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Huff will focus on basketball

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    2015 September 5 - Hawaii opposite Megan Huff (5) smashes a kill attempt down the line in the game between the American University Eagles and the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, HI. PHOTO BY DARRYL OUMI / SPECIAL TO THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER.
    2015 March 13 SPT - The University of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine Megan Huff drives toward the basket against the Cal State Fullerton Titans Amanda Tivenius during a semifinal game of the Big West Tournament on Friday afternoon at the Honda Center in Anaheim. University of Hawai'i won the game 73-64. PHOTO BY DARRELL MIHO / SPECIAL TO THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER
    2015 September 6 SPT - HSA PHOTO BY BRUCE ASATO - Hawaii's Megan Huff hits past UCLA's Reily Buechler and Claire Felix in the fourth set of the UCLA vs Hawaii's Rainbow Wahine women's volleyball match at the Stan Sheriff Center.

On a day where Hawaii right-side hitter Nikki Taylor added another national volleyball honor, the Rainbow Wahine team lost her backup. Two-sport sophomore Megan Huff has decided to leave volleyball to concentrate on basketball, the sport that has her on scholarship.

"I had to make one of the toughest decisions of my life to focus on one sport to better my future," Huff said in a statement released by the school. "I just want to say thank you to volleyball for the support I experienced through my freshman and sophomore years."

>> At Stan Sheriff Center
>> Friday, 7 p.m.
>> Sunday, 5 p.m. (Alumnae match, 3 p.m.)
>> TV: OC Sports Ch. 16
>> Radio: 1420-AM

A tearful Huff told the volleyball team of her decision during a meeting late Tuesday afternoon. It came as a surprise to coaches and players.

"It is disappointing," Hawaii coach Dave Shoji said. "Megan meant a lot to the program. But she is doing what she feels she needs to do. We wish her the best."

After joining the basketball team late in December, the 6-foot-3 center went on to Big West All-freshman team honors and was named the conference’s "Sixth Player of the Year." Huff led the Wahine in scoring four games and rebounding five times, finishing with 20 blocked shots.

While Huff played in eight sets with just seven kills this volleyball season, it still was a depth charge to the depth chart that now has No. 12 Hawaii looking at unanticipated adjustments to potential lineups nine matches in. The immediate question is: Who replaces Huff as the No. 2 opposite.

"I think all of our outside hitters have to take a turn on the right (in practice) just in case anything happens,"Shoji said. "Tai (senior left-side hitter Manu-Olevao) hits on the right once in the serve-receive formation.

"More likely Casey (freshman hitter) will take more reps on the right and (junior middle) Annie will take swings on the right. We’ll have to be a little more versatile and be ready to make adjustments on the fly."

Hawaii also may have to make adjustments due to illness. Wednesday’s official practice was canceled when only 10 players were available. Those making it to the Stan Sheriff Center took reps hitting, passing and serving in preparation for this week’s matches against CSU Bakersfield (2-8).

The Roadrunners have yet to play a home match, competing in tournaments in San Francisco, Troy, Ala., and Omaha, Neb., as well as a single match at Sacramento State.

The victories have come against Alabama State (3-1) and last Saturday vs. Lipscomb (3-2). Bakersfield also lost to San Diego State — a team Hawaii swept last weekend — in five.

Leading the ‘runners in kills’ are senior hitters Kelsey Sawyer (3.16 kps) and Edith Urias (2.89 kps). Second-year coach Giovana Melo, who played at Arizona State, was very successful at Western Nebraska Community College (262-20) with five NJCAA final four teams and the 2010 national titles.

Bakersfield won the Western Athletic Conference tournament title to earn its first NCAA berth last year.

As for Taylor, she picked up her third honor in as many days when becoming the first Wahine to be named ESPNW national volleyball player of the week. (ESPNW focuses on women athletes). On Monday, the Kaiser High graduate was named the Big West player of the week for a third consecutive time, following that up on Tuesday with the AVCA national player of the week, becoming just the sixth Hawaii player so honored.

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