Wahine Making A Case To Host

While anyone who has followed Rainbow Wahine Volleyball over the last couple of decades knows that the NCAA selection committee finds ingenious ways to keep the Wahine from hosting the opening round of the national tournament, even that august body may have trouble inventing sufficient cause to keep the Hawaii faithful from watching their favorite team in person in the post season.

When the initial RPI was released last week, Hawaii was No. 3. The top 16 get to host, so now the rest is up to Dave Shoji’s team. A loss in the Big West undoubtedly would provide the excuse the committee craves.

But don’t expect cooperation from the team. The 2013 version is particularly well-balanced, can play quickly, has depth and star power in Emily Hartong, and seems able to step up their game when necessary. While there are no guarantees, there is an excellent chance that UH will run the table.

Dave Shoji doesn’t waste much time anymore on complaining about what the powers that be decide about where his team is sent for the post season.

“I don’t even want to think about the post season,” says the winningest coach in women’s volleyball history. “We have such a long way to go, and I want my team thinking about this next match and then the match after that.”

Shoji acknowledges that the RPI will go down steadily because of the lack of strength elsewhere in the conference, but he does love this year’s team.

“This team has been drama-free – no off-court issues,” Shoji says. “We have a lot of depth; we can bring in a tested player on the left, the right, in the middle and at setter. And they’re nice kids who love to play and really work in practice. That’s what makes them a real pleasure to coach.”

It would seem only fitting that in a year where Shoji broke the record for wins that UH would host. * While the United States pulled away to a commanding lead and then cruised to another win in golf’s President’s Cup, there was an acute lack of drama to the proceedings, which made some observers wonder whether the event can survive.

The international team lacks huge stars outside of Adam Scott and Ernie Els. And when the President’s Cup captains Fred Couples for the U.S. and Nick Price for the Internationals made up the singles paring for Sunday, there was no effort to be TV friendly. While the match fairly screamed for Tiger Woods to be paired against Adam Scott, instead we got Tiger vs. Richard Sterne. Hopefully, when the event takes place two years hence in South Korea, the new captains will be a bit more media savvy.