By KALANI TAKASE
The Maui News
Amber Igiede had 11 kills, and Hanna Hellvig and McKenna Ross each added 10 as the 22nd-ranked University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team swept past UC Riverside on Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
Igiede also had three blocks while hitting .714 for the match, and Hellvig added eight digs in the Rainbow Wahine’s 25-17, 25-18, 25-12 victory.
UH (15-3, 5-2 Big West Conference) dominated in every statistical category: .242 to .022 in hitting percentage, 10.0-6.5 in blocks, 40-28 in digs and 5-0 in aces.
Norene Iosia had 17 assists and 19 digs, and Bailey Choy had 13 assists for Hawaii.
Ayla Fresenius led the Highlanders (5-13, 1-6) with seven kills.
The Rainbow Wahine next host UC Davis on Sunday.
The Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans want to jump-start an offense that has just one touchdown over the past 10 quarters, so they’re turning to veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill and benching Marcus Mariota.
At least for Sunday.
“We’re trying to get a little spark, trying to evaluate what we’re doing and how we’re functioning as an offense,” coach Mike Vrabel said Wednesday.
Tannehill, the eight-year veteran with 88 career starts for Miami, will make his first Tennessee start against the Chargers (2-4).
“I just felt like now was the time,” Vrabel said.
Not that Mariota, the No. 2 pick overall in 2015 and 2014 Heisman Trophy winner with Oregon, is benched for the final 10 games left on his $20.9 million contract.
“I wouldn’t rule anything out,” Vrabel said of the Saint Louis School graduate starting again this season. “This is a decision that we made for this week. We’re going to need Marcus in some form or fashion throughout the season, but I think the most important thing is this week.”
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said his team will be preparing for both quarterbacks. He coached against Tannehill when he was in the AFC East and noted that Tannehill played against the Chargers a couple years ago too.
“He’s a good player,” Lynch said of Tannehill. “He can move around, create, throw the ball.”
Vrabel didn’t make the move to bench Mariota in a vacuum.
The second-year head coach said controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, general manager Jon Robinson and other coaches were part of the decision.
The Titans (2-4) have scored just 98 points through six games — and the defense, the NFL’s No. 5 scoring unit, contributed an interception return for a touchdown to that total.
Now Tannehill is getting his shot after being acquired from Miami in March via trade, a move originally made to upgrade the backup QB position. The eight-year veteran has a career quarterback rating of 87 and has 20,578 yards passing with 123 touchdowns and 76 interceptions. The eighth overall pick out of Texas A&M in 2012, Tannehill is being paid $1.75 million under a one-year deal.
“It’s been a little while since I was a starter right? Almost half a year?” Tannehill said. “But it’s nothing new for me to go out and play football. It’s what I love to do. I love competing … and being on the field. So nothing new, just different colors.”
Tannehill was 13 of 16 for 144 yards with one interception on 30 snaps coming off the bench in the 16-0 loss in Denver. He also was sacked four times and now has been sacked 252 times in his career.
The Titans have allowed an NFL-worst 29 sacks despite an offensive line they have heavily invested in.
Taylor Lewan became the league’s highest-paid left tackle last year, left guard Rodger Saffold was the fourth-highest paid lineman signed in March, center Ben Jones got an extension Aug. 30 and the team used draft picks on rookie right guard Nate Davis (third-round pick) and right tackle Jack Conklin (No. 8 pick overall in 2016).
“This isn’t a fail by Marcus,” Saffold said. “This is a fail by this offense, and we just have to understand that.”
Vrabel benched Mariota in the third quarter after 40 snaps, the first time he had been pulled because of poor play and not injury. Mariota was 7 of 18 for 63 yards and two interceptions. Mariota said he was disappointed at not taking advantage of his opportunity.
“I can learn and grow from this situation,” Mariota said. “This isn’t going to bring me down. This isn’t going to end my career. This is an opportunity for me to grow, and I’m going to make the most of it.”
