Dec. 2, 2010

Courtesy of Hawaii Ahletics

SEATTLE, Wash.--The 15th-seeded University of Hawai`i women's volleyball team (29-2) swept Big Sky Conference champions, Portland State (21-9) 25-13, 25-19 and 25-8 in tonight's NCAA tournament opener. Kanani Danielson led UH with 13 kills and had 10 digs tonight at the Hec-Edmundson Pavilion.

Danielson also added 2.5 blocks to help lead UH past the Vikings. Satele was also clutch, hammering 12 kills with just two errors in 29 swings. Satele had five kills to lead UH in each of the first two sets and then added two more in the final frame. Senior setter Dani Mafua dished out a game-high 37 assists and had four digs on the night while NCAA block-leader Brittany Hewitt led all players with 3.5 blocks.

Elizabeth Ka`aihue had a game-high 13 digs to lead Hawai`i. With her 13 digs, she passed former UH great, Tita Ahuna for second place all time with 1,395 career digs. She is now needs just 46 digs to break Kim Willoughby's career mark of 1,440.

The first set saw 10 tied scores and six lead changes between the Rainbow Wahine and the Vikings. Satele led UH with five kills in the set and Danielson and Michelle Waber both had four a piece. UH had five blocks in the set with Hewitt leading the way with four block assists.

In the second set, Satele continued to lead the `Bows, tallying five more kills for a total of 10. After PSU led 1-0, Hawai`i took control of the game and never looked back. Then in the final set, UH overpowered the Vikings, hitting .538 to -.034. It was just the fourth time this year that Hawai`i has held an opponent below double digits in a set.

For the match, Hawai`i out-blocked Portland State, 11.0-5.0 and out-hit the Vikings, .286-.072.

With the win, Hawai`i has now advanced to at least the second round of the NCAA tournament 23-of-29 appearances.

The `Bows now face the winner of the Michigan vs. Washington game tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.