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On Monday, Hawaii did not appear in the AVCA Coaches Top 25, the first time since the final four weeks of the injury-plagued 1992 season. The Wahine went 15-12 and did not make the postseason tournament for the only time in program history.
On Sunday evening, the Rainbow Wahine found a way to win, turning back San Francisco in the finale of the 20th Outrigger Resorts Challenge. A Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 3,886 watched for 2 hours and 4 minutes as Hawaii finished second in this 10th annual event for the fourth time.
All losses are hard to take, regardless of the scores. Harder still might be watching and not be able to perhaps change the outcome. Such has been Nikki Taylor's experience this volleyball season.
It was a night where longevity was feted both on and off the court. The 72nd meeting between No. 22 Hawaii and No. 25 UCLA included the 100th birthday celebration of longtime season-ticket holder Madeleine Lee and the Bruins redeeming themselves from a disappointing showing — being swept — in their last appearance at the Stan Sheriff Center.
No. 22 Hawaii continued to ride the arm of junior transfer Olivia Magill and got another solid performance from junior hitter Tai Manu-Olevao to turn back Utah State 25-16, 25-20, 25-22 in Thursday's second match.
Fifty years after her great-uncle Jacob Alapaki "Jake" Highland was selected to the first U.S. men's Olympic volleyball team, Kalei Greeley is continuing on the 'ohana's path in the sport as a freshman outside hitter for the Rainbow Wahine.
A ranked Pac-12 team. Another loaded with experienced foreign players. And a dangerous Mountain West squad. It feels like the movie "Groundhog Day" is replaying this week at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The 3 R's when coming back off a tough loss? Recover. Refocus. Relax. On Saturday afternoon, No. 20 Hawaii added a fourth "R" -- relief. The Rainbow Wahine (4-2) threw themselves a block party to finish second in the 27th Hawaiian Airlines Classic volleyball tournament.
Within a span of seven days, the conference that Hawaii has long sought to find a home for its athletic teams in has made itself at home on Oahu.
Adversity can be a good thing. It might have been a little more than No. 20 Hawaii wanted Thursday night but it wasn't more than the Rainbow Wahine could handle when turning back New Mexico in the second match of the 27th Hawaiian Airlines Classic.
In the Olivia Magill Library, there are many sections. Some expected, more that are not. Mythology. Medieval History. Travel. Cats & Dogs (her family has sphinxes and Great Danes). There's even a special stack for video games, heavy on "Pokemon."
A holiday eve announced crowd of 4,554 saw a future star in freshman hitter Kalei Greeley, who put down a match-high 15 kills in her first career start. In Sunday's opener, No. 25 Arizona State turned back Ohio to claim the championship.
It was late all the way around. A late start complete with late comebacks. "It's already tomorrow for us," Arizona State coach Jason Watson joked after his 25th-ranked Sun Devils upset No. 17 Hawaii 25-21, 25-23, 25-23 Saturday night.
The opening-night jitters were to be expected. Especially for a team with just two returning starters, a new setter and no designated star. No official go-to player meant go to a committee, which is what No. 17 Hawaii did Friday night.
In a word, dominating. That would be both the Hawaii volleyball teams of 1982 and '83 — a combined 67-3 with two NCAA titles — and the Rainbow Wahine's No. 11. More than 30 years have passed, but Deitre Collins-Parker's legacy remains.
Will this be Dave Shoji’s final season coaching the Wahine and how far will this team go? Answers from Star-Advertiser's Cindy Luis, Ferd Lewis, Dave Reardon, and Hawaii News Now's Mike Cherry.
A little bit of quarterback. A little bit of linebacker. A little bit of center. It is no surprise that, with a family tree rooted in football, Tayler Higgins would become a setter.
The final week of play not only kept Hawaii's quest for a 19th consecutive conference title -- outright or shared -- from sinking, it also floated the postseason boats of UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge.
Adapt and evolve. It's key to success in many jobs, but perhaps none more crucial than in coaching. When change is the only constant, with new players every season and the sport itself continually being tweaked, it becomes a matter of relate or become irreleva
By "pure coincidence," Hawaii's starting lineup could have heavy local roots when the No. 17 Rainbow Wahine open against Ohio at the Stan Sheriff Center on Friday.
The "soft opening" for the Rainbow Wahine marked the end of double-day sessions. Monday not only is a return to school but a return to the single morning practice that kicks off the first game week of the season, coach Dave Shoji's 40th.
Consider the odds of playing volleyball in college. How many of those on the 1,230 teams that competed at July's USAV Girls Junior National Championships will find their way onto a collegiate roster at any level?
Neighbors. Teammates. Classmates. Friends. And, now, Rainbow Wahine. Kendra Koelsch and Gianna Guinasso shared more than a zip code growing up less than a mile apart in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Casey Castillo, a 6-foot-3 outside hitter from Oceanside, Calif., affirmed her oral commitment to play for the Rainbow Wahine next season with a visit to the Stan Sheriff Center for practice. Castillo said she officially will sign during November's early National Letter of Intent period.
In the fall of 2010, a wide-eyed Kalei Adolpho, then a high school senior, told a small group of media members covering Hawaii volleyball that she had committed to play for the Rainbow Wahine … in basketball. But, she said, she had been told she would be able to walk on for volleyball while on a basketball scholarship.
The only thing constant is change. It is particularly true in sports, where every new season brings new changes, from personnel to personalities, from roles to role models.
They lost a lot. Four starters. Four reserves who saw substantial playing time. Still, it didn't make a dent in the respect the Hawaii volleyball program garnered in what many consider a rebuilding year.
Dave Shoji has long been the face of the University of Hawaii women's volleyball program, and now the school is making it official. Shoji's smiling likeness will be featured on T-shirts and volleyballs -- large and small -- commemorating his milestone 40th season that starts Aug. 29 with the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational.
Getting there was the hard part ... for both destinations. Fourth-seeded Hawaii needed some 26 hours to reach Gulf Shores, Ala., site of the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championships.
No. 3 Hawaii headed out Tuesday night for Gulf Shores, Ala., with one goal in mind: Bring home its first team championship in sand volleyball.