morrill tallied 17 digs for a 6.17 average on the week ... Morrill leads the WAC with 4.58 digs per set ... After recording 67 assists last week, Fowles now ranks third all-time at Utah State with 3,147 assists ... The Aggies play at San Jose State on Thursday and at No. 3 Hawai’i on Sunday.
SHOJI EARNS 1,000TH CAREER VICTORY
Hawai’i head coach Dave Shoji became just the fourth women’s volleyball coach ever and only the second Division I coach to reach 1,000 wins when his team defeated New Mexico State in four sets on Oct. 17. At the Division I level, Shoji trails only UCLA’s Andy Banachowski (1,084) in victories. Shoji has led his team to 14 consecutive conference titles and appearances in 10 of the last 11 NCAA regionals.
HAWAI’I, NM STATE, IDAHO WIN ESPNU BROADCAST MATCHES
Hawai’i beat Fresno State in four sets (25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20) last Thursday in the third of four WAC volleyball broadcasts on ESPNU this season. Idaho defeated Utah State in five sets (24-26, 25-21, 24-26, 25-22, 15-9) on Oct. 19, while New Mexico State swept Fresno State (25-22, 25-20, 25-21) on Oct. 22. The remaining WAC match to be broadcast on ESPNU this season is the championship match of the WAC Tournament, which will air at 6:30 p.m. (PT) on Wednesday, Nov. 25.
HAWAI‘I REMAINS AT NO. 3 IN NATIONAL POLL
For the fourth-consecutive week, Hawai’i is ranked No. 3 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) national poll. It is the highest ranking for the Rainbow Wahine since Dec. 6, 2004, when Hawai’i was No. 2. The Rainbow Wahine currently come in at 18th in the RPI.
IDAHO LEADS THE NATION IN BLOCKING
As a team, Idaho currently leads the nation with 3.11 blocks per set. The Vandals are one of three WAC teams ranked in the Top 50 as New Mexico State (22nd, 2.65) and Hawai’i (28th, 2.57) are also ranked.
In other statistics, the Rainbow Wahine are third in hitting percentage (.310), seventh in winning percentage (.909), 14th in service aces (1.8), and 16th in both kills (14.27) and assists (13.26).
Five WAC players rank in the Top 50 nationally in blocks per set, led by Hawai’i’s Brittany Hewitt in eighth place with a 1.46 average. Idaho’s Anna McKinney and Idaho’s Debbie Pederson are 11th and 12th, respectively, with 1.43 and 1.41 averages. Fresno State’s Brianna Clarke is 29th with a 1.29 average, while Kelsey Brennan of New Mexico State rounds out the group in 40th place (1.23).
Hawai’i has several players in the Top 50 in other statistical categories. Amber Kaufman is third in hitting percentage (.468) and 30th in service aces (0.44). Aneli Cubi-Otineru ranks fifth in service aces per set (0.58), while Dani Mafua is 10th in assists per set (11.63). Meanwhile, Kanani Danielson is 47th in kills per set (3.99) and 50th in points per set (4.48).
HAWAI’I LEADS NATION IN ATTENDANCE
The Rainbow Wahine currently lead the nation in attendance with an average of 6,363 fans per match, ahead of Nebraska’s 5,077 average. In addition, all 18 of Hawai’i’s home matches this season rank in the Top 30 highest attended for the year, including six of the Top 10.
Fresno State ranks 17th nationally with a 1,871 average, while New Mexico State is 18th (1,836) and Utah State is 49th (888).
UH RECORDS PROGRAM’S 1,000TH WIN
Hawai’i’s victory over Stanford on Sept. 12 was the program’s 1,000th win since it began playing a Division I schedule in 1974. The Rainbow Wahine have won four national titles in that span and participated in 27 NCAA Tournaments.
HAWAI‘I FAVORED IN WAC PRESEASON POLL
Hawai‘i was selected in a poll by the league’s coaches to defend its crown in 2009 and take home its 14th-straight regular-season title. The Rainbow Wahine received eight of the nine first-place votes, with New Mexico State earning the other first-place vote. Hawai‘i earned 64 total points followed by NM State with 57. Utah State was picked to finish third (45), followed by Idaho in fourth (41). Nevada was picked fifth (37), while Fresno State was sixth (29), just ahead of San Jose State (28). Boise State (12) and Louisiana Tech (11) rounded out the poll.
Hawai‘i sophomore Kanani Danielson was named WAC Preseason Player of the Year. This is the fifth-straight season that a Rainbow Wahine player has earned the preseason honor with All-Americans Kanoe Kamana’o (2005, 2006) and Jamie Houston (2007, 2008) each earning the honor in back-to-back years.
Hawai‘i placed the most student-athletes on the 12-player team with five. Along with Danielson, seniors Aneli Cubi-Otineru and Amber Kaufman, junior Dani Mafua and sophomore Stephanie Ferrell earned preseason honors. Cubi-Otineru and Kaufman were all first-team all-WAC selections in 2008, while Mafua was a second-team pick and Ferrell was on the All-Freshman Team.
Nevada placed two players on the preseason team in juniors Lindsay Baldwin and Kylie Harrington, as did New Mexico State with seniors Krista Altermatt and Kelli Goodan. Utah State also had two selections in juniors Chelsea Fowles and Christine Morrill. Senior Anna McKinney of Idaho rounded out the preseason squad.
2009 WAC TOURNAMENT TO BE HELD IN LAS VEGAS
The 2009 WAC Volleyball Tournament will be held Nov. 23-25, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas and will include the top six teams in the regular-season standings. The championship match will be televised live on ESPNU.
All-session tickets are $45 and can be purchased over the phone (888-234-2334) or online (www.orleansarena.com/event-calendar/wac-volleyball-tournament).
Fans traveling to Las Vegas are encouraged to stay at the Orleans Hotel and Casino. Rates are $90 per night Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20-21, and $35 per night Sunday-Wednesday, Nov. 22-25, single or double occupancy, plus room tax and Resort Fee. For reservations, please call (800) 657-3267 and request WAC Volleyball Championship Fan Block or Group Code 9WACC11.
Hawai‘i and Brigham Young are the only teams to have claimed the WAC Tournament title in the event’s 11 years. The Rainbow Wahine own the most titles with nine, including the last eight in a row.
The WAC Volleyball Tournament is a single-elimination event with the top two seeds receiving first-round byes and the champion earning the conference’s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
2009 WAC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Monday, Nov. 23 (Quarterfinals)
No. 3 Seed vs. No. 6 Seed 5 p.m.
No. 4 Seed vs. No. 5 Seed 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 24 (Semifinals)
Winner Match 1 vs. No. 2 seed 5 p.m.
Winner Match 2 vs. No. 1 Seed 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 25 (Championship)
Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
*times local and subject to change
REGIONAL, SEMIFINAL/CHAMPIONSHIP SITES SELECTED
The NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee announced the following sites for regional and semifinal/championship competition of the 2009 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships.
Regionals (4): Dec. 11-12, 2009
Host: University of Florida
Stephen C. O’Connell Center
Host: University of Minnesota
Host: University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Host: Stanford University
Semifinals and Championship: Dec. 17 and 19, 2009
Co-Hosts: University of South Florida/Tampa Bay Sports Commission
St. Pete Times Forum
Tampa Bay, Fla.
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