Hawaii 3, Texas State 0

Dec. 2, 2005

AUSTIN, Texas -- The No. 7 University of Hawai`i Rainbow Wahine volleyball team (26-6) swept through the Texas State Bobcats (17-15) 30-25, 30-18 and 30-23 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Gregory Gym on the campus of University of Texas Friday. In the match, Ashley Watanabe broke the UH single-season digs record.

Watanabe had nine digs in the match to push her season-total to 442, five digs more that Teee Williams' total of 437 in 1988. Victoria Prince led the way for Hawai`i, posting 12 kills, seven blocks and a .667 hitting percentage. Juliana Sanders hit .583 with eight kills and three blocks while Jamie Houston had a team-high 13 kills. Kanoe Kamana`o had 42 assists and four blocks while setting Hawai`i to a .356 hitting percentage. Tara Hittle had eight kills and nine digs while Susie Boogaard led all players with 15 digs.

The Bobcats gave UH fits at the start of the first game, taking a 7-5 edge early. Hawai`i came back with a 5-1 run, capped by back-to-back kills by Prince, making it 10-8. The Rainbow Wahine got their advantage to 13-9, forcing a Bobcat timeout. Texas State came out of the break inspired, going on a four-point run to tie it at 13. Texas State eventually got the lead back at 18-17, prompting UH to make their final run, taking seven of the next nine points to go up 24-20. The Bobcats never really got back into it as a kill by Prince closed game one 30-25. Watanabe recorded five digs in the first game, giving her the record after just one game.

Hawai`i started the second game on fire as Prince served a six-point run to put the Rainbow Wahine up 7-1. An ace by Kamana`o made it 9-2 before the Bobcats put up three-straight to get it back to 9-5. UH got the offense going in the second game, hitting ..455 as a team with 18 kills, including a big kill by Houston that ended game two 30-18.

Dave Shoji changed the lineup a little in the third game, starting Sarah Mason on the left with Hittle playing at libero. It took the Rainbow Wahine a little while to adjust, allowing a 5-2 start by the Bobcats. But a timeout helped UH gain their composure, as they scored three-points out of the timeout to tie it at 5-5. The game saw four more ties before UH ran off seven of the next eight points, giving Hawai`i a 20-13 advantage. Texas State would not be able to get back into it, as an ace by Kamana`o got it to 28-21 before Mason put away her fourth kill of the game for the match-winner, giving UH the 30-23 game three victory.

The Rainbow Wahine will next face the winner of the Louisiana State/Texas match in the NCAA Second Round at Gregory Gym tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

-- Ashley Watanabe broke the all-time Hawaii single-season digs record with her nine digs tonight, pushing her season total to 442, breaking Teee Williams record of 437 in 1988.

-- The Rainbow Wahine are now 57-20 in NCAA Tournament matches all-time, and are 18-2 in first round matches.

-- Hawaii has now won 20-straight matches, 16 of which have been three-game sweeps.

-- The 3-0 loss to Hawaii drops Texas State to 0-5 all time in the NCAA tournament, including an 0-2 mark against Hawaii in NCAA post-season play. Texas State is also 0-2 all-time in NCAA Tournament play at Austins Gregory Gymnasium. In both of Texas States post-season losses to Hawaii, the Cats were beaten 3-0, the last loss coming in the 1991 NCAA tournament.

-- Amy Ramirez totaled 8 digs in tonights match, giving the senior a total of 508 for the season, which ranks second all-time at Texas State for single-season digs.

-- Despite the loss, Texas State finished with a 17-15 record, securing the third consecutive winning season for the Bobcats.

Dave ShojiHead Coach
Opening Statement...
The name of the game now is to advance and we did just that. Our team came out and might have been too excited because we played too many balls, but thats a natural thing. We wanted to play and they were excited, but we werent flowing like we could have and should have. Statistically, we played very well. We hit for a very high percentage, we blocked well and we got the key points when we needed to.

On playing in the second round...
We will really need to control our emotions. I am hoping that our first match jitters are over and that tomorrow we will just play volleyball. We will have to play our best match of the year if we want to win tomorrow night. We will try to calm down and still have a lot of intensity, but sometimes its hard to separate the two.

Ashley WatanabeSenior Libero
On breaking Hawaiis single season dig record...
I really attribute that to my team. The front row and the back row give me the green light to dig whatever ball is possible according to what block is given. They (the front row) get a lot of great touches so it makes it a lot easier for us in the back row to play. Breaking the record is a team accomplishment, not an individual one.

Victoria PrinceSenior Middle Blocker
On playing in the second round...
We harnessed our first game jitters, so now we need to move on to the next match tomorrow night. Whether we play Texas or LSU, we know that they are both really great teams and we need to be prepared. We cant overlook anybody and we need to play the best game we can tomorrow night.

Karen ChisumHead Coach
On the game...
It was a great experience for our team. Hawaii was tough and theres a reason why theyre No. 7 in the nation. Theyve got a lot of depth and theyre very strong. Its hard because we dont get to play against teams that hit the ball that hard in our conference. My hat goes off to Hawaii.

On looking to next year...
Weve got a lot of girls coming back because we only have two seniors on our squad. We also have a lot of depth. In fact, weve got some kids that didnt even play tonight that certainly can help us out next year.

Lawrencia BrownFreshman Outside Hitter
On the speed of the game...
The game was pretty fast paced. Hawaiis setter was very quick on the ball, so it was hard to get to the ball.

-- Courtesy Texas