POSTED: Thursday, August 20, 2009
THU 3TBANCAA 1st & 2nd rounds
FRI 4 Dave Shoji's Birthday
 TBANCAA 1st & 2nd rounds
SAT 5TBANCAA 1st & 2nd rounds
SUN 6TBANCAA 1st & 2nd rounds
MON 7 Pearl Harbor's Remembrance Day
FRI 11 NCAA Regionals (away)
SAT 12 NCAA Regionals (away)
WED 16 Cat's Birthday
THU 17 NCAA Volleyball Championship
        Semifinals - Tampa, FL (away)
SAT 19 NCAA Volleyball Championship
        Championship - Tampa, FL (away)
THU 24 Christmas Eve
FRI 25 Christmas
THU 31 New Year's Eve






        How hard is it to win the national championship in women's volleyball? Consider that only 10 schools have done so since the NCAA began sponsoring the sport in 1981, with five of those same schools also winning at least one AIAW title between 1972 and 1981.

With the influx of money in the BCS conferences, it is increasingly difficult for a non-BCS school to find success, including making the final four. Since 2000, only Hawaii (three times), Long Beach State (once) and Santa Clara (once) have made it to the NCAA semifinals from a non-BCS conference.


“;We're probably the only mid-major type team that has been consistently successful,”; Hawaii coach Dave Shoji said. “;Long Beach State is still hanging in there and there are a few teams that might pop up in the Top 15 occasionally like a Western Michigan, a Wichita State.


“;It's getting hard for us to compete. It's not only the money. The BCS schools themselves are more prestigious.”;


The Big West's Long Beach State is the last non-BCS school to win the NCAA title (1998). Santa Clara of the West Coast Conference is the last to make the final four (2005).







        See you in December?

Hawaii hasn't been at home for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament since hosting in 2003. Since then, the Wahine have been shipped out to Ft. Collins, Colo.; Austin, Texas; Long Beach, Calif.; Louisville; and Los Angeles.


The NCAA has never needed an excuse to put the most-traveled team in women's volleyball back on the road. The logic is simple: It's easier to fly one team out of Honolulu than to fly three in.


If the committee wants to use the economy as an excuse, consider this: a combined 316 showed up in 2007 when Harvard hosted the first two rounds.


Since moving to the Stan Sheriff Center midway through the 1994 season, Hawaii has drawn more than 2 million fans. The Wahine averaged 5,944 last season when leading the country in attendance for a 14th consecutive year.


Perhaps because Shoji was born in December he still believes in Santa Claus. Asked about hosting the first and second rounds this year, the Hawaii coach said: “;Maybe this year they'll surprise us.”;


Maybe not.


NCAA titles
        Stanford (6): 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2004 Hawaii (3): 1982, 1983, 1987 Long Beach State (3): 1989, 1993, 1998 Nebraska (3): 1995, 2000, 2006 Penn State (3): 1999, 2007, 2008 UCLA (3): 1984, 1990, 1991 USC (3): 1981, 2002, 2003 Pacific (2): 1985, 1986 Texas (1): 1988 Washington (1): 2005


AIAW titles
        USC (3): 1976, 1977, 1980
        Long Beach State (2): 1972, 1973
        UCLA (2): 1974, 1975
        Hawaii (1): 1979
        Texas (1): 1981
        Utah State (1): 1978