Hawai'i tops UCLA in Hawaiian Airlines Classic Championship, 3-1

Sept. 2, 2002

HONOLULU, HI - The UCLA women's volleyball team was able to take a game off of fourth-ranked Hawai'i, but it was not enough as the Wahine topped UCLA 3-1 to win the Hawaiian Airlines Classic tournament championship. Game scores were 30-28, 30-25, 28-30, 30-13. The Bruins were led in kills by Brittany Ringel, with 11, and had two other players with double-figure kills. UCLA concludes its opening weekend of play with a 2-1 record.

Hawai'i started the match quickly with three straight kills by Kim Willoughby, but the Bruins fought back to tie the game at 7-7 before UH sprinted out to a six-point lead, holding that advantage as late as 20-14 before UCLA started its comeback. Behind the service of senior co-captain Lauren Fendrick, the Bruins rattled off seven straight points, taking their first lead of the game at 25-24, and stretching to a 27-24 lead before a Bruin hitting error ended the scoring streak. During that seven-point stretch, the Bruin block stuffed Hawai'i junior Kim Willoughby twice, and featured kills from three different Bruins.

With the conclusion of UCLA's scoring streak, the teams traded points before a second consecutive kill by UH All-American Lily Kahumoku brought the Wahine to within one point at 28-27 and a UH block tied the game at 28-28, then concluded a five-point rally of its own with the 30-28 opening game victory. Neither team topped a .200 hitting percentage in game one, with the Bruins finishing at .163 and the Wahine at .196. UCLA out-blocked Hawai'i in game one by a 6-1 margin.

The Wahine picked up at the start of game two where they left off, scoring the first five points of the game and stretching to an 8-3 lead. UCLA battled back, tying the game at 10-10 before the teams traded eight points, resulting in five ties before UH took a 15-14 lead and built from there, on its way to a 30-25 second game win.

Game three was tight early, with seven ties before UCLA took its first lead at 18-17. UH then scored three straight points to take a 20-18 lead, forcing the Bruins into their first time out of the game. UCLA scored twice to tie the score at 20 and stayed within one point until UH took a 26-23 lead when UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski called his final time out of the game. The Bruins responded with a kill by Heather Cullen and a service ace by Brittany Ringel to come within one point at 26-25, when UH head coach Dave Shoji called his second time out of the game.

A Kim Willoughby kill gave the Wahine a 27-25 lead, but Willoughby ended the next rally with an error, followed by a solo block from UCLA's Cira Wright and a kill from Ringel to give the Bruins a 28-27 lead. A Bruin hitting error tied the score before a Heather Cullen kill and another Willoughby error gave UCLA the 30-28 game three win to force game four.

A string of Bruin errors opened game four, allowing Hawai'i to start the match with a 7-2 lead. A brief rally cut the lead to 7-5, but a Willoughby kill, four straight Bruin hitting errors and two Kahumoko kills extended the UH lead to 14-5 before the Bruins burned their final time out of the game. Unfortunately, the stop in the action did not stop the Wahine scoring run, as UH would extend its lead to 21-5 before the Bruins could record a sideout and point with a Brynn Murphy kill. UCLA would not put together another lengthy rally, as the Wahine took home the Hawaiian Airlines Classic championship with a 30-13 game four victory.

Brittany Ringel led the Bruins with 11 kills, and was joined in double figures by Brynn Murphy and Lauren Fendrick, who had 10 kills apiece. Bruin libero Chrissie Zartman led all players with 15 digs. UCLA did out-block the Wahine by a 12-6 margin for the match, and were led in that category by Cira Wright, who had one solo block and seven block assists.

Two Bruins, Lauren Fendrick and Brynn Murphy, were named to the Hawaiian Airlines All-Tournament Team, joining Colorado's Monique Gerlach, Ohio State's Stacey Gordon, and Hawaii's Lauren Duggins, Lily Kahumoko and MVP Kim Willoughby.

UCLA will return to action this Friday, September 6, in Minneapolis, MN, at the Diet Coke Classic. The Bruins will open against 20th-ranked host Minnesota on Friday before facing off against No. 9 Northern Iowa and Rhode Island on Saturday.

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