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Croson leaving Rainbow Wahine

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  • Star-Advertiser / 2012
    Jane Croson might pursue a release from UH to transfer to Arizona

After a spring of discontent, the  Rainbow Wahine volleyball team is moving on without Jane Croson.

Hawaii coach Dave Shoji said Monday that, "We have come to a mutual agreement that Jane will leave Hawaii and go to school somewhere else."

Croson, who won a Youth Beach World Championship three years ago, earned all-conference honors indoors her first two years at UH. She was a sand volleyball All-American last year in the sport’s debut season.

But this past school year was fraught with problems.

She was "suspended indefinitely" during the indoor season for "breaking team rules." Shoji reinstated her after a month. In the spring, Croson was left home to "concentrate on academics" at the end of the sand season and posted on her Facebook page that volleyball "was now like a job."

Rumors started swirling that she would transfer to Arizona, but Croson said Monday she did not know what she was going to do.

"I’ve just been training and going to the gym and working out by myself," she said by phone from her home in California.

Then she added, "I don’t really want to talk about this right now."

Over the past month, there had been talk that she might return to UH for her junior year. That apparently is no longer an option.

Shoji and the returning players are prepared to go on without the player who has one of the collegiate game’s most fascinating serves, was second on the team in kills and digs the last two seasons — and first in distractions.

"There have been a lot of off-the-court issues that we had to deal with and now we won’t," Shoji said.

"She has a very powerful arm and the ability to create kills because of it. On the other hand, I think we might be a little more physical there (outside hitter) as far as athleticism and power."

Senior Ali Longo, who played indoors and on the sand with Croson this school year, said simply that "these kinds of things happen when you are on teams.

"Our main goal was to find the best situation for the team and at the same time what’s best for Jane," Longo said from Colorado. "Any way it would have gone, the team would be supportive. Now it’s behind us and we’ll be stronger because of it. … We are a really close-knit team, even without Jane."

Shoji said Croson, who has a redshirt year remaining, is free to transfer to another school, be on scholarship and train. He has not given her a release to play next season. She has the right to appeal that decision.

The Wahine were 27-3 last year, winning the Big West in their return to the conference and losing to Washington in Seattle in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Hawaii was 11th in the final national poll. It opens its 2013 season Aug. 30 against defending NCAA champion Texas.

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