Volleyball Warriors open exhibition season
After five weeks of small-group workouts, the Hawaii men's volleyball team is ready to play ... and ready to play someone else.
The Warriors get their first chance of the fall season when traveling to Vancouver, Canada, for the University of British Columbia's Thunderball tournament. Fourteen of the 24 players in fall camp left last night for the event, which features Hawaii and three of the top Canadian collegiate teams.
"We've had some good practices and I think there's a good team in there," Warriors coach Mike Wilton said. "I like that all of our returnees remember what we taught them. For our new guys, the teaching process is going well. ... We just need to keep practicing and get better."
The Warriors open against the University of New Brunswick tomorrow morning, then take on host UBC tomorrow evening. Hawaii concludes pool play Saturday against Malaspina University, with medal play to follow.
Last fall, the Warriors also played UBC in a series of exhibitions that was well-attended by the family of then-senior Matt Carere. Carere has graduated and is playing professionally for VCA City Center Amstetten in Austria.
"We really liked it a lot up there last year," Wilton said. "Maybe some of our Canadian friends will be there. That was a big (Carere) clan, really good bakers and brought wonderful food."
Hawaii also has two home exhibitions next month, hosting Long Beach State on Nov. 2-3 at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Warriors were 23-5 overall last season, second in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation at 19-3, and were upset by eventual NCAA champion UCLA in an MPSF quarterfinal.
Hawaii's preseason concludes with two exhibition matches with UBC, Jan. 3 and 5, at the Sheriff Center. The Warriors open the MPSF season Jan. 12-13 at UC Irvine.