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No. 6 Hawaii sweeps BYU in volleyball

By Ann Miller

LAST UPDATED: 10:14 p.m. HST, Sep 17, 2010

Sixth-ranked Hawaii pushed Brigham Young over the edge early Friday night, outlasting the Cougars in the opening set and blasting them the next two in a 25-23, 25-11, 25-10 volleyball victory.

The non-conference match was watched by 4,572 at Stan Sheriff Center (5,949 tickets issued). The Rainbow Wahine (9-1) play BYU (3-8) again Saturday at 7 p.m.

Last night was the first time the Cougars had been swept this season, but that wasn't the worst of it. They are in danger of heading into their final Mountain West Conference season on a five-match free fall.

The second set was Hawaii's most lopsided of the season, until the last. A third of its points came off aces or shanks as the BYU passing suffered a meltdown that began against Elizabeth Ka'aihue's pesky float serves.

Like "yips" in golf, the shanks snowballed in the third set as the Cougars, picked to finish fifth in the MWC a second straight season, could not compete with UH lineup that featured four freshmen.

BYU was beaten, by every possible definition.

"We let a few negative points on us become chained together," BYU coach Shay Goulding said. "We allowed it to snowball when one ball is not related to the next.

"When we did good things we matched up very well. We are a very physical team. But when we make as many errors as we did, we allow good teams to have an easy night."

This was the antithesis of last Saturday's close-to-the-134th-dig four-set win over Saint Mary's. The Cougars started three seniors and a trio of players between 6 feet 2 and 6 feet 6, yet were out-hit .308 to.036 and out-aced 9-2.

Still, Hawaii was not happy with any phase of its game with the possible exception of Ka'aihue, who had nearly half its digs (15) and kick-started the Cougars' pass-receive nightmare.

"We just got the job done," said UH's Kanani Danielson, who shared match-high honors with freshman teammate Michelle Waber at 10 kills apiece. "Yeah, you look at the scores and see the depth of how much they were beaten by, but expectations on our side are to do a lot better."

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