top wahine volleyball stories and columns
There are many trophies for football rivalries. Although there's no corresponding swag in volleyball, perhaps there should be. At least for Saturday's match when No. 24 Hawaii travels to face longtime rival and sometime nemesis Long Beach State.
The NCAA's first Ratings Percentage Index for women's volleyball was released Monday with the Rainbow Wahine at No. 17. That means Hawaii would be on the bubble to host first- and second-round matches in December.
For a good portion of Saturday night's match, all UC Irvine kept hearing was "Block Block." No. 24 Hawaii showed the stuff that has the Rainbow Wahine leading the Big West in blocks — third nationally — in putting up a wall against UCI.
Manu-Olevao's decision again to sit out Sunday matches due to her religious beliefs did not come without conflict, both inner and outer. The Rainbow Wahine assistant co-captain has found it in the realization that this is where she is supposed to be, doing what she is meant to do.
The scales have been unbalanced when it comes to the series between No. 24 Hawaii and this week's opponents Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine.
The latest Big West Conference women's volleyball match between Hawaii and UC Riverside introduced a new reality. Despite their record, the Highlanders no longer provide an easy target at which opponents can aim.
It was Flashback Friday for No. 25 Hawaii, and not in a good way. The Rainbow Wahine were seemingly cruising through their Big West volleyball opener at UC Davis when visions of last season appeared before them.
Just three months into the job, it would not be a stretch to say that UC Davis coach Dan Conners is more familiar with Hawaii volleyball tradition than with that of his Aggies' program.
Following a rough early-season stretch, Kalei Adolpho enters her final Big West volleyball season on a serious upswing. After opening her senior season with eight kills in 15 attacks against Ohio, Adolpho hit .094 (27 kills, 19 errors) over the next six matches
Is the Big West back? Perhaps not in the national perception, where only Hawaii is ranked and Cal State Northridge — with a signature win over No. 19 San Diego and a preconference schedule worthy of Top 20 RPI consideration — has two points in the coaches Top 25.
The focus is on the first road trip of the year, building on the success found last week with two sweeps of Northern Arizona. Still, it's not a bad thing to again be packing a number along with the bags when heading off to California.
Serve aggressive. Serve tough. Most important, serve in. Hawaii's hot and cold outing from the service line this season got hot when needed Saturday night against Northern Arizona.
On a night that saw Hawaii coach Dave Shoji play catch-up with Penn State's Russ Rose for all-time career wins, the Rainbow Wahine caught momentum early and rode it to a quick 25-18, 25-15, 25-18 sweep of previously undefeated Northern Arizona on Friday night.
It's about more than wearing a volleyball uniform for a few years. To be a Rainbow Wahine is to wear a proud tradition for life. Ali Longo is looking forward to her initiation into that circle Saturday.
On an AYSO kind of night where Hawaii played everyone except for sophomore hitter Nikki Taylor, the Rainbow Wahine had a chance to take chances with lineups and rotations against Toyota Auto Body of Japan.
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.