Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Wahine Invitational Gives Hawai`i Something To Work On

Photo: UH Athletics 

Losing to # 4 Wisconsin doesn't really come as a shocker but a second loss to Kansas State on Saturday was. Minus two All Americans showed how much their absence shook up the mindset of this team. It left Dave Shoji, who was at the Olympics during the fall camp, searching for a line up that could make up for that loss.

While the performance of the team was sub par most of the weekend somewhere in the 5th set of Sunday's match against Arizona while down 2-8 they rediscovered themselves pulling out a comeback win that was reminiscent of so many Wahine teams of the past

It was a win in which sophomore outside hitter McKenna Granato, had 33 kills and hit .459. and four Wahine freshman who played a big role.
( Recap)

This was a win that was needed to rebuild their confidence now we wait to see if it is here to stay when they take on Missouri State, Pacific and UCLA this coming weekend (Sept. 1-3) in the Hawaiian Airlines Volleyball Classic (.Info >>)


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Wahine Open 2016 Season Short Handed
Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational Aug. 26-28

Sixth ranked University of Hawai`i will open the 2016 season at home against 4th ranked University of Wisconsin on Friday Aug. 26 at 7 pm in the friendly confines of the Stan Sheriff Center but they will be minus some of their top players due to injuries.

Junior College All American and two time JC player of the Year Middle Hitter Annie Mitchem is recovering from surgery on her left pinkie finger, the same injury she suffered on her right hand in 2015.

All American Opposite Nikki Taylor will also miss matches this weekend due to an injury to her left elbow, the same injury she had on her right elbow .

OH Kalei Greeley is still  recovering from off season surgery on her shoulder and probably will see limited action according to Hawai`i coaches.

Head Coach Dave Shoji just returned from the Olympics and is facing some big line up problems that will need to be sorted out quickly.

While it seems like the Wahine have been snake bitten and some fans are singing the Chicken Little, the sky is falling song I feel differently. Losing before you actually play the game makes no sense to me and new stars are often born under these types of situations. We have some freshman and returning players waiting in the wings itching for their time to shine.

Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational Schedule
Friday, August 26
4:45 pm – Kansas State vs. Arizona
7:00 pm – Hawai'i vs. Wisconsin

Saturday, August 27
4:45 pm – Arizona vs. Wisconsin
7:00 pm – Hawai'i vs. Kansas State

Sunday, August 28
12:00 pm – Wisconsin vs. Kansas State
5:00 pm – Hawai'i vs. Arizona

Complete Game Notes >> 


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wahine Wrap Up Two A Day Practice Sessions 

Photo: Andrew Lee for UH Athletics

The 2016 Wahine ended two a day practice sessions with an inter - squad scrimmage that had mixed results.

With several key players nursing injuries the remaining returning 2015 players looked good, much like they did in the spring match against Iowa State.

Most noticeable improvement went to AVCA Beach All American Emily Maglio and freshman middle red-shirt Natasha Burns.

While several returning players racked up some impressive numbers as a team the Wahine committed an unusually high amount of hitting errors, see stats.  Coach Hall stated after the match that they became a little predictable.

Defense, which is the hallmark of Hawai`i volleyball, was very good.

Freshman OH Kirsten Sibley and setter Norene Iosia both showed a degree of talent that could possibly land them a starting spot when the line up is announced this week, if not both should see plenty of playing time.

Hawai`i kicks off the 2016 season at home with the Chevron Invitational this weekend against Wisconsin, Kansas State and Arizona.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hawai`i Kicks Off Fall Camp Without The Boss

While Head Coach Dave Shoji is in Rio at the Olympics supporting his two sons who are members of the USA men's volleyball team Hawai`i associate coach Jeff Hall and staff opened the 2016 season on Tuesday with Final Four being the # 1 goal but this lofty goal is nothing new for Hawai`i , who for years has started the season with eyes on the big prize. Hawai`i coaches and players comment on the 2016 season in video below provided by Stan Lee at the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

2016 Preseason Polls:
The Wahine #6 in the 2016 Preseason Coaches Poll
Big West Coaches pick Hawai`i to win the Big West Conference

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Preparation for 2016 Season Continues

Although it has not been fully confirmed indications are that all of the 2016 roster including freshman are on the UH campus and attending summer school session II. They also have been working with the UH strength and conditioning coaches and some are helping out at Dave Shoji camps.

