Rival coaches eye Hawaii talent
LOUISVILLE, Ky. » There's a little bit of Hawaii being planted about 3 hours south of here in Nashville. And if Kathy Roulhac has her way, there will be a forest growing in years to come.
The Tennessee State coach has two Hawaii-born-and-raised players at her "family-oriented" school: freshmen Makena Naho'oikaika and Precious Salazar, both Kamehameha-Hawaii products, who saw limited time yesterday.
"I've been trying to get players from Hawaii for 14 years," said Roulhac, who coached for 10 years at North Carolina A&T before coming to TSU four years ago.
"It's hard to get them to leave Hawaii, it's so culturally based around family.
"I like the athletes they have in Hawaii. It's an excellent area to recruit. They're good kids, good athletes who have been playing volleyball since birth. Why not get someone who's been playing volleyball since they were 3?"
Roulhac said she knew the distance was a factor when recruiting island players to come to Tennessee.
"What I would say is TSU offers a very family-oriented campus," she said. "They may not be in Hawaii, but they'll feel at home."
New Mexico State ousted
The 14th-ranked Aggies were eliminated in yesterday's first round by LSU, 30-25, 21-30, 21-30, 30-27, 15-13, in Austin, Texas.
NMSU (26-6) was the only other Western Athletic Conference team in the NCAA tournament. The Aggies have not won a first-round match in four NCAA appearances.
Yee helps Red Storm advance
Junior libero Lena Yee
(Moanalua '05) had a match-high 12 digs as No. 20 St. John's defeated Long Island 30-25, 30-25, 30-16 in a first-round match yesterday at Carnesecca Arena. Yee was earlier named the Big East libero of the year for the second straight season.
Miyashiro digs deep for UW
(Kalani '05) had 39 digs last night as sixth-seeded Washington survived its first-round match with Missouri. The Huskies (27-3) outlasted the Tigers (17-13) 30-23, 28-30, 30-22, 32-34, 15-11.
Ashley Aratani (Iolani), a defensive specialist for UW, added five digs.