Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Saturday, May 25, 2024 76° Today's Paper

Sports BreakingTop News

Minnesota defeats Hawaii in NCAA volleyball tournament

Cindy Luis
Swipe or click to see more


Hawaii coach Dave Shoji questioned a call during today’s NCAA volleyball tournament match against Minnesota in Des Moines, Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa >> Junior opposite Nikki Taylor put down 23 kills but it was not enough as No. 2 seed Minnesota ended Hawaii’s run in the NCAA volleyball tournament Saturday with a 25-18, 25-13, 24-26, 25-21 win in the regional final at Wells Fargo Arena.

Senior hitter Daly Santana, named the MVP of the regional, had 26 kills, and the Golden Gophers (30-4) outblocked the top-blocking team in the country 12-4 to earn a spot in next week’s final four in Omaha, Neb. Hannah Tapp added 15 kills with no errors and Sarah Wilhite added 12 for the Big Ten champions. Tapp and Wichita joined Santana on the all-region team.

Taylor and Hawaii senior hitter Tai Manu-Olevao also were named to the all-tournament team, along with Penn State’s Megan Courtney and Michelle Strizak of Illinois.

The loss snapped Hawaii’s win streak at 24. The Set 2 loss was the first this season for UH (29-2), and the 13 points were the fewest scored by the Wahine in a set.

Hawaii led for most of Set 4, the last time at 20-18. Minnesota went on a 7-1 run, with Santana putting down three kills at the end.

30 responses to “Minnesota defeats Hawaii in NCAA volleyball tournament”

  1. nomu1001 says:

    Great season, congratulations to Wahine. Would have been great to be the lone unseeded team had we made it to the finals. We’ll be in a much better place next year. Looks like the NCAA might have gotten the top four right after all, pending the results for Texas and USC.

    • oxtail01 says:

      We will be better at setter next year (anyone is better than Higgins as freshman for Minnesota clearly demonstrated). As far as being a better team? Unless we get couple more of big power hitters, don’t think so.

      • nomu1001 says:

        Wahine need to keep improving and focus on getting better, stronger, just as the rest of the country has done. This didn’t happen over night. If we want respect, get into the final four, we have to go out and earn it. No one is going to hand it you. Minnesota is not a huge team height wise, but imo, they are physical, disciplined, play consistently at a high level. And Santana is a great one.

    • allie says:

      agree..Congratulations to all. This was a very fine team.

  2. kk808 says:

    Congratulations for a great season; can’t wait for next season.

  3. 808comp says:

    They had a good year making it to the elite 8. Was hoping they could beat MINN. in 5 and possible meeting up with Florida again. Santana was unreal. Another eight months before we start all over again. Greely should be better next year if she stays healthy and that Freshmen O/H coming in will be interesting. Like to see how Burns will develope by next season.Battle for the setter position should be good.

  4. Marauders_1959 says:

    Congrats… Wahines for a wonderful and exciting season!!!!

  5. Jiujitsu_Fighter says:

    The Wahine got blown out in the 2nd set but came back strong in the 3rd. They’re one great player away from being a powerhouse. Santana is a monster.

  6. oldertimer808 says:

    Figures oxtail soup always has something negative to say. What a waste of energy.

    • oxtail01 says:

      Could you please point out where I’m being negative? Believe most knowledgeable fans agree setting is a weak spot (Magill would have been all-world if she had decent sets). Besides Taylor, who else can terminate points consistently?

      • 808ikea says:

        Were you not the one who called for Shoji to quit?

        Did you not post: “Shoji is only now catching up with “modern volleyball”, too little too late. He should have graciously stepped aside and turned over the reins to a young coach who understood what it takes to succeed now and who can relate to young players.”

        Admit it your quote is negative and wrong.

        • makule808 says:

          Agee, didn’t you say “Shoji way past his prime, only to realize at least 5 years that he needed to go tall” and calling him an old curmudgeon. It took a year of prima donna behavior by one of his starter who took Sunday off”.

          Attacking the coach and player is really mean sprited. You must be a real unhappy person and would not realize if something good happen to you.

      • nishi1 says:

        Higgins and Magill are equally responsible for the set timing. If you are an astute vball watcher, then you would have noticed that Magill does not have a consistent jump/takeoff – sometimes she jumps early and other times she jumps late. Higgins can only hold the ball in her hands for a split second otherwise she would be whistled for a throw. If Magill were more consistent with her timing you would see a better connection. It’a not all on the setter…..

  7. vosot says:

    Dave consistently puts forth a competitive team each year and this year was no different. This is why fans love this program…they are consistent and play hard. They haven’t won a title in decades, but the fact they give themselves a shot every year by getting into the tournament, is why the fan base supports them win or lose. This really is the only program at the UH that can say this.

  8. oldertimer808 says:

    Mahalo to the Rainbow Wahine Volleyball team, our coaches and all the support staff for another terrific season. This is a team sport and to single any student/athlete with negative comments reflects on the commenters lack of character. Our student/athletes go to classes, practice, work out, personal issues and the pressure of playing for the University and the State of Hawaii and I think that’s alot on their plate. To be in the final eight is an accomplishment that is well deserved. Mahalo again.

