No. 11 Rainbow Wahine sweep Boise State in WAC quarterfinals

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The No. 11 and top-seeded University of Hawai‘i Rainbow Wahine volleyball team (22-5) opened the 2007 WAC Tournament with a sweep of the Boise State Broncos (6-23) 30-13, 30-15 and 30-22 at the Pan American Center yesterday.

Aneli Cubi-Otineru hit .517 with 17 kills and 10 digs to lead the way.

Juliana Sanders hit .450 with 10 kills and three digs while Jamie Houston had 14 kills and 18 digs. Amber Kaufman hit a perfect 1.000 on four swings with Kari Gregory coming off the bench to post four blocks. Elizabeth Ka`aihue added 16 digs in the back row.

Hawai‘i came out fired up, looking to show that their loss to Utah State on Nov. 11 wouldn’t be repeated. Hawai‘i jumped out to leads of 9-1 and 12-2 to start Game 1.

The Rainbow Wahine stayed on top of it throughout the game, scoring six of the last seven points to take it 30-13.

Hawai‘i kept the pressure on to start game two, taking a quick 4-0 advantage. After allowing the Broncos a 4-1 run to cut their deficit to 5-4, Houston served the Rainbow Wahine on a 7-0 spurt, getting it to 12-4. Jayme Lee posted back-to-back aces to get it to 27-11 before a Stephanie Brandt kill ended Game 2, 30-15.

Boise State stayed competitive in Game 3, holding a 7-6 edge early on. The Broncos tied it up at 10 before Hawai‘i started to pull away. Hawai‘i slowly worked their way to a 21-14 advantage, with a kill by Cubi-Otineru ending the game, 30-22.

The Rainbow Wahine will face fourth-seeded Nevada in the WAC semifinal match tomorrow at 5 p.m. (2 p.m. HST)

Earlier in the week, Houston was named WAC player of the year. The junior ended the 2007 conference season with a 5.62 kills per game average, hitting .286 with 2.62 digs and 0.73 blocks per game. It was the third-straight year that Houston was given all-WAC recognition and the second-straight year that she was named to the first team.


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