Thursday, September 13, 2001
[ WAHINE SPORTS ]
In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, all of this weekend's volleyball matches and the Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Wahine Soccer Festival have been canceled.
UH volleyball tourney off;
soccer team still stranded
Refunds available for football, volleyball
By Al Chase and Grace Wen
The Wahine soccer team probably won't return to Hawaii until tomorrow or Saturday. That's the best estimate Lori Figueroa of Panda Travel, the agent for UH athletics, was able to make yesterday.
Figueroa said the Seattle airport was open. It's not known if the Spokane, Wash., airport has received FAA clearance to open. Even after Spokane is cleared, the airlines involved must have planes on site. Then, Panda Travel will try to book seats for the Wahine or they will be reduced to using standby status.
The Wahine volleyball team was scheduled to play Loyola Marymount on Friday and No. 16 Brigham Young on Saturday. LMU said on Tuesday that it was canceling all matches.
BYU sports information contact Brett Pyne said yesterday that the Mountain West Conference left it up to the individual schools, but the Cougars were unable to schedule any flights with airports still closed.
Plans to reschedule the matches have not been made. Both matches were nonconference.
"If there's an opportunity for us to reschedule, we're going to try to work on that," athletic director Hugh Yoshida said. "That's going to be a challenge for us to try to make up those games. But for this particular situation, those were the right decisions and we need to move forward."
In Dave Shoji's 27 years as coach, no other volleyball match had been canceled.
"Obviously we would have liked to have played but not under these circumstances," Shoji said. "Competitively, it would have been good for us to play, but I don't think anybody felt any urgency to play."
The No. 13 Wahine (4-4) finished a grueling three weekends of tournament play with two wins against Utah State and Cincinnati and a loss to No. 6 USC.
The Wahine did not practice on Tuesday and yesterday's session was the first time Shoji saw his team since the tragedy. Shoji said they will practice the rest of this week, even though the players' hearts might not be in it.
For sophomore Maja Gustin, a native of Maribor, Slovenia, the attacks were reminiscent of home.
"The truth is it was nothing new for me," Gustin said. "We went through one war and we were watching innocent people die every single day.
"The feeling is the same that I had in my country, but this one is a little bit more huge. I was never homesick while I was here, but yesterday when I was watching TV, I was like 'oh my gosh, I miss my family.' And then I realized that if I wanted to go home, I can't go home ... but I'm strong enough."
And for other members of the team, one of the first reactions was how they could help.
"I thought I was watching a movie. It was horrific and just terrible," setter Margaret Vakasausau said. "In our locker rooms, we were talking about what we could do to help. We'd really like to volunteer somewhere or do something to help.
"(For now) we're just going to go on and keep practicing and aim to get better this week and prepare for next weekend."
The Wahine have matches scheduled against Santa Clara next weekend.
In other UH sports, the Hawaii cross country team will compete at the BYUH Invitational on Saturday. Joining UH at the four-school meet are Chaminade, Hawaii-Hilo and Hawaii Pacific.
Those who purchased tickets for this weekend's Wahine volleyball matches or for Hawaii's football game in Nevada have until Sept. 28 to get a refund.
University makes refunds
available for football
and volleyball games
UH officials said yesterday it would take several weeks to process the refunds. The department will mail prorated refunds for season ticket holders and full refunds for individual purchasers.
Stan Sheriff Center Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. UH officials ask that purchasers include their name and address with their tickets.
Fans who bought tickets from the University of Nevada box office should call (775) 348-7225. The address for the UH ticket office is 1337 Lower Campus Road, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822-2370.
Ka Leo O Hawaii