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Tuesday, November 18, 2003



[UH VOLLEYBALL]



UH



Delgado out of action for
Warriors during preseason


The Hawaii men's volleyball will open the preseason this week without a key player.

Redshirt sophomore hitter Jose Delgado has a hairline fracture in his lower back and is expected to be sidelined six to 10 weeks. The 6-foot-3 Puerto Rican national collapsed some 90 minutes into last Tuesday's practice; X-rays showed a fracture of the transverse process, part of the L5 vertebrae.

Delgado was third on the team in kills, kills per game and blocks as a freshman on the 2002 NCAA championship team.

"It's really sad because he sat out last year at his request because we were stockpiled at outside hitter," said Warriors coach Mike Wilton. "He's worked really hard and he figured mightily in our plans.

"Without him, we still have a real nice team. But we will miss him and the other guys are going to have to step it up a notch."

Delgado had been practicing for over an hour when he went back to serve and collapsed. According to Wilton, Delgado said he heard a crack as he started to jump-serve.

X-rays revealed the fracture, which apparently was an old injury that was aggravated last week. Delgado has been consulting with back specialists and he said there may also be a disc problem.

The Warriors open their four-match inter-island series with George Mason tomorrow at the Stan Sheriff Center at 7 p.m. Admission is free and there will be no radio or television broadcasts.

The Warriors and Patriots will also meet at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo Thursday, at the War Memorial Gym in Wailuku, Maui, Friday and at Molokai High Saturday. All matches are at 7 p.m.

Tomorrow, fans will see a starting lineup mixed with veterans and newcomers. The biggest surprise is at setter where freshman Brian Beckwith will get the nod over junior Daniel Rasay.

Senior setter Kimo Tuyay, still recuperating from an ankle injury suffered earlier this month, is not among the 12 players who will make the neighbor island trip. Neither will senior libero Jake Muise, redshirt freshman libero Eric Kalima and freshman hitter Kimball Taylor.

"Some hard choices were made on which players to take," said Wilton.

Tomorrow's starting lineup is expected to include the 6-6 Beckwith, senior hitter Arri Jeschke, sophomore opposite Pedro Azenha, junior middle Delano Thomas, sophomore middle Maulia LaBarre, junior Alfred Reft at libero, and either senior Josh Stanhiser or redshirt freshman Dio Dante at the other middle spot.

The other players on the travel roster will be hitters Matt Bender, Ryan Woodward and Matt Carere, and Rasay.

Wilton said he knew nothing about George Mason other than Patriot coach Fred Chao was expecting to compete with Penn State for the EIVA title. Chao will not be making the trip; he is the assistant coach for the Mason women's team which is currently involved in the playoffs.

NOTE: Wilton said he will redshirt freshman libero Brian Villaroman, the younger brother of current Rainbow Wahine libero Melissa, and freshman hitter Brock Hutchins.



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