STAR-BULLETIN / 2006
Junior middle Nickie Thomas of the Wahine saw her season end before it even started when she tore the ACL and medial meniscus in her left knee during Sunday's workouts. CLICK FOR LARGE
Wahine Thomas out again
The UH middle suffers her second knee injury in less than a year
Her junior year is over before it began.
Hawaii middle Nickie Thomas suffered her second season-ending injury in less than 12 months, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and medial meniscus in her left knee during the last 15 minutes of Sunday's practice. Yesterday, the prognosis was made official ... she's done for the year after just nine practices.
Catch more updates on the UH Sports Extra blog
Thomas, who tore the ACL in her right knee against Cal Poly last Sept. 14, was unavailable for comment yesterday. It is unclear what her future plans will be.
"I feel really bad for her," Rainbow Wahine volleyball coach Dave Shoji said. "She's our most physical middle, was playing well and looking strong.
"It's up to her what happens now. We certainly want and need her back next year."
Thomas played in five matches last season, starting three. A week before being sidelined, she had career highs of 12 kills and five aces in the win over Northwestern.
Thomas was one of three Wahine who had their seasons cut short in 2006. Also sidelined were hitters Tara Hittle and Jessica Keefe, who rehabbed and are competing for starting spots this year.
Also yesterday, Hawaii was ranked No. 10 in the CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 preseason poll. It is the third consecutive year UH has begun the season ranked in the Top 10 and seventh in eight seasons. The Wahine were 29-6, losing in the NCAA regional final.
As anticipated, defending national champion Nebraska is No. 1, receiving 53 first-place votes. Stanford, with the remaining seven votes, is second, followed by Penn State, Texas and UCLA.
Nebraska, UCLA and No. 24 Santa Clara are the three ranked teams on Hawaii's schedule. The Wahine play five other teams which received votes in the poll: Western Athletic Conference rival New Mexico State, Louisville, Colorado State, Wichita State and Michigan, the season-opening opponent on Aug. 24.