Hawaii gives Shoji record

Hawaii coach Dave Shoji’s run into the volleyball history book took longer than expected but the No. 9 Rainbow Wahine defeated Santa Clara 23-25, 25-15, 23-25, 25-17 tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Senior All-American Emily Hartong finished with a match-high 20 kills and team-high 14 digs for Hawaii (3-1, 2-0 Hawaiian Airlines Classic). Sophomore middle Jade Vorster added 10 kills and was in on five of Hawaii’s 12 blocks, while senior libero Ali Longo had 13 of the Wahine’s 60 digs.

Nikki Hess had 19 kills and Megan Anders 13 for the Broncos (2-3, 0-2) in the match that last 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Among the raucous crowd of 6,053 were Tita Ahuna and Mahina Eleneki, who led Hawaii to its last NCAA championship in 1987. Shoji called retired UCLA coach Andy Banachowski out of the stands to share the celebration on the court.

“Thank you Andy, I feel very honored to break your record,” Shoji said after reaching 1,107. “I am so humbled by this tonight. And I want to thank all the players who came through the program, they are all part of this record.

“There are a lot of my assistants here tonight, including the guy I want to beat tomorrow (UCLA’s Mike Sealy).”

The Wahine and 10th-ranked Bruins (5-0, 2-0) meet for the 71st time in Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. tournament finale, which will determine the championship. Hawaii holds a 36-34 series lead.

In the 5 p.m. opener, New Mexico State (1-4, 0-2), meets Santa Clara. The Aggies were swept by the Bruins in today’s first match, 25-15, 25-22, 25-12.

The celebration included proclamations from the the state by Gov. Neil Abercrombie and City & County of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Hawaii had no blocks in Set 1 but had five in rolling out to a 21-12 lead in Set 2. Vorster had two solo blocks and an assist as the Wahine dominated early.

Set 2 ended on a solo stuff of Maddie Cannon by senior outside Ashley Kastl. It was the sixth block of the set for the Wahine, who hit .333.

Hawaii overcame a slow start in Set 1, trailing by as many as four points (5-1 and 10-6). A dump shot by senior setter Mita Uiato sparked a 7-0 run that put the Wahine ahead for good at 13-10, a run that had freshman defensive specialist Kayla Kawamura holding serve for six straight points, including two kills by Hartong.

Hawaii pulled away to a 23-18 lead only to have Santa Clara answer back, closing to 23-22. Hartong had both kills in the 2-1 closing run.

The Broncos pulled out Set 3 25-23, needing two set points to do so. The Wahine trailed for most of Set 3 before finally catching the Broncos at 18. It was tied three more times, the last at 22.

Santa Clara gained a 24-22 advantage on a kill by Anders. Anders’ hitting error made it 24-23, but Taylor Milton’s fourth kill of the night won it for the Broncos, forcing Set 4.

Set 4 was close early before the Wahine began to pull away after a 14-14 tie. Hawaii went on an 11-3 run to get the celebration started, capped by an ace from Uiato.


  1. Warriorfan September 6, 2013 11:22 pm

    Great to witness history, but I found it very Lame that the UH president and AD couldn’t have been there in person. UH will never have a coach be an all time winner in anything else ever.

    I was very impressed with Nikki Hess in person, I f wish UH would have recruited her more heavily, I know they were interested in her but probably didn’t offer her.

  2. Warriorfan September 6, 2013 11:25 pm

    Hartong has kind of been struggling with hitting percentage, definitely not putting up POY percentages, hope she picks it up.

    Vorster on he other hand may lead the NCAA in hitting percentage when the national stats come up.

  3. Cindy Luis September 6, 2013 11:40 pm

    WF, hitting percentage isn’t everything. She had many trouble sets, was doubled teamed. she started off at .250, finished 222 with 54 swings.
    had 20 kills, 9 in Set 1 with 4 errors Then 4 errors the rest of the night.

  4. Cindy Luis September 7, 2013 12:47 am

    1. WF, don’t know that they didn’t offer or how heavily they went after her. she might have turned them down or had no interest. Not always on UH where a player decides to go.

  5. Cindy Luis September 7, 2013 12:55 am

    4. was it really a big deal if the chancellor wasn’t there? the interim president was, board of regents chair was. some nice proclamations.
    AD was with football. true it will never happen again.

  6. menehune September 7, 2013 7:05 am

    Watch for Emily to be double teamed most of the night. Mita should keep feeding the middles, back row and the opposites until UCLA pays them more attention, and not be afraid to keep dumping…that should freeze their middle blockers and open up the left side hitters. Should be a great match tonight. GO BOWS.

  7. OrbitalRipZ September 7, 2013 9:29 am

    Re: 2 & 3 Warriorfan I agree with you, Vorster is on track for All-America honors if she keeps playing as she’s capable of playing.

    It is a common practice among home sportswriters everywhere to put their top players in the best light in just headlining the kills and hiding the hitting percentage when the kill number is high but the percentage is low. I don’t like this national practice in the least but at least it signals to me ALERT! CHECK THE BOX SCORE ONLINE NOW!

  8. OrbitalRipZ September 7, 2013 9:46 am

    Re: “The celebration included proclamations from the the state by Gov. Neil Abercrombie and City & County of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.”

    The proclamation included the phrase “on this auspicious occasion.” Auspicious does not mean “very special.” An auspicious occasion could be a graduation — a situation which is indicative of good things to come. Auspicious means “of good omen; boding well for the future; favorable; propitious.” It does not mean “very special.”

  9. Cindy Luis September 7, 2013 3:08 pm

    8. i think whoever read it misspoke. I’m sure it was auspicious.

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