Aloha ball for Clar, Warriors


POSTED: Friday, April 17, 2009

Why volleyball?

Jim Clar asks himself that every day.






        » Height: 6-2

» Class: Senior


» Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.


» Position: Outside hitter


» Favorite UH volleyball moment: Winning 19 straight in 2006


» Before coming to Hawaii, I never thought I'd eat: Spam


» Quotable: ”;My first winter here I had a freakout session with no snow around me. I went to the beach and got over it.”;




There are myriad reasons. Because of the camaraderie, on and off the court. Of the lifestyle of Hawaii, surprisingly comfortable for an 18-year-old from New York. Of the chance to become a better volleyball player in practice as a Warrior than what was afforded him as a starter on any team east of the Rockies.

For outside hitter Clar, one of three Hawaii seniors playing their last matches this week, there are as many “;becauses”; as “;in spite ofs.”;

Clar has hung in for the love of the sport, changing his preferred major (engineering) when labs conflicted with road trips. The injuries, including a torn labrum and cracked rib, have had him on the sideline trying to be the best captain a non-playing captain can be.

“;It's been hard not being on the court, but I've tried to embrace my captain's roll,”; said Clar, expected to start against USC tonight. “;We've had a couple of unfortunate incidents that led to the last two seasons unraveling. Injuries, people leaving ...

“;There are things that don't get looked at enough. All people see is that we're losing.”;

One thing that has weighed heavily is the illness of senior setter Sean Carney's father. After a long battle with cancer, Tom Carney died Monday night.

“;It's things like that that make your realize there is so much more to life that volleyball,”; Clar said.

But both Clar and Carney hope that there is more volleyball life for them after this weekend, the matches with USC capping Hawaii's second straight season without postseason play.

“;I think we'll be together next year, hopefully playing pro in Europe,”; Carney said. “;He's one of those friends who makes everyone around him a better person.”;

Clar has no regrets.

“;It sounds cliche, but these have been the best years of my life,”; he said. “;I'll miss everything, the fans, the culture, the stuff that goes on in the locker room.

“;Hopefully I can rehab the shoulder, go on to play pro. If it doesn't work out, at least I know I gave it my best ... like I've tried to do every day here.”;


Warriors Scouting Report

No. 5 USC (16-9, 12-8 MPSF) at Hawaii (8-17, 5-15), 7 p.m. today and tomorrow; TV: KFVE, Ch. 5; Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM

» Inside USC: The Trojans haven't played at home since March 28, finishing the season with six straight road matches.
» Hot start: USC's 16 wins are its most since 25 in 2001.
» Cold of late: The Trojans have dropped their last three matches, including a 3-2 loss to rival UCLA in the Kilgour Cup last Friday.
» Hana hou: This is the third trip to Hawaii this school year for USC. The Trojans won the UH Fall Tournament in November and finished second in the Outrigger Invitational in January.


Probable starters

10 Riley McKibbinS6-2So.
17 Tri BourneOH6-5So.
14 Tony CiarelliOH6-6Fr.
19 Hunter CurrentMB6-8Sr.
16 Austin ZahnMB6-8So.
11 Murphy TroyOPP6-8So.
7 Luke MorrisL6-2Sr.

» Inside Hawaii: The Warriors matched their season-high win streak with two over Pacific last week. It was just the third series UH has won; the others were over Cal State Northridge and New Jersey Tech.
» Spoilers?: While the Warriors aren't going to the postseason, they could prevent the Trojans from being the MPSF fourth seed and hosting a first-round match with two wins.
» Aloha night: Tomorrow is the final appearance for UH seniors Sean Carney, Mike China and Jim Clar, as well as coach Mike Wilton. Wilton announced he will step down after 17 seasons.


Probable starters

6 Sean CarneyS6-3Sr.
3 Jim ClarOH6-2Sr.
5 Steven HuntOH6-5Fr.
1 Matt RawsonMB6-7Jr.
2 Steven GrgasMB6-7Jr.
17 Joe StrotmanOPP6-2Jr.
9 Ric CervantesL6-1Jr.