Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, July 28, 2001


of Wahine’s
top recruit
in question

Saleaumua may not meet
academic requirements

By Grace Wen

With less than a month before the start of the season, a big question mark remains for the University of Hawaii women's volleyball team.

Jennifer Saleaumua, the gem of the Wahine recruiting class, may not be enrolling in school this fall.

Saleaumua, the Gatorade High School Player of the Year in California, may not meet academic requirements for enrollment.

"We hope to have her coming and eligible, but it's still up in the air," UH head coach Dave Shoji said. "I can't say what we're trying to do but we're working on her eligibility."

The 5-foot-11 outside hitter led the Bonita Vista High Barons to the 2000 California Interscholastic Federation girls state championship and's national No.1 ranking. Named Volleyball Magazine's Player of the Year, Saleaumua set the national single-match kill record with 57 in the state championship win over St. Mary's of Stockton.

Calls made to Saleaumua's home in Chula Vista yesterday were not returned. Attempts to reach Saleaumua's coach, former Wahine Carolyn Taeatafa-Hudson, were also unsuccessful.

Hawaii is also waiting on the status of former Kamehameha Schools all-state player Nohea Tano. The 5-11 middle blocker has received a qualified release from the National Letter of Intent Program but is waiting on her release from Washington State.

"I'm eligible to play," Tano said. "The only thing that's holding me off is a release from Washington State."

Should she receive that release, Tano would have three years of eligibility and be eligible to compete this fall. The 2000 Kamehameha graduate played sparingly last season for the Cougars and returned to Hawaii after the fall semester.

In addition to adjusting his roster, Shoji may need to rework his coaching staff.

Both assistant volleyball coach Kari Anderson and associate coach Charlie Wade have applied and interviewed for the recently vacated coaching position at the University of Washington. Former coach Bill Neville retired this month after 10 years coaching the Huskies.

"I'm happy for both of them," Shoji said. "I think both their goals is to be a head coach somewhere and hopefully sooner than later. So I've encouraged both of them to pursue the job.

"If Washington feels like they would want to hire either one of them, I think it's wonderful."

The first day of practice for the Wahine is Aug. 8.

Hawaii opens the season at the NACWAA State Farms Classic Aug. 24-25 at Stockton, Calif. The Wahine will face defending national champion Nebraska in a rematch of last year's NCAA semifinal match.

Also in the field are NCAA runner-up Wisconsin and host Pacific.

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