Lex comes full circle


POSTED: Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Circumnavigating the globe in a sailboat is something the ocean-loving Lex Forsythe has long dreamed of doing. She just never figured she'd get hands-on training so soon, and or have it come via volleyball.

The 6-foot-4 reserve sophomore middle for No. 4 Hawaii used what some might call the “;Magellan Theory”; in becoming a Rainbow Wahine. It's a theory of setting off on a voyage with one goal in mind, having it turn into something different, but eventually ending up back where one belongs.

Forsythe's circuitous route included quitting her high school team two weeks into her senior season at Elsinore (Calif.) High and a last-minute decision to continue playing following a late offer from Houston Baptist, in its second year as a Division I program. The Huskies went 24-7 but Forsythe — who was offered a scholarship by Hawaii as a junior — realized she wanted more.

It coincided with the decision by friend and former 951 Elite Volleyball Club teammate Corinne Cascioppo to transfer from Mesa State to Manoa.

“;Coincidence? No, fate is probably the better word,”; Forsythe said. “;Hawaii was my dream from when I was little. I called them and there was a scholarship available.





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» Series: Hawaii leads, 31-1


“;I don't know what happened (senior year). I was in my rebel phase. I decided I didn't want to be Mormon any longer. I didn't want to go to college and I kind of took the easy way out by not making a decision (on scholarship offers). I know I waited too long. It was crazy. I told myself I knew what I was doing and I didn't want to do volleyball.”;

Time away from the sport and the detour to HBU worked out well for both Forsythe and Hawaii. The substitution pattern has her normally starting Set 3, coming in for redshirt freshman Brittany Hewitt, and Forsythe has played very well in limited action.

She's hitting .569, with 36 kills and three errors in 58 attempts. The three errors all came in the five-set loss to then-No. 10 Cal; Hawaii has won nine straight since.

“;Lex is everything you look for in a middle,”; Wahine coach Dave Shoji said. “;She has the height, moves well, good arm swing, puts up a big block.

“;Britt (Hewitt) won the job coming out of training camp and is only slightly ahead. Lex has performed very well when she's had the opportunity and she'll get her chance to play more.”;

It hasn't been easy to be a reserve.

“;I've never had anyone ahead of me,”; Forsythe said. “;It's frustrating because I know how hard I'm working to be in there. But Britt is working just as hard and she's playing well. I envy her, that she had last year (redshirting) to learn the system.

“;I'm realizing that going to Houston Baptist was something I had to do and it prepared me for this. I came in with the right mentality, the mentality I wouldn't have had if I came in as a freshman.”;

Some things are just meant to be. When Forsythe first received a letter of interest from Hawaii, she showed it to her best friend Michelle Waber saying, “;Wouldn't it be funny if we both ended up playing for Hawaii.”;

Waber, a 6-3 senior hitter at Elsinore High, orally committed to the Wahine last week.

“;And here we are,”; Forsythe said.

It just took a while, much like she anticipates how her eventual journey around the world will be. Not one long, continuous trip but an adventure with all the right ports.