RAINBOW WARRIOR VOLLEYBALL
Warriors close regular season on the road
Hawaii 5-0? Try Hawaii 4-0.
That's what the Warrior volleyball team wants to do on its final regular-season road trip of the season. Preparation began yesterday for No. 3 Hawaii, which received one first-place vote in the coaches poll. It was the first time the Warriors received votes for No. 1 this season.
Hawaii (15-4, 11-3 MPSF) puts its 11-match winning streak on the line at No. 14 Pacific (7-13, 5-9) Saturday at the Spanos Center. The Tigers have been idle since upsetting Cal State Northridge March 10 and UC Santa Barbara March 11 to improve to 6-2 at home this year.
The Warriors will play three matches in four days next week, at Pacific March 27, and at Stanford March 29-30.
"These are four opportunities to get better before the MPSF playoffs," junior setter Brian Beckwith said yesterday. "It's four opportunities to get better as a team."
"UOP has beaten two really good teams, teams we struggled against in UCSB and Northridge," freshman backup setter Sean Carney added. "We're not taking anyone lightly. UOP has been playing well and Stanford (4-8, 2-14) has a good bunch of guys.
"The thing is to stay focused and not be complacent."
Both the Tigers and the Cardinal could play spoilers to the Warriors' Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title hopes. The key, the players said, is to not look past anyone the next four weeks.
"We've got tough matches ahead of us," senior hitter Matt Carere said after Saturday's nonconference win over Loyola-Chicago. "The goal is the final four, but we've got to take it one day at a time, one match at a time.
"The focus is Pacific and getting ready for them."