Ninth-Seeded Hawai'i Sweeps Cougar Volleyball In First Round Of NCAA Tournament

Nov. 30, 2001

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Sophomore Kim Willoughby registered a match-high 22 kills to lead ninth-seeded Hawai'i to a 34-32, 30-26, 30-23 win over Washington State in the first round of the NCAA Division I Volleyball Tournament, Friday night at Bohler Gym.

The win advances the Rainbow Wahine (27-5) to the second round where it will take on Eastern Washington (21-5) at 4 p.m. Saturday in Pullman. The Eagles defeated Oregon State 33-31, 19-30, 30-28, 23-30, 15-10 earlier Friday.

Washington State (17-12) was led by 11 kills and 15 digs from junior LaToya Harris. Harris recorded the 1,000 dig of her career in the first game and will enter her senior season with 1,012, fifth on the Cougars' all-time list.

In game one, Washington State hit .310, led by Harris' seven kills and .600 hitting percentage. Hawai'i hit .283., led by 10 kills and a .412 attack percentage from Willoughby.

'She (Willoughby) played awesome,' WSU Head Coach Cindy Fredrick said. 'She was amazing. We were all talking in the locker room and agree that she is better than any player we've seen. All of our points were scored when she was in the back row or on the bench.'

Game one featured a dozen ties and neither team led by more than four points. WSU led 19-15 before kills by Willoughby and sophomore Maja Gustin and a service ace by Willoughby brought the Rainbow Wahine to within 19-18.

Hawai'i eventually tied the game 23-23 and there were four ties after that until a kill by Harris and an attack error by Hawai'i sophomore Lauren Duggins put the Cougars in front 29-27.

The Rainbow Wahine came back with a pair of kills by Gustin sandwiched around an attack error by WSU junior Chelsie Schafer to take a 30-29 advantage. The Cougars staved off three games points with kills by Holly Harris, Schafer and LaToya Harris.

With the game tied 32-32, Willoughby and Duggins recorded kills to give Hawai'i the victory.

'In the first game, I was waiting for Washington State to make an error, and I don't think they did,' Hawai'i Head Coach Dave Shoji said. 'They played almost flawlessly, and I thought, 'wow, this is what Pac-10 volleyball is all about.' We were fortunate to win game one.'

The Rainbow Wahine raced to a 15-5 lead in game two and led 21-12 before WSU reeled off seven straight points. LaToya Harris, junior Adrian Hankoff and sophomore Zanda Bautre tallied kills during the spurt.

The Cougars closed to within one twice, the latter at 27-26 before two kills by Willoughby and an attack error by LaToya Harris ended the game.

Hawai'i broke open game three with an 8-0 run to take a commanding 19-10 lead. Junior Nohealani Tano's three kills and four attack errors by the Cougars fueled the rally. From there, WSU got no closer than six points, that coming at 29-23 before a kill by Duggins ended the match.

Three seniors, Melissa Boyle, Kerry Lewis and Kali Surplus closed their careers for the Cougars. Boyle had five kills and hit .364, Surplus recorded 37 assists and Lewis finished with nine digs.

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