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Adventure continues for Rainbow Wahine's Fowler


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POSTED: Thursday, November 05, 2009

Adventure called and Cat Fowler answered.

She was looking for a different experience ... in school, in volleyball, in life. Fowler found it 4,000 miles away from her home in Conway, Ark., in a place rich with cultural diversity and volleyball tradition.

Fowler called and Hawaii answered back, with a top international business program and a 21-2 team currently ranked No. 3 nationally. Although the 6-foot-2 senior middle/outside hitter has played sparingly since transferring from Arkansas in 2008, Fowler has no regrets.

“;It's definitely the senior year I was hoping for,”; said Fowler, one of five Rainbow Wahine seniors playing in their last two regular-season home matches this week. “;I'm looking forward to the national tournament and excited to see how far we can go.

“;At times, it is hard (not playing), but I know my role and do what's expected of me. I'm happy to be part of such a good team, where everyone plays at a high level. It was the right decision.”;

Fowler has never shied away from opportunities. She graduated a semester early from high school and got a jump on college and volleyball that spring some 160 miles northwest of home at Arkansas.

Although she started every match for two seasons—the highlight being an upset of Florida—Fowler wanted more. Travel didn't bother her; her passport was already stamped from trips to Europe, Canada, Thailand and Mexico.

               

     

 

FRESNO ST. AT HAWAII

        When: Tomorrow, 7 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center
       

TV: KFVE (Ch. 5)

       

Radio: KKEA 1420-AM

       

 

       

“;I didn't realize how hard it would be when she left for Hawaii,”; Fowler's mother Rhonda said. “;She hadn't really been away from us, but I was excited for the wonderful opportunity she was getting. Nowhere else in the country do they love women's volleyball like here and I love the camaraderie of this year's team.

“;Cat was always an independent child, always loved new adventures and meeting people. The only disappointment for our family is we haven't had many chances to see her play.”;

Rhonda Fowler and husband Steve made it to several matches here in the fall as well as Monday's match at San Jose State. The couple arrived Tuesday and “;we're looking forward to senior night,”; Rhonda Fowler said. “;It's been great meeting the parents. “;When we were here the last time, we went to someone's home and I felt like I was on the Food Network, there were so many exotic dishes.”;

Food was not a huge issue for Cat Fowler, although she did miss Southern food, particularly her mother's fried okra. But she's embraced the cuisine just as she has the culture.

Her teammates have embraced Fowler's quiet, often quirky personality in return.

“;Cat is very sweet, very genuine and not afraid to be herself,”; senior reserve setter Stephanie Brandt said.

“;She came to see me when I was competing at the NCAAs (spring track and field championships held at Arkansas),”; said senior middle Amber Kaufman, who placed third in the high jump at the meet. “;She brought me a shirt that said “;Arkansas”; that was green and pink and just my style. It was so nice of her.”;

“;It was great to see someone I knew so far from Hawaii do so well,”; Fowler said.

Fowler's own UH journey will conclude in May when the Western Athletic Conference all-academic pick receives her degree in international business with a marketing concentration and a Spanish minor. She's applying for international internships, but also may opt for the Peace Corps or foreign missionary work with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Travel is definitely in her future, perhaps even a special birthday trip close to home. Fowler turns 22 on Dec. 16, the day before the NCAA final four begins in Tampa, Fla.