2 UH alums go to extreme measures
WHEN even chips and soda became "extreme" you knew nothing else was safe. And now, apparently, that includes our beloved genteel sport of volleyball.
So it was yesterday, that I had been urged to take in the Corona Light EVP Finals at Queens Beach.
Of course, I was skeptical at first. Extreme volleyball?
Sure! They hit the ball with their elbows and knees and heads.
What? They do? Why would they do that?
Thus, the extremities.
But no. A talk with a tour official revealed that the EVP really was a league that allowed more than just the AVP elites to get out and play some pro volleyball -- "the players all have jobs." (Wait. You mean there are people out on the pro beach volleyball circuit who don't have to have real jobs?)
Oh, and the EVP features more of a fun, freewheeling, relaxed interpretation of volleyball rules.
That's what it is.
OK, I can handle that.
Sounds like the Arena Football League.
"It's just a different (pro volleyball) league," former Hawaii All-American Heather Bown said.
"It's a different organization," another ex-Rainbow Wahine, Lauren Duggins, said.
Oh, yes, and the pro-am event that featured "extreme" players from around the country, also, obviously, had several teams of local players or with Hawaii ties. That included Bown and Duggins, who played together, a team. Two "generations" of Wahine players, if you will, coming together.
"I haven't even thought about that," Duggins said.
Work with me here, ladies.
But they were pretty good. Bown, the Olympian, can still put it down, especially on the beach, where defenders tend to play like they are, um, stuck in the sand.
And Duggins, who has only been out of the game for about a year -- her last season at UH was 2003 -- can still come up big as needed. A must in the beach game.
Duggins is still going to school at UH and putting in her time as a student teacher. She's set to graduate from Hawaii in December.
So is Bown. The two beach teammates will walk together. Bown's last college volleyball season was 1999, but you can see why she's still working on her studies, with all that time on the national team, playing pro overseas.
In fact, between matches, while soaking in coaching tips, I notice a textbook on the mat in the sand.
It's Bown's, she said.
"I brought it down because I told myself I was going to do it," she said, laughing. "But I haven't even looked at it yet."
Blowing off homework? That's as extreme as it gets.