Wahine keep trainer busy


POSTED: Wednesday, December 16, 2009

TAMPA, Fla. >> She's the first to admit she had some assistance, but Renae Shigemura is an unsung hero who helped Hawaii get to its first women's volleyball final four since 2003.

Shigemura is the trainer for the Rainbow Wahine, and her ability to keep star players Amber Kaufman and Aneli Cubi-Otineru in the lineup despite lingering injuries has been a big part of UH's postseason success.

Kaufman (abdominal strain) and Cubi-Otineru (knee) battled through the regional last week with Shigemura's assistance. She also helps keep the rest of the team going despite minor ailments and soreness.

“;Especially this time of year. Everyone's got something wrong with them,”; UH coach Dave Shoji said after yesterday's practice. “;Hopefully you never have to use your trainer to treat injuries (rather than prevent them).”;

Shigemura said her job as trainer is to be the “;messenger.”;

“;My role is just to manage the pain the best I can with what equipment I have on the road. We have several physicians at home who can help with advice if I give them a call,”; Shigemura said. “;Sometimes you have to give (players) the yank, even if they want to play. And if it's minor you have to assure them it's OK, they can play on it.”;





        Final four at Tampa, Fla.

        » TV: ESPN2

        » Radio: Hawaii matches, KKEA, 1420-AM

        Semifinals tomorrow

» Texas (28-1) vs. Minnesota (28-8), 2 p.m.

        » Penn State (36-0) vs. Hawaii (32-2), 4 p.m.

        Championship Saturday

» Tomorrow's winners, 3 p.m.

She and Shoji said Stanford trainers assisted Kaufman, allowing the all-region middle to play and play effectively in the regional final against Michigan despite coming out early in the semi the day before against Illinois.

“;They were a big help; it was a tape job I hadn't seen before,”; she said.

UH may hire band

Associate athletic director Marilyn Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano was the ranking UH official on the scene here since Monday, coordinating things such as travel and lodging.

She was asked if UH would have pep squad or band members at this final four. No on the pep squad, possible on the band. At the 2003 final four in Dallas, UH hired a high school band to play.

“;We don't have a band at this point,”; she said at yesterday's practice. “;It's on my list, but it's the last thing on my list.”;

Harris hosting UH

Tim Harris, the owner of Performance Volleyball Club, is the Wahine's host.

Harris is a former assistant coach at Berkeley Prep, a Tampa high school powerhouse that played Kamehameha in 2000, Harris said.

“;They crushed us,”; he said. “;They were very talented and we were very young.”;

Berkeley Prep is also the home of Jordan Burgess, one of the top sophomores in the nation. UH is reportedly interested in the outside hitter.

Robins makes trip

Junior defensive specialist Alexis Robins joined the Wahine in Tampa. She was not with the team on the last two trips, to USC for the subregional and at last week's regional at Stanford, but was at the Western Athletic Conference tournament in Las Vegas. Freshman defensive specialist Emily Maeda saw limited action at USC, her first trip of the season, and has remained on the travel roster.