In his career, Tannehill is 42-46 as a starter with one winning season at 10-6 with Miami in 2016 while never playing in a postseason game. Mariota is 29-32 as a starter, though he is 1-1 in the playoffs.
By TERESA M. WALKER
The Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans are making a change at quarterback in hopes of salvaging their season.
Tennessee will start Ryan Tannehill at quarterback instead of Saint Louis School graduate Marcus Mariota on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the change.
Coach Mike Vrabel benched Mariota in the third quarter of a 16-0 loss in Denver, the first time the No. 2 pick overall in the 2015 draft had been pulled from a game for poor play and not because of injury. Vrabel said Monday the Titans (2-4) would decide who would start against the Chargers (2-4) by Tuesday and then tell both quarterbacks and the rest of the team.
Now Tannehill will get his first start since the Titans acquired the veteran in March from Miami through a trade initially designed to improve Tennessee’s backup to Mariota.
“Ryan was an elite quarterback in this league … no longer than a year ago,” Titans tight end Delanie Walker said Monday before the decision was made to start Tannehill. “He can take over a team. He can make plays, control the offense. I mean, I seen him do it in Miami.”
NFL.com first reported the switch at quarterback Tuesday night.
The Titans had made it clear all offseason that Mariota was their starter until the No. 2 pick overall in the 2015 draft turned in his worst performance in Denver. Mariota was 7 of 18 for 63 yards and was intercepted twice for his first turnovers of the season. He also was sacked three times.
Mariota went into that game as the NFL’s only quarterback without a turnover, but his interception-free streak ended late in the first half at 205 straight passes when Chris Harris picked him off. Mariota is being paid $20.9 million under the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, and he has a 91.7 passer rating with seven touchdown passes and the two picks.
Tannehill was 13 of 16 for 144 yards while being sacked four times after coming off the bench for the second time this season. He also played at the end of a season-opening rout in Cleveland. He started 88 games in Miami, including 11 last season.
This is the eighth NFL season for Tannehill, who has a career quarterback rating of 62.9, having thrown for 20,578 yards with 123 touchdowns and 76 interceptions. The eighth overall pick out of Texas A&M in 2012, Tannehill is being paid $1.75 million under a one-year deal.
The Titans hope Tannehill jump-starts an offense that has scored 98 points all season, including one touchdown over its past 10 quarters. Tennessee has lost four of five.
By TERESA M. WALKER
The Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel is taking some time before deciding if Marcus Mariota remains his starter or the time has arrived to turn the Titans over to backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
This isn’t a decision the second-year head coach wants to rush, even though he plans to tell both quarterbacks and the Titans some time today.
“I just want to make sure that we’re going through everything that we need to go through and what we want to do offensively, not use the emotion of the game to make a decision,” Vrabel said Monday.
Vrabel benched Mariota in the third quarter of a 16-0 loss in Denver, the first time the Saint Louis School graduate had been pulled because of his play. Mariota was 7 of 18 for 63 yards, sacked three times and intercepted twice — his first turnovers of the season.
Mariota is being paid $20.9 million in the final year of his rookie contract, but the Titans’ offense has managed just one touchdown in the past 10 quarters. The Chargers (2-4) visit on Sunday.
“We’re 2-4, we’re coming back home,” Vrabel said. “We have to find a way to win a football game.”
Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker said the coaches will do what they feel is best for the Titans. Asked about Tannehill, Walker said he was an elite quarterback in the NFL a year ago in Miami. Against Denver, Tannehill was 13 of 16 for 144 yards and was sacked four times.
“I don’t know what the situation is going to be, but soon enough we’ll all find out,” Walker said.
By PAT GRAHAM
The Associated Press
DENVER — Marcus Mariota was blasted, baffled and finally benched.
Now, his starting spot is in limbo.
