Utah State volleyball loses to third-ranked Hawai’i in four sets

LOGAN, Utah   Kanani Danielson posted a career-high 32 kills and Aneli Cubi-Otineru tied her career-high with 22 kills to lead third-ranked Hawai’i to a four-set win (25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-13) against Utah State here Monday night. Hawai’i improves to 26-2 on the season and concludes Western Athletic Conference action with a perfect 16-0 record with the win, while Utah State falls to 14-14 on the season and 5-10 in league play with the loss. USU was also eliminated from competing in the WAC Tournament this year with the loss as only the top six teams in the conference advance to Las Vegas for the three-day event from Nov. 23-25. Junior middle blocker Shantell Durrant (American Fork, Utah) recorded a career-high 12 kills for Utah State and hit .429 in the match (12-3-21), while fellow junior middle blocker Katie Astle (Sandy, Utah) added eight kills and five blocks and hit .412 (8-1-17). Junior libero Christine Morrill (Neola, Utah) had a match-high 17 digs. Danielson had eight kills for Hawai’i in the first set as UH led throughout and posted the six-point win. The Rainbow Wahine hit .333 (17-5-36) in the first set and Utah State hit .091 (10-7-33). Utah State evened the match at one set each as Durrant recorded five kills in the second set to lead USU to the three-point win. Tied at 13, Utah State scored four straight points and later led by five before Hawai’i got back within two at 24-22. In the second set, USU hit .303 (13-3-33) and UH hit .257 (17-8-35). Hawai’i regrouped and won the next two sets by six and 12 points as Danielson had 10 kills in the third set and Cubi-Otineru had 10 kills in the fourth set. UH hit .429 (19-4-35) in the third set as compared to a .195 (12-4-41) hitting percentage for USU. In the fourth set, the Rainbow Wahine hit .378 (20-6-37) and the Aggies hit .065 (6-4-31). Utah State finished the match with a .167 (41-18-138) hitting percentage while Hawai¹i hit .350 (73-23-143). UH also had 18 more digs (58-36) in the match, while USU had 5.5 more team blocks (11.5-6.0), three more service aces (3-0) and three fewer service errors (6-3). Utah State will play its final match of the 2009 season on Thursday, Nov. 19 when it hosts Nevada at 7 p.m. -USU-

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