Wahine get to try out NCAA’s new rules this week
It's a chance to get game experience, get better and get used to the new scoring format that will be put into effect this fall.
Cal State Northridge at Hawaii, 5:30 p.m., Nittaidai (Japan) at Hawaii, 7 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center, tomorrow.
The Hawaii women's volleyball team takes its collective first step at putting last season's disappointing finish behind while showcasing a bit of the future with four matches this week. The Rainbow Wahine host Cal State Northridge, Nittaidai of Japan and Saint Mary's of California in two mini-tripleheaders at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Nittaidai and CSUN open tomorrow's play at 4 p.m. with CSUN playing Hawaii at 5:30 p.m. and Hawaii facing Nittaidai at 7 p.m. Friday's matches have Saint Mary's against CSUN at 4 p.m. followed by CSUN against Hawaii at 5:30 p.m. and Hawaii vs. Saint Mary's at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $6 and $8. Each match is a best-of-three using the 25-point scoring format the NCAA has said will be used this season.
Rainbow Wahine coach Dave Shoji said he didn't like the scoring change from the 30-point game that will now be called a "set" and cut substitutions from 15 to 12.
UH sophomore hitter Amber Kaufman thought the shorter "set" didn't make a difference to her.
"Although it will be more like club or high school (scoring), which I was used to," Kaufman said.
"I'm really excited to play. Practice has been going really well and everyone's looking good."
The Wahine opened practice last Monday with 11 players, including two who attended the USA Volleyball women's national team open tryouts last month: junior hitter Jamie Houston and sophomore hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru. However, UH will be down to 10 with junior middle Nickie Thomas (knee) not participating.
Also not playing this week will be sophomore libero Jayme Lee (offseason shoulder surgery) and junior hitter Tara Hittle, who has been playing basketball for the Wahine and spent last week at the Western Athletic Conference tournament in Las Cruces, N.M.
Two liberos are no longer on the roster: junior Elise Duggins and sophomore Rayna Kitaguchi.
One new face on the court this week will be incoming junior middle Catherine Fowler, a transfer from Arkansas.
"She's going to help us, give us experienced depth in the middle," Shoji said.
Two former Iolani players are returning home for Friday's matches and will be wearing Saint Mary's uniforms. Playing for the Gaels are sophomore middle Megan Burton (Iolani '06) and freshman setter Kapua Kamana'o (Iolani '07), the younger sister of former Wahine All-American Kanoe.
Saint Mary's will have a third Hawaii connection this fall when Burton's cousin, Chanteal Satele (Word of Life '08) joins the team.