Easy Sunday for Shoji


POSTED: Monday, October 19, 2009

It was a day off to relax, go boogieboarding in Waikiki, hear from old friends and root for his beloved Dodgers. Except for Los Angeles losing to Philadelphia and the decision on where to put the new 40-inch TV weighing heavily on his mind, Dave Shoji was having a a very good Sunday.

Although the confetti and Silly String from Saturday's celebration were gone, the memories of becoming the second Division I women's volleyball coach to reach 1,000 victories were still fresh yesterday.

“;It was really a special night,”; Shoji said. “;My favorite part? Probably watching the crowd file in. I thought it might be a fairly big crowd and it was.

“;I guess people wanted to be part of the celebration, kind of like senior night. But I am glad it's over and we can get on with the season, get a win tomorrow and keep getting better. I'm not going to be around for 2,000 (wins), but we want to move in that direction.”;

The Rainbow Wahine had the day off yesterday, but prepared for tonight's match with Louisiana Tech last Monday and Tuesday. Travel delays prevented the Lady Techsters from arriving in time for the contest that was originally scheduled last Wednesday.




LATECH (12-9, 2-4) AT NO. 3 HAWAII (16-2, 7-0)

        When: 7 tonight, Stan Sheriff Center

Radio: KKEA 1420-AM


TV: KFVE Ch. 5.


Series: Hawaii leads 14-0.




LaTech may have wished it missed its connections to San Jose State. On Saturday, the Spartans won their first match of the season by holding off the Lady Techsters 23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 21-25, 15-12.

No. 3 Hawaii, riding a 12-match win streak, swept LaTech in Ruston, La., on Oct. 1.

“;I don't think we'll have a letdown,”; Shoji said. “;Our team is happy to have a day off and they'll be fired up to get back on the court.”;

Among the unexpected gifts Shoji received Saturday was a video message on the arena's screens from his three children: Stanford volleyball players Kawika and Erik, and Cobey, director of volleyball operations for the Stanford women's team. Cobey was born in 1979, the year of Shoji's first national title, and Kawika in 1987, the year of Shoji's last.

“;This puts him in a very, very elite class,”; Cobey told the Star-Bulletin. “;Obviously, it's not just a testament to his coaching abilities, but also his ability to train players.

“;He hasn't gotten the top recruits, yet Hawaii's continued to be one of the most consistent teams from the beginning. They develop talent and are one of the elite teams year after year.”;

During his postmatch speech, Shoji gave credit to his assistants and staff, several of whom were in the arena.

“;Getting to 1,000 is a mind-boggling number from a coach's standpoint to think about it,”; said former associate coach Charlie Wade (1995-2005), entering his first year as the UH men's volleyball coach. “;There's a reason it hasn't happened very many times.

“;I think the most remarkable number is the 106 postseason wins. Just to get 100 wins as a coach is something. To have that many in the postseason is remarkable.”;

A remarkable trifecta was also reached Saturday by current associate coach Mike Sealy. The former NCAA player of the year for UCLA was an assistant for Bruins men's coach Al Scates when he won his 1,000th in 2001 and an assistant for Bruins women's coach Andy Banachowski when he won his 1,000th in 2005.

“;This one means a lot more,”; Sealy said. “;In Los Angeles, you probably had to look on page 49 to read about it. Dave means a lot more to this state than those two coaches mean to their state.

“;It's a huge accomplishment to be that good over and over. All it takes is one bad recruiting class, one bad injury, to have the program down for a couple of years. The program's been able to transcend that and do it with limited resources and not being in a power conference.”;


Limited-edition volleyballs ($35) and T-shirts ($15) commemorating Shoji's 1,000th victory will be available this week at the four Rainbowtique stores, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Wahine volleyball program. An autograph session with Shoji at one of the stores is also planned, the date and time to be announced.

Friday's match against Brigham Young-Hawaii will be preceded by the annual alumnae match at 5 p.m. It's also the Wahine's “;Think Pink”; night, when they will wear pink jerseys and use pink volleyballs as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Also Friday, fans are asked to donate used cell phones and accessories as part of the Verizon Wireless HopeLine domestic violence survivors program. Drop boxes will be located at the arena's main entrance from 6 to 7 p.m.