Recently the 2016 roster  (see below) made a brief two day appearance online but has since been taken down. As I stated in my previous blog entry there was always a possibility that a newcomer could be added and according to the recent new roster that player is Faith Ma‘afala a 5'8 S/DS Jr transfer from Southern Utah University.  Faith, played her high school volleyball at Kamehameha-Kapālama in Honolulu.

2016 Roster

1  Katiana Ponce L/DS 5-3 Sr. Honolulu, O'ahu / Moanalua HS
2  Kendra Koelsch S 6-1 Jr. Huntington Beach, Calif. / HBHS
3  McKenna Granato OH 6-0 So. Kailua, O‘ahu / Punahou School
4  Clare-Marie Anderson L/DS 5-7 Jr. Honolulu, O`ahu / Punahou School
5  Emma Smith DS 5-8 Fr Manhatten Beach Calif/Mira Costa HS
6  Natasha Burns MH 6-5 So. R Hamilton, Ontario, Canada / St. Mary's
7  Tayler Higgins S 5-9 Sr. Honolulu, O'ahu / Punahou School
8  Annie Mitchem MH 6-3 Sr. Friendswood, Texas / IVC
9  Kirsten Sibley OH 6-2 Fr. Moraga, Calif. / Campolindo HS
10  Norene Iosia S 5-11 Fr. Redondo Beach, Calif. / Redondo Union
11  Kalei Greeley OH 6-2 Jr. Riverside, Calif. / King HS
12  Faith Ma‘afala S/DS 5-8 Jr. Honolulu, O‘ahu / Kamehameha
13  Gianna Guinasso L/DS 5-9 Jr. Huntington Beach, Calif. / HBHS
14  Nikki Taylor OPP 6-4 Sr. Honolulu, O'ahu / Kaiser HS
15  Savanah Kahakai L/DS 5-8 Jr. Honolulu, O`ahu / Farrington HS
16  Rika Okino DS 5-5 Fr. Honolulu, O‘ahu / Kalani HS
17  Casey Castillo OH 6-3 So. Oceanside, Calif. / Santa Fe Christian
19  Emily Maglio MH 6-3 Jr. Coquitlam, B.C., Canada / Pinetree HS
20  McKenna Ross DS 5-10 Fr. Aliso Viejo, Calif. / Aliso Niguel HS


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hawai`i Prepares For 2016 Indoor Season

Preparation for the 2016 indoor season is underway. Schedule has been finalized and announced, the roster is complete (not posted yet) although there is always the possibility of a late comer appearing. also two new additions to the coaching staff have been introduced to the Wahine fans.

For the fan it is now time to purchase a season ticket and enjoy what is looking like the last season for Head Coach Dave Shoji.


Hawai'i Adds Berg and Pesto to Staff

Hawai`i head coach Dave Shoji hired Lindsey Berg, a three time Olympic setter, to replaced Robyn Ah Mow-Santos who had to leave the program because of her husband's military transfer to the mainland.

Berg is a Punahou School graduate and played her college volleyball at the University of Minnesota.

Shoji also added Tom Pestolesi a former two time All American for the UH Warrior Men's team as a volunteer coach. Affectionately  known as "Pesto" Tom is taking a sabbatical from Irvine Valley College where he is the head coach of the women's indoor team. More>


Saturday, May 07, 2016

Season Ends At NCAA Tournament With Loss to UCLA

Photo: UH Beach Volleyball

The 2016 season for the Hawai`i beach team came to an end today in Gulf Shores, Alabama after losing to UCLA in the elimination bracket.

