Thursday, November 26, 2015         


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UH-Hilo's Hurley has renewed drive

By Cindy Luis


» Hillary Hurley
» Junior
» UH-Hilo outside hitter
» Anderson, Calif.

All she needs to complete her Indiana Jones outfit is the fedora. Because Hillary Hurley has the adventurous part down.

The 6-foot-2 junior outside hitter for the Hawaii-Hilo volleyball team is always open to new challenges, from volunteering to switch to middle blocker this season to switching sports and joining the Vulcans basketball team when volleyball is pau.

"That's what I like about her, she's willing to try new things," first-year UHH volleyball coach Tino Reyes said of Hurley. "Every time we've made a suggestion, she's worked hard at it.

"We only had two middles return in the spring and she volunteered to switch. She did a credible job, learning the position, but we've been able to move her back to the outside. That she's going to play basketball tells you what kind of athlete she is."

Hurley showed that right away, being named the freshman of the year in the PacWest and AVCA Pacific Region in 2007. After sitting out 2008 to concentrate on academics and playing sparingly last season, Hurley has returned with a renewed commitment.

Saturday, she picked up her first double-double of the season (19 kills, 12 digs) in a 90-minute sweep of Chaminade. The defending PacWest champs moved into a three-way tie for second at 2-1 (7-3 overall).

"We've been up and down, but I feel like we've found our rhythm," said Hurley, who ranks second in kill average (4.54 kps) and third in points (182.5) in the conference.

"We have the talent to win. It all depends on how hard we're willing to work. There is no limit to where this team can go."

The same cannot be said for the Californian's love of driving places. She's learned that going to Kona is considered "an epic road trip."

"But I love Hilo. It's slow, it's laid-back," she said. "I fell in love with the lifestyle when my family vacationed on Oahu when I was younger.

"It was my dream to play in Hawaii. I thought I was going to end up at a junior college in California, but (former Vulcans coach Bruce Atkinson) called me at the last minute. It was meant to be."

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