The Tennessee Titans quarterback got the hook in the third quarter for his ragged play during a 16-0 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Backup Ryan Tannehill took over in the game — and perhaps going forward.
Not that Titans coach Mike Vrabel was willing to address that in the aftermath of a game in which his offense had nearly as many punts (nine) as first downs (12).
“I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out,” Vrabel said.
It was a confounding afternoon for Mariota, whose stat line wasn’t pretty: 7 of 18 for 63 yards passing. A 9.5 passer rating. Two picks. Sacked three times.
“I didn’t give our guys a chance to make plays,” said Mariota, the graduate of Saint Louis School who was the No. 2 pick overall in the 2015 draft. “Obviously, that’s some of the reasons why I got pulled.”
Tannehill took over with 4:56 left in the third and the Titans trailing 13-0. They were searching for some sort of spark from Tannehill, who was acquired in a trade with Miami in March as an insurance policy in case Mariota got hurt again.
The veteran Tannehill only produced two first downs until his final drive. He finished 13 of 16 for 144 yards and one interception. He was sacked four times as the Broncos completed their first shutout since December 2017.
“I just wasn’t good enough,” Tannehill said. “We have to be better all the way around, and I have to be better.”
With Mariota running the show, the Titans (2-4) managed just six first downs and 88 total yards. A week earlier, they scored just once in a loss to Buffalo.
“We’re not pulling our weight as an offense,” Mariota said. “We have to find a way to improve and change that because our defense is playing lights out.”
Vrabel said Mariota wasn’t happy about the benching, but “he took it like a pro. … I don’t think any of us were happy. When we lose, nobody’s happy.”
Mariota offered Tannehill some advice before he stepped in.
“Trust what you see and go play,” Mariota recounted.
So that’s what the former Dolphins starter tried to do. But that’s a difficult task against Von Miller and Co., who earned their first shutout in two years.
“I thought the ball was coming out good. I felt my locations were good,” Tannehill said. “Definitely felt like it had been a while since I’d played. But I thought I was able to settle in and find some open guys.”
Tannehill said he’s spoken with Mariota and there’s nothing but mutual respect.
“We have a great relationship,” Tannehill said. “These things are tough no matter how you cut it. I think the only thing that makes it somewhat tolerable is that we do have a good relationship and we have a ton of respect for each other.”
Asked if he was hoping this was a one-week deal and he’d be in there against the Los Angeles Chargers next week, Mariota said: “For me as a competitor, I would love to be out there with my guys. But again it’s going to come down to the coaches and what they decide.”
Pressed if this was his team, Mariota responded: “Absolutely. Absolutely. No matter what, I’m a team player. If they call my number, I’ll be ready to go and I’ll make the most of the opportunity.”
By JASON CHATRAW
By PAUL NEWBERRY
The Associated Press
ATLANTA — The St. Louis Cardinals turned the diamond into a giant pinball machine, dinging hits all over SunTrust Park.
By the time the Atlanta Braves finally got the third out, it was the most productive first inning in postseason history.
The Cardinals scored 10 runs their first time up and dealt Atlanta another playoff heartbreak, routing the Braves 13-1 in the decisive Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday.
“That was crazy,” said Marcell Ozuna, one of five players who batted twice in the stunning outburst. “We got a good opportunity — and we took it.”
Before many fans had reached their seats, the Cardinals were already booking their plans for the NL Championship Series, where they will play the Washington Nationals in a best-of-seven set beginning Friday in St. Louis.
It will be St. Louis’ first NLCS trip since 2014.
“We know we can beat anyone at this point,” Hilo’s Kolten Wong said.
For the Braves, it might take a while to get over this debacle.
After pitching seven scoreless innings in a Game 2 win, Mike Foltynewicz retired only one hitter before getting yanked. First baseman Freddie Freeman booted a potential double-play ball that might have limited the damage. The Cardinals scored their final run of the inning on a strikeout — a wild pitch in the dirt that skipped away from catcher Brian McCann.
