Familiar face greets UH fans in Reno
RENO, Nev. » A face familiar to Hawaii volleyball fans is on the court this week at the Lawlor Events Center. Dan Hironaka, who works matches at the Stan Sherriff Center, is making his first officiating appearance at the Western Athletic Conference tournament.
On Wednesday, Hironaka was the linesman for two matches, the up official for one and the down official for another. He was not a part of the crew for the Hawaii-Fresno State match.
Yesterday, the 55-year-old was the linesman for both matches, including the second semifinal between Hawaii and San Jose State. He doesn't know if he'll be working tonight's title match.
"I was a little surprised about that assignment," Hironaka said of being involved with the Hawaii semifinal. Overall, the experience has been very interesting."
Hironaka has been officiating at the collegiate level since 1993.
Win 1, lose 2:
Nevada coach Devin Scruggs
has signed St. Francis senior Kylie Harrington
to a letter of intent and expects the 5-foot-9 hitter to make an immediate impact next season.
"She's a very strong outside hitter," Scruggs said. "I'm very excited about having her. She's got great ball control and is a good front- and back-row player. We expect her to play all around."
Scruggs started the season with two players from Hawaii on her roster: junior libero/defensive specialist Randi Salis (Kamehameha) and freshman hitter Lelani Kleman-Maeva (Aiea). Kleman-Maeva was dismissed from the team in September for unspecified reasons and Scruggs said a decision would be made before the end of the semester as to her status for next season.
Salis quit soon after the team's loss at Hawaii, a match in which she played just one game.
Also signing a letter of intent was Iolani senior setter Kapua Kamana'o, sister of Hawaii setter Kanoe Kamana'o. Kapua is headed to St. Mary's.
Seeing red, then yellow:
Rainbow Wahine junior middle Kari Gregory
is known as one of the mother hens of the team. So when Fresno State's Alisha McKee
came too far under the net for Gregory's liking on Wednesday, "I told her to stay under control," said Gregory.
But Gregory punctuated her comment with a little shove, resulting in the first yellow-card warning of her career. She said that, given the number of injuries the Wahine have suffered this year, the last thing she wanted to see happen was an opponent coming under the net and having a Hawaii player fall.
"I was scared and I got emotional," Gregory said. "The last thing we want is someone to come under and hurt you. At the WAC banquet (Tuesday) they showed pictures of Jessica (Keefe), Tara (Hittle) and Nickie (Thomas) ... and it was hard to see that."
Hittle, Thomas and Keefe, who comprise the entire 2004 recruiting class, all suffered season-ending injuries earlier this year.
New Mexico State coach Mike Jordan
confirmed yesterday that his school will put in a bid to host the next two WAC tournaments. The conference is now requiring a two-year commitment when putting in a host bid.
"I'm with a number of coaches who don't want to have a tournament," he said. "But if we're going to have one, why not at our place?"