  9. Kapaho says:

    The Wahine had a good run as an unseeded team, winning three games before falling to Minnesota, the second seed. Would have been nice for Coach Shoji to win one more national title but was not to be. Great season anyways, now enjoy the holidays and prepare for next year.

  10. nomu1001 says:

    Has to be a great experience, traveling to Texas, then to Iowa. Not sure how things work when traveling to a tournament as big as this, would hope the team also had at least some amount of time to experience things outside of volleyball as well. They deserve it.

  11. kimo says:

    Coach Shoji, staff, and players, Mahalo for a great season. You made believers of everyone in the volleyball world. You made it to the quarter finals and, in the process, had an amazing year. You came very close to taking Minnesota to a 5th game. You left it all out on the court, and all of Hawai’i nei is proud of you. To the seniors, Tai Manu-Olevao and Olivia Magill, mahalo for your leadership, outstanding play, and devotion to the Wahine program, to our university, and to Hawai’i. We’ll never forget you, and we wish you godspeed. The underclassmen who will be back next year will use the off season to heal. (Taylor was visibly struggling with her knee for most of the season. Healthy and without injury, who knows how much further she could have gone in bringing home national awards.) They’ll return next year stronger, wiser, and even more determined to go all the way. Go ‘Bows!

  12. scotti623 says:

    We’ll be okay next year. Yes we lose Tai and Olivia, but everyone else returns. Including a healthy Annie Mitchem and Natasha Burns,as well as the newcomers. Although today’s loss was disappointing, Minnesota was the better team today. The future is bright for Na Wahine.

    • oxtail01 says:

      The thing is, “elite teams” also return good players and add more quality players. The future is also bright for Minnesota, Penn State, USC, Stanford, UCLA,….etc. Yes, we’re be ok next year but don’t expect it to be really bright.

      • nomu1001 says:

        Thought it would be a good thing to post the post match comments from Minnesota coach and team. Think the attitude speaks volumes –

        “We put in the work, I don’t think there is any other way around it, and there is no magic, just real work.”

        “We are really happy, obviously. It’s awesome, I think overall just to get that reward because we have earned it and we have worked so hard for such a long time it feels great to finally see it. Good stuff.”

        Coach McCutcheon
        “This is hard work that is going on, without any promise of reward. We are paving the road for future generations, when you work good things happen. These athletes all they had was trust in the process without knowing what the result was going to be.”

        “Each week we have focused on little incremental changes and Hugh always says Small changes with great conviction can have a huge impact and I think that we have made those little changes with great conviction and it has helped us a lot and we have improved a lot and we are going to get back into practice and we are going to keep getting better, it doesn’t stop here we can still improve.”

      • BigOpu says:

        oxtail – why you gotta be debbie downer. Just congratulate the team and seniors for a great season.

  13. bleedgreen says:

    The way Minnesota dominated in the first two sets, I wrote the Wahine off, but the Wahine regrouped real nicely to take set 3. But it was not to be. Congratulations to the Wahine for a very successful season.

  14. llpof says:

    Congratulations, Rainbow Wahine and Dave Shoji! You make our state proud!

  15. paniolo says:

    Congratulations, Na Wahine. Glad to see you made it this far. Can’t wait for 2016. IMUA…

  16. heluhelu says:

    Thanks for the ride Na Wahine!!! You did us proud, never stopped believing & neither did we. You just needed a lil more rest because the Gophers KNOW it was about to 5 after you found your ju-ju in the 3rd & were about to take the 4th until the gas ran out. Expect great things from Tai & Olivia as they continue the journey. You will always be kamaaina wherever you are, and fondly remembered for the respectful, exemplary way u repped the community and Wahine ohana. We’re from Hawai’i and no one could be prouder, and if you don’t believe us, we’ll yell a lil louder.

  17. nomu1001 says:

    Had high expectations for this team this year, always thought the talent and depth was there. And when you work as hard as they did this year, the post match comments from Nikki and Tayler were a little disappointing, to say the least — Not playing as a team and not being mentally ready. I would have expected better, but appreciate their honesty nonetheless.

    Nikki Taylor: We knew that we had the capability to play better than the first and the second. We as a team knew we needed to cut back our errors, start converting plays, and getting our drive. We needed to start playing together. The first and second we were playing a little separate. More as individual parts instead of six people cohesively working on the court.

    Tayler Higgins: our team just had to get their minds right. We were just watching them play. In the third game we were playing like ourselves. It was awesome to see. McKenna came in and did a great job as a freshman. You don’t see many freshmen coming in to game like this and play as well as she did. I’m proud of her and the way we fought back.

    Want to end by saying that as athletes and as students, we need to remember to be appreciate of their efforts, as they do make huge sacrifices of their time and lives for this program. At the end of the day, maybe a little more leadership for the program would help it get to the next level?

  18. localguy says:

    Dave Shoji and the volleyball teams are the only successful part of UH sports. And yet he is not truly appreciated by UH bureaucrats. As if they had a clue what it means to be a winner. Exactly why they have the jobs they do, safe in their protected little world of Academia, keeping all the real, hard work away. Sad.

    Dave, thank you and your team for another great season. You have made us proud. A legend in UH sports coaching. Take a bow Dave!!!!

  19. katk234 says:

    Hawaii Wahines NO KA OI!!! MAHALO

Leave a Reply