W A H I N E _ V O L L E Y B A L L

Visitors Rice,
Tulsa not on
Hawaii’s mind

Homestand, quest to improve
are two things that drive Wahine
down the stretch

By Cindy Luis

Control what you can. Forget about what you can't control.

That's how the University of Hawaii women's volleyball team is approaching this week's home matches with Western Athletic Conference underdogs Rice and Tulsa. Midway through the season, the 17th-ranked Wahine are looking to improve, regardless of the opponent.

"We go into every match with the same attitude," Hawaii hitter Heidi Ilustre said. "We need to go out hard and work on being fired up for every game. With only two weekends to play at home, that's motivation enough to play well.

"We want to continue to build up our confidence."

Last week, despite traveling 9,000 miles, Hawaii won three times in three days to run its winning streak to seven. Its 40-match conference winning streak shouldn't be in danger against the Owls and Golden Hurricane, who are a combined 1-9 in the WAC.

"With these kind of matches, it becomes more of self-motivation for our players," Hawaii coach Dave Shoji said. "There are different agendas for our players. Some of them are playing for later in the year, seeing how much they can contribute. Some of them are playing for next year, finding out what they need to do to get better.

"I think everyone is pretty hungry and anxious to play well at home. It's our next-to-last homestand and I think everyone will realize this week that we don't have many more games at home.

"And when there are 6,000-7,000 people in the stands, you tend to get fired up."

After this week, the Wahine play eight of their last 10 regular-season matches on the road. The only other home matches before the NCAA playoffs are TCU on Nov. 6 and SMU Nov. 8.

Hawaii won't bid to host an NCAA regional, an event it hosted the past two seasons. The four-team regional goes to the highest seed still alive in the NCAA Tournament as of the Sweet 16. The Wahine are fifth in their region behind Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara, Brigham Young and Pacific.

Rice and Tulsa won't likely qualify for the postseason. Only the top six teams from the two WAC divisions advance to the conference tournament in Las Vegas Thanksgiving week and the Owls and Golden Hurricane are at the bottom of the eight-team Pacific Division.

Rice has three starters back from last year, when it lost to the Wahine in the WAC quarterfinals. The Owls have lost five of their last six. Their only WAC victory was in straight sets against Tulsa.

Tulsa is at San Diego State tomorrow.


First-place votes in parentheses

      	W 	L	Pts	Prv
 1. Penn St. (60)  	17	0	1,520	1
 2. Long Beach  	14	1	1,430	2
 3. Florida   	17	1	1,369	3
 4. Stanford   	16	2	1,341	4
 5. Southern Cal  	13	2	1,226	6
 6. Brigham Young  	14	4	1,179	7
 7. UC Santa Barbara  	16	2	1,098	9
 8. Wisconsin  	14	2	1,043	10
 9. Nebraska   	13	4	962	5
10. Washington St. 	17	2	922	8
11. Texas   	11	3	893	13
12. Texas A&M  	13	3	803	14
13. Pacific   	11	4	791	12
14. Pepperdine  	14	1	749	11
15. Arizona   	12	4	693	15
16. Hawaii  	13	5	562	17
17. Maryland   	15	0	517	18
18. Colorado St.  	15	3	396	20
19. Colorado   	9	4	387	22
20. Loyola Marymount  	13	4	370	16
21. Washington  	10	6	301	24
22. UCLA   	9	5	282	21
23. San Diego  	15	2	183	--
24. Arkansas   	14	5	147	23
25. Michigan St,  	13	6	145	19
Other top teams receiving points: Michigan, 45; Minnesota, 38; So. Carolina, 15; Illinois, 13; Ohio St., 10; Oklahoma, 7; Central Florida, 6.

Wahine volleyball

 Rice vs. Hawaii: Tomorrow at 7 p.m.
 Tulsa vs. Hawaii: Saturday at 7 p.m.
Where: Special Events Arena.
TV: KFVE (Channel 5), live.
Radio KCCN (1420-AM), live.
Tickets: $4-$9.

1997 UH Wahine Volleyball Schedule

V O L L E Y B A L L _ N O T E S

Seasiders seek home
court for playoffs

By Cindy Luis

One is for the conference. The other is for confidence.

Brigham Young University-Hawaii can clinch hosting duties for the NAIA Far West Hawaii playoff with a victory tonight over Hawaii Pacific University at St. Andrew's Priory Gym. Friday, the top-ranked and undefeated Seasiders (18-0) could earn even more respect with a win over NCAA Division I Rice.

BYU-Hawaii coach Wilfred Navalta's motto has always been simple: "One game at a time." It's not a cliche when it works, as it has for the past 18 matches this season and last 13 meetings with Hawaii Pacific.

The Sea Warriors have not beaten the Seasiders since Oct. 26, 1994. BYU-Hawaii swept HPU earlier this season, 15-1, 15-5, 15-0, one of 16 straight-set wins the Seasiders have recorded in 18 matches.

Both of Hawaii's NAIA teams were idle last week, making it easy on the pollsters to leave the Seasiders right where they were: on top. BYU-Hawaii, 54-2 in games, received all nine first-place votes.

The voters weren't as kind to HPU. The Sea Warriors slipped to No. 24.

PERFECTION TOUGH: And then there were two.

Top-ranked Penn State (17-0) and No. 17 Maryland (15-0) are the only undefeated teams left in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll. No. 14 Pepperdine (14-1) lost its perfect season -- as well as three spots in the rankings -- when upset by the University of San Diego last week.

San Diego had quite a week, toppling Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount in West Coast Conference matches. The Toreras (15-2) debuted in the rankings yesterday at No. 23.

The top four spots remained the same: Penn State, Long Beach State, Florida and Stanford. Two of the biggest drops were felt by Nebraska, which went from No. 5 to No. 9 following two consecutive Big 12 losses last week, and Michigan State, which went from 19th to 25th after Big 10 defeats to unranked Michigan and Minnesota.

Hawaii moved up a spot to 16th with three road victories.

MILESTONE FOR WISE: Florida coach Mary Wise earned her 300th career victory Sunday as the third-ranked Gators swept Mississippi State in an SEC match. The victory also stretched Florida's string of consecutive SEC victories to 42; the league record is 49, held by the Gators.

STAYING ON TOP: Four Chaminade players and one from Hawaii-Hilo are leaders in their respective categories, according to the latest Pacific West Conference statistics for all matches.

The Silverswords' Marci Fieber leads in hitting percentage (.289), Karlen Parter in assist average (9.79), Danielle Robins in ace average (.60) and Doris Bikar in dig average (3.63). Meliah Hai-Kelly of the Vulcans is the block-assist leader (1.30 bpg) while her teammate, Heather Campbell, is second (1.20 bpg).

The only category without a Hawaii player on top is in kill average. Diane Vergo of Montana State-Billings is the leader (5.43 kpg) followed by Chaminade's Biker (3.65) and Hawaii-Hilo's Ginelle Palau (3.54).

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