After a few tweaks, the 2011 University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine volleyball schedule is no longer tentative. The schedule was finalized Wednesday afternoon with only minor changes from the original.
That original included an alumnae exhibition to kick off the season, which will now be scheduled at a later date. Hawaii also changed some tournament times and switched its home matches with Utah State and Idaho to accommodate the Western Athletic Conference football schedule. The Wahine now play USU, the defending WAC champion, on Oct. 21. They play Idaho on Oct. 23 at 5 p.m., then don’t have another home match until Louisiana Tech on Nov. 10.
The season opens with the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational on Aug. 26. Hawaii plays San Francisco that night, with Wichita State and Arizona in the early match. The Wahine play Arizona, USC, Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly today in an offseason tournament on the Trojans campus. They scrimmaged at UCLA yesterday afternoon.
There are three tournaments to open the season in the fall, then a nonconference series with Pepperdine before the Wahine’s last year in the WAC starts at Idaho on Sept. 22. They won 12 straight WAC championships before losing to Utah State last November.
"We want to win the WAC this time," UH coach Dave Shoji said. "We say that every year, but that last game left a bad taste in our mouth. We want to win."
The WAC tournament is tentatively scheduled to be back at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nov. 21-23. That site won’t be confirmed until next month’s WAC meeting.
The Wahine play at Cal State Fullerton the day after Thanksgiving, then come home the day before NCAA Volleyball’s Selection Sunday. Hawaii hosts an NCAA Regional on Dec. 9-10, which might give it a shot at hosting its first subregional since 2003. Then again, with the NCAA pledging to keep schools within driving distance if at all possible, it might not.
"There is more chance this time than there ever has been," Shoji says. "That doesn’t mean I’m counting on it, but theoretically it saves on airfare — for one team anyway."
Hawaii last hosted a regional in 2006, and was sent to Long Beach State for the subregional.
In other updates, sent by alumnae to the Wahine Volleyball Booster Club: Tara Hittle, who was playing professionally in Switzerland, has been hired to coach her high school team — Doherty, in Colorado Springs; Therese Crawford married volleyball agent Boris Simurina, whom she met while playing in Switzerland, and has retired after a 10-year professional career; Karin Lundqvist married a Brazilian two years ago, is playing on the Brazilian beach tour and plans to return to Sweden to play in Europe this summer; and Shelly Kim married Jason Mau last month.
2011 WAHINE VOLLEYBALL SCHEDULE
Home matches start at 7 p.m. at Stan Sheriff Center unless noted