“We just strung together a bunch of great at-bats,” said Wong, who hit a two-run double in the first and scored on that wild pitch.
Tommy Edman and Dexter Fowler also had two-run doubles as St. Louis equaled the highest-scoring inning in postseason history. No team had ever scored 10 runs in the very first inning of a postseason game.
The Cardinals made several changes after their 10-spot — no need to worry about any more offense with budding ace Jack Flaherty on the mound, coming off one of the great second halves by a starting pitcher in baseball history.
Manager Mike Shildt let the 23-year-old Flaherty throw 104 pitches over six innings, surrendering four hits for the first postseason win of his blossoming career.
It was Atlanta’s 10th straight postseason round loss since its last victory 18 long years ago, tying the ignominious mark set by the Chicago Cubs between 1908 and 2003.
“It was more of a shock than anything,” said Josh Donaldson, whose homer provided the lone Atlanta run. “You don’t expect something like that to happen, especially with how well we played all season.”
After the game, McCann, 35, announced he’s retiring after a 15-year career that included two stints with his hometown Braves.
By CHARLES ODUM
The Associated Press
ATLANTA — Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans enjoyed a surge in confidence after returning to .500 and a share of the AFC South lead.
For Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, there is only frustration and despair at the bottom of the NFC South.
Mariota threw three first-half touchdown passes, two to A.J. Brown, and the Titans defense had three fourth-down stops to beat the Falcons 24-10 on Sunday.
Tennessee (2-2) used Mariota’s big first half and strong defense to snap a two-game losing streak.
“If we can continue to get better and ascend, we’ll like where we are at the end of the year,” Mariota said after completing 18 of 27 passes for 227 yards. The Saint Louis School alum still has not thrown an interception this season.
Derrick Henry ran for 100 yards to keep Tennessee’s offense balanced.
The Falcons, held to only a field goal in the second half, were unable to maintain drives despite Ryan’s 397 yards passing.
Ito Smith’s 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter pulled the Falcons (1-3) even at 7-7. Tennessee outscored Atlanta 17-0 the remainder of the half, and the Falcons heard boos as they left the field.
“We’re a quarter way through the season and we have not played to our standard, that’s for sure,” Ryan said.
It was a disappointing loss for Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who is under pressure following a 7-9 finish in 2018.
“It is a tough loss, and we’re as disappointed as our fans are,” Quinn said.
“You better believe we’re going to look at everything. When you’re sitting at 1-3, you want to make sure you’re finding the answers.”
The Falcons were stopped on three fourth-down plays.
Devonta Freeman, who was held to 28 yards on 12 carries, was stopped by Jurrell Casey on a fourth-and-1 run in the second quarter. Ryan was sacked on two fourth-down plays in the second half.
“Those are like turnovers, especially when they’re behind,” said Titans coach Mike Vrabel. “They were going to be going for it and they were aggressive. I thought our guys responded really well.”
Mariota faced growing criticism after managing only one touchdown pass in two straight losses.
Mariota enjoyed a resurgence against the Falcons. He connected with Brown for a 55-yard touchdown pass on Tennessee’s second possession. Brown beat Desmond Trufant and then outran Kemal Ishmael and Deion Jones.
Brown beat Trufant again for an 11-yard scoring catch in the first quarter. Mariota’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis late in the half followed the fourth-and-1 stop by Casey on Freeman’s run.
With the game tied at 7, Mariota completed a third-and-15 pass over the middle to Corey Davis for 16 yards. The play kept the drive alive that finished with Brown’s second scoring catch, giving the Titans the lead they would never lose.
“It was a huge momentum shift and something that really got us going,” Mariota said.
The Falcons, who trailed 24-7 at halftime, have been outscored 65-10 in the first half of their three losses.
“I wish I had a clear answer to that, but the fact is that’s the truth,” Quinn said. “… I addressed that last week, but we obviously still have work to do.”