Seasiders excited at chance to play UH


POSTED: Friday, October 23, 2009

Opportunity called last summer and Wilfred Navalta couldn't get to the phone fast enough. The acceptance to have his team play against Hawaii was even quicker.

“;Any time you have a chance to play in a first-class environment against a great team, you can't pass that up,”; the Brigham Young-Hawaii coach said. “;When Dave (Hawaii coach Shoji) calls, no matter what kind of team I have, I have to say yes.

“;We can't pass on an experience like this. It's nice exposure for our program and a great experience for our kids. We know we're overmatched, but we want to capitalize on what we do well and be able to compete with them.”;

The Seasiders (13-10) have done that and more the past two times they've traveled from Laie to Manoa. In 1998, the Rainbow Wahine had to rally for a 15-5, 10-15, 14-16, 15-5, 15-3 victory.

And then there was 1992. Injury-plagued Hawaii couldn't avoid the upset, falling 13-15, 15-10, 16-14, 15-12 to the eventual NAIA champions in Klum Gym.





        Brigham Young-Hawaii at No. 3 Hawaii

When: 7 tonight


Where: Stan Sheriff Center


Radio/TV: KKEA 1420-AM, KFVE Ch. 5


Note: UH alumnae match starts at 5 p.m.


“;That was a nice evening for us,”; Navalta said. “;They (the Wahine) were down that year, with some serious injuries.

“;That team played at Penn State, BYU and Klum. All those tough environments helped us when we played for the national championship. And the Stan Sheriff Center is one of the greatest arenas for volleyball. What I've told my team is we need to focus on the match and not the environment.”;

Brigham Young-Hawaii has won its last six and 10 of the past 13. The winning streak has coincided with several injured Seasiders getting back into the lineup.

One is 5-foot-10 senior outside hitter Losaline Faka'osi, who missed five matches with a strained quad. In spite of that, she still leads BYUH in kills (3.15 kps) and digs (4.37 dps).

The Seasiders also feature 5-11 junior middle Tanza Buroker, who is second nationally in blocks in Division II (1.43 bps). Buroker had five block assists in Wednesday's sweep of Academy of Art to increase her block total to 126.

Navalta said he hadn't watched tape on the Wahine but had seen them play on TV.

“;We know what they can do,”; he said. “;And they can do a lot of different things. Our goal is to stay relaxed and make them earn their points.”;

Hawaii, winning its last 13, comes in off Monday's sweep of Louisiana Tech.

“;It will be nice to play somebody new,”; Wahine senior hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru said. “;We practice against each other so much, know the tendencies of our second team. It will be nice to see what somebody else does.”;

“;They're doing us a favor,”; Shoji said of the Seasiders. “;We didn't want to take a whole week off and we couldn't get a mainland team to come and fill the spot.”;

Hawaii, which makes more money staying home, also didn't want another road trip. Six of the next eight conference matches are on the road, followed by the Western Athletic Conference tournament in Las Vegas Thanksgiving week.


Tonight's match will be preceded by the annual alumnae match at 5 p.m.

The celebration of Shoji's 1,000th victory also continues, with video tributes, a parade of alumnae athletes and other festivities.

It is also “;Dig Pink”; night, with the Wahine wearing pink jerseys and using pink volleyballs as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. UH is looking at auctioning off the jerseys, but details are pending.


New Mexico State72.7781 1/212-7
Idaho63.6252 1/210-11
Fresno State44.500411-9
Utah State36.3335 1/212-10
Louisiana Tech36.3335 1/213-12
Boise State36.3335 1/23-18
San Jose State16.1436 1/21-17

Louisiana Tech def. San Jose State, 25-17, 20-25, 25-14, 25-21
Boise State def. Utah State, 25-19, 25-22, 25-22
Idaho def. Nevada, 25-21, 25-14, 25-17
New Mexico State def. Fresno State, 25-22, 25-20, 25-21

Brigham Young-Hawaii at Hawaii, 7 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center

Nevada at Boise State
San Jose State at New Mexico State
Utah State at Idaho
Fresno State at Louisiana Tech