UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII SPORTS
UH picked to host WAC tournaments
The school will host softball and volleyball in 2008, baseball in '09
Three Hawaii programs can look forward to hosting Western Athletic Conference tournaments over the next two years.
The Rainbow Wahine volleyball team, winner of the last seven WAC tournaments, will host the event in 2008, and the league's baseball tournament will return to Honolulu in 2009, the conference announced yesterday.
The tournament sites were determined at last week's WAC council meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz. The selections are subject to approval by the WAC board of directors, which meets next month.
The conference had previously announced that UH would host the 2008 softball tournament.
"It gives our fans an opportunity to see our teams compete in WAC tournament competition, but more importantly, it gives our student-athletes an opportunity to host this event and have hopefully have some home-court and home-field advantage," UH athletic director Herman Frazier said. "We put in what we thought were very, very good bids."
The news was as good as how Dave Shoji's golf game was going ... at least until he got to No. 18. The Rainbow Wahine volleyball coach finished his round with a double bogey-6 at Oahu Country Club yesterday.
"I think it's really good for our team," Shoji said.
"Instead of us having to get on a plane (for the WAC tournament) then come home for the (NCAA tournament) announcement, we'll already be home. That's huge for us. We might be able to be home the whole of November."
The volleyball tournament -- held in Reno, Nev., the last five years -- was awarded to New Mexico State for this season.
"That has become a tougher trip for us than going to Reno," Shoji said.
UH also bid for the 2008 baseball tournament, which will be hosted by Louisiana Tech.
Hawaii hosted the baseball tournament in 1980, '82 and '84 and for a five-year stretch from 1988-1992. The tournament was revived last year at Fresno State after a five-year hiatus with the Rainbows finishing second.
This year's baseball tournament is set for May 24-28 in Reno, with the winner claiming the WAC's automatic, and likely only, bid to the NCAA Regionals.
"It's hard to look at what's going to happen next year or in '09, but obviously it'll get here before you know it," Trapasso said.
"We're just worried about this year's tournament. It's a one-team league this year, so it's winner-take-all."
UH also bid on the women's soccer tournament, which was awarded to Boise State this fall and Nevada next year.
Star-Bulletin sportswriter Cindy Luis contributed to this report