Hawai'i Knocks Off Eastern Washington In NCAA Volleyball

Dec. 1, 2001

Box Score

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Sophomore Kim Willoughby registered a match-high 35 kills to lead ninth-seeded Hawai'i to a 30-22, 28-30, 30-20, 30-28 win over Eastern Washington in the second round of the 2001 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championships, Saturday.

Willoughby hit .352 for the match and added 17 digs to tie for team-high honors with junior Margaret Vakasausau and sophomore Lauren Duggins.

The win advanced the Rainbow Wahine (28-5) to the Regionals where it will face eighth-seeded UCLA, a 3-0 winner over Penn State. Eastern Washington, the Big Sky Tournament Champion, finished its season 21-6.

In game one, Willoughby sparked a 9-1 Hawai'i run with four kills to put the Rainbow Wahine on top 25-18. The teams traded points until sophomore Maja Gustin ended the game with a kill.

Eastern Washington had the advantage for much of game two, leading by as many as three points on three separate occasions, before Hawai'i rallied to take a 23-21 lead.

Eastern Washington stayed close and junior Janelle Ruen's service ace gave the Eagles a 26-25 lead. A pair of attack errors by Willoughby increased the Eastern Washington lead to 28-25.

The Rainbow Wahine scored the next three points to tie the game 28-28, a kill by senior Robyn Felder, who led Eastern Washington with 12 kills, and a block by Felder and junior Monica Lynch gave the Eagles the game and tied the match 1-1.

A 7-1 run early in game three put Hawai'i on top 10-4 and the Rainbow Wahine led by as many as 11 in coasting to a 30-20 win.

Willoughby recorded eight kills and served for five points in the game, including a service ace.

Game four featured 22 ties and a dozen lead changes. Hawai'i led by as many as three points twice, the latter at 22-19. Eastern Washington retook the lead 23-22 on the strength of two service aces by sophomore Jessie Wright.

From there, the teams swapped the lead three more times, before a kill by Gustin and a service ace by junior Nohealani Tano ended the match.

'I was thinking about taking it to game five,' Eastern Washington Head Coach Wade Benson said. 'I would have liked our chances against Hawai'i in game five. We could have used another day of preparation. We didn't execute the way we wanted to, but we showed up against a quality team.'

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