Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, November 1, 1999

W A H I N E _ V O L L E Y B A L L

Shoji looks
forward to win
No. 800

The Wahine volleyball coach
says winning No. 700 was great,
but typically, his focus is on
his next few opponents

By Cindy Luis


Dave Shoji didn't dwell much on win No. 700. His thoughts are already on No. 800.

"Our players were talking about it,'' said the Hawaii women's volleyball coach after returning from a quick two-win road trip to California. "Our two seniors, Jenny Roberts and Heidi Ilustre, were around for No. 600 (Sept. 14, 1996) and they were talking about how neat it was to be here for this one. Our freshmen said they want to be around for 800.''

The first step toward the next 100 victories comes at home Friday night against Tulsa. Shoji said he isn't as much concerned about the Golden Hurricane (8-13, 2-7 WAC) as he is about his players' health and academics.

'We have to make sure
we remain sharp for
that final push.'

Dave Shoji


"Tulsa should not be a problem,'' said Shoji, whose team defeated host Tulsa last month, 3-0, in 69 minutes. "Tulsa is struggling right now. We have to make sure we remain sharp for that final push down the stretch.

"This is a good week for us, with just one game and being able to take some time off. We still have some nagging injuries and some illness. And, with a long road trip ahead (three matches between Nov. 12-15), we need to concentrate on academics before we head out again.''

Last Saturday night, Shoji joined the elite 700-Win Club after the second-ranked Wahine swept host Fresno State, 15-3, 15-5, 15-10. Senior Heather Bown had a match-high 13 kills and four aces, including the match-winner, that pushed Hawaii to 19-1 overall, 8-0 in the WAC.

Ahead of Shoji in victories are just eight other coaches: Andy Banachowski (UCLA), Elaine Michaelis (BYU), Mick Haley (U.S. national team coach who'll take the Southern Cal job in 2000) and Linda Dollar (SW Missouri State). Also, Marilyn McReavy Nolen (St. Louis), Cathy Cain (Towson State), Russ Rose (Penn State) and Terry Pettit (Nebraska).

"It is mind-boggling,'' said Shoji. "I tried to play it down, think of it as just another game. But it was hard to ignore the hugeness of it all.

"To be up with Andy, Mick and Elaine ... we've all been around a long time. There's a common bond, an exclusiveness, that I'm proud to be a part of.''
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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