On Friday the Bows defeated the Bruins 3-0 to open the tournament and advance to the 2nd round of the day to take on Florida State who defeated Stetson.

Although, Hawai`i had beaten Florida State earlier in the year. FSU was a much improved team and beat the Bows 3-2 in a tight match.

The loss sent the Bows to the Elimination Bracket with a chance to work their way back to the Championship round. In the first match of the day on Saturday UH took on Arizona and came away with a 3-0 win and advanced to meet UCLA for the second time. This time Hawai`i came up short and were eliminated in a 3-0 loss to the Bruins.

For Hawai`i ( 18-10 ) the AVCA Poll may have been the best predictor of where this season would end. The Bows spent most of the season ranked 5th in the poll and will finish 4th in the National Championship Tournament thanks to an earlier upset win by UCLA over #3 Pepperdine.

Tomorrow ( Sunday, May 8, 2016 ) AVCA will announce the All American Team.


Bows Dynamic Duo Named All Americans

Photo published for Beach Volleyball's Spieler And Maglio Named AVCA All-Americans


Thursday, May 05, 2016

Hawai`i Arrives in Alabama

The SandBows were the first team to arrived in Gulf Shores, Alabama for the 2016 NCAA National Championship tournament and wasted little time getting in a practice and a feel for the sands of Gulf Shores Public Beach Courts

This is the first year that the NCAA will sponsor the Championship and Hawai`i undoubtedly would like to be the first winner.

Hawai`i will first take on UCLA on Friday May 6. The Bruins have beaten the Bows twice in the regular season but by a very slim 3-2 margin.The winner will go on to meet the winner of the Florida State vs Stetson match. Hawai`i beat FSU earlier in the year 4-1 and Stetson 4-1 at the Stetson Spring Break Tournament in Florida.

First match #5 seed UH vs #4 seed UCLA 5am HST May 6,2016


Live Stream May 6  http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/2016/05/06

Live Stream May 7  http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/2016/05/07

Live Stream May 8  http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/2016/05/08

There is some TV coverage but some matches could be over when it is scheduled to be broadcast in Hawai`i.

AVCA All American Awards will be announced this weekend.

Katie Spieler is the female recipient of the 2016 Jack Bonham Award for outstanding performance on and off the playing field.


Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Hawai`i Dominates 2016 Big West Beach Awards

Press Release
Big West Conference
May 3, 2016
Photos: Big West

Hawai‘i dominated the 2016 women’s beach volleyball season, claiming the inaugural Big West tournament in Huntington Beach, Calif. in addition to garnering all three of the top awards: senior Katie Spieler and freshman Emily Maglio earned Pairs Team of the Year honors, Maglio garnered Freshman of the Year accolades and Jeff Hall was tabbed Coach of the Year as the conference announced the all-conference teams today. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=19137#sthash.z4lL7G1Y.dpuf


1st team 
Katie Spieler
Emily Maglio 
Nikki Taylor
Lara Schreiber 
2nd team 
Ari Homayun
Hannah Zalopany
Ginger Long
Mikayla Tucker 
Hannah Rooks
Ka’iwi Schucht 


Sunday, May 01, 2016

Big West Champs !
SandBows defeat Long Beach State 3-2

Photo: UH Beach VB


The SandBows will head to the NCAA National Championship in Gulf Shores, Alabama as the #5 seed and will play #4 seed UCLA on May 6, 2016 .

The outcome of the inaugural Big West Beach Volleyball Championship was never in doubt for the Hawai`i faithful but Long Beach State made it interesting and had no intention of letting the SandBows walk away with it without putting up a fight.

Big West teams were not very impressive in 2016 and LBSU, the #2 seed in the tournament, would be the only team in the conference who would even come close to able to compete with the Wahine so it was only logical that it would come down to both meeting in the finals.

There was no head - to - head competition in the Big West for the Bows this year except for Long Beach who they faced twice, once in the season opener at the Pepperdine Kickoff Tournament and later at the Outrigger Aloha Invitational. The Bows beat them in both tournaments 4-1.

