WAC to look at limiting home-and-away volleyball matches


POSTED: Monday, November 16, 2009

Today's match at Utah State is the regular-season finale in Western Athletic Conference play for No. 3 Hawaii. It also may be the end of how the Rainbow Wahine and the rest of the WAC have been traveling.

The conference coaches will meet Sunday in Las Vegas with one of the pressing issues being cutting costs. Hawaii has already addressed that this year by making two three-match road trips instead of three two-match journeys to the mainland.

One of the proposals is to have eight of the teams become true travel partners, with Hawaii being the odd team out. Nevada would pair with Utah State, Fresno State with San Jose State, New Mexico State with Louisiana Tech, and Idaho with Boise State.




NO. 3 HAWAII (25-2, 15-0 WAC) AT UTAH STATE (14-13, 5-9), 4 P.M. TODAY

        Radio: KKEA 1420-AM

TV: None


Series: Hawaii leads 37-8




Those teams would continue to play home and away annually.

Hawaii, much as it did as a member of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association/Big West, would host an opponent for two matches one year then travel to that opponent for two matches the next year.

Wahine coach Dave Shoji understands the money concerns, but would prefer to keep the schedule the way it is.

“;I'm not sure if it's the best scenario for us,”; he said. “;I think it will hurt our attendance if we play the same team back-to-back. I'd prefer to play a different team at home.

“;For us, I'd like to see it happen with Louisiana Tech (being a once-in-two-years trip).”;

There is some opposition to the proposal outside of Hawaii. Several coaches have said that they would end up losing more money every other year because home matches with Hawaii provide their biggest gate of the season.

“;I do think that we need to come up with a scheduling system as a conference,”; Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said. “;But for me it isn't about how much money we can save; it's about having a set schedule and a consistent schedule with normal rotations.”;

Utah State coach Grayson DuBose, who hosts Hawaii today, said he was in favor of coming to Hawaii in alternating years. This season's schedule also has had a host team arriving back home too late to get a practice in while the opponent has had the opportunity to practice.

“;Personally I'm for it if we had natural travel partners and it would make our schedule flow better,”; DuBose said. “;Thursday-Saturday matches would be the norm and you would play your travel partner and only have that one match that week. It would be a regular travel schedule. But someone has told me that their biggest attendance is when Hawaii is in town so they would be against it.”;

Utah State's last appearance in the Stan Sheriff Center was very brief, a 74-minute sweep by Hawaii eight days ago. Utah State hasn't played since then and “;we need to ball-control better,”; DuBose said. “;Hawaii's two jump-servers kept us out of system for too long.”;