The Championship Tournament began on Friday for # 1 seed Hawai`i, who drew a first round bye, when they cruised to an easy 5-0 win over #5 seed Cal Poly who earlier had to defeat CSU Bakersfield to advance. The 8-12 Mustangs finished third in the Big West and were never a big threat.

Hawai`i #4 duo Ari Homayun and Hannah Rooks did dropped one set 19-21 in the win and had to go to a third and deciding set.

Hawai'i 5, Cal Poly 0

1. Katie Spieler/Emily Maglio (UH) def. Jacqui Martin/Casey Carroll (CP) 21-4, 21-9
2. Ka'iwi Schucht /Nikki Taylor (UH) def. Adlee Van Winden/Taylor Nelson (CP) 21-12, 21-12
3. Lara Schreiber/Hannah Zalopany (UH) def. Savannah Niemen/Anna Gorman (CP) 21-16, 21-13
4. Ari Homayun/Hannah Rooks (UH) def. Raeann Greisen/Katherine Brouker (CP) 19-21, 21-11, 15-9
5. Ginger Long/Mikayla Tucker (UH) def. Dora Beilin/Shannon Fouts (CP) 21-18, 21-6

The win over Cal Poly would set up the first meeting in the winners bracket with #2 seed Long Beach State on Saturday, The 49er's, who also drew a first round bye, defeated #3 seed CSUN in their opening match.

On Saturday the Bows would see LBSU twice on their way to the Championship Final. The first meeting came in the winners bracket and the 49er's ratcheted it up in a close match that saw the Bows come out 3-2 winners. LBSU seemed to have figured out weaknesses in the SandBows # 3 team of Lara Schreiber/Hannah Zalopany and #5 team Ari Homayun/Hannah Rooks.

Hawai'i 3, Long Beach State 2

1. Emily Maglio/Katie Spieler (UH) def. Nele Barber/Rachel Nieto (LBSU) 22-20, 21-16
2. Ka'iwi Schucht/Nikki Taylor (UH) def. Jenelle Hudson/Z. Konstantopoulou (LBSU) 21-19, 21-10
3. Kobi Pekich/Sammee Thomas (LBSU) def. Lara Schreiber/Hannah Zalopany (UH) 17-21, 21-11, 17-15
4. Ginger Long/Mikayla Tucker (UH) def. Ciana Wagner/Mykah Wilson (LBSU) 21-14, 21-18
5. Megan Kruiohof/Morea Wagner (LBSU) def. Ari Homayun/Hannah Rooks (UH) 21-17, 21-19

The Beach dropped back into the losers bracket in this double elimination tournament and had to beat #5 seed Cal Poly to get to meet Hawai`i again in the final match.

To coin a famous quote by Yankee's catcher Yogi Berra it was "deja vu all over again” for the Wahine.

LBSU for the second time had the number of the Bows # 3 and #4 team and they made it even more interesting by pushing Hawaii's # 1 duo Spieler/ Maglio to a 3rd set but were unable able to pull off the upset.

Championship Final Results
Hawai'i 3,Long Beach State 2

1. Emily Maglio/Katie Spieler (UH) def. Nele Barber/Rachel Nieto (LBSU) 14-21, 21-11, 15-11
2. Ka'iwi Schucht/Nikki Taylor (UH) def. Jenelle Hudson/Z. Konstantopoulou (LBSU) 21-17, 21-9
3. Kobi Pekich/Sammee Thomas (LBSU) def. Lara Schreiber/Hannah Zalopany (UH) 21-11, 21-16
4. Ginger Long/Mikayla Tucker (UH) def. Ciana Wagner/Mykah Wilson (LBSU) 21-17, 21-19
5. Megan Kruiohof/Morea Wagner (LBSU) def. Ari Homayun/Hannah Rooks (UH) 18-21, 21-16, 15-9

The team will remain on the mainland and await the NCAA Tournament Selection how on Sunday.