Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, September 14, 2001

America Attacked

Chaminade loses
half its season

By Brandon Lee and Jerry Campany

There is little doubt about the insignificance of sporting events in the wake of Tuesday's national tragedy.

At the same time, there can be no argument that the atrocities of three days ago will affect athletes, teams and conferences well beyond the few games that most have already missed or will soon miss.

One local NCAA Division II team that has already felt -- and will continue to feel -- reverberations from the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., is the Chaminade men's water polo team.

The Silverswords lost the only game they've played so far this season to Brigham Young-Hawaii two weeks ago, and were set to leave yesterday on a road trip that included three single games and a four-game tournament. But Chaminade athletic director Aaron Griess decided early Wednesday that the Chaminade team would not be traveling.

"I made the decision before I knew the airports weren't open," Griess said on Wednesday. "I feel it's not in our best interest to travel right now.

"It's a little bit of both," he said, when asked whether it was concerns for player safety or sympathy for the victims that motivated his decision. "But we're most interested in the safety of our student athletes."

This road trip would have been the first of two in the 18-game Silversword regular season. The cancellation is particularly burdensome for Chaminade.

The Silverswords are one of only two men's collegiate programs in the state -- the first-year BYUH team is the other -- and both belong to the Western Water Polo Association, an organization primarily of teams from Southern California. Chaminade does not have a home facility of its own, and must therefore travel to the mainland for nearly all of its regular-season competition.

"Basically, we've lost half our season with these seven games," Silverswords coach Bruce Black said. "We need to reschedule to get into a (different) tournament. The teams and coaches on the mainland have been real helpful, but travel arrangements will be difficult.

"I believe (the WWPA) -- and I cannot confirm this yet -- will do something to accommodate us, knowing our situation," Black said of Chaminade's chances for postseason play should it fare well in its remaining games. "(BYUH has) beaten some (WWPA) teams, and if we beat them, we hope (the WWPA) will reflect upon that."

BYUH (3-4) won two games against WWPA teams on its most recent road trip (from which it won't return until next Tuesday due to air-traffic restrictions), and only one of its games was canceled. The next scheduled game for both is a matchup against each other next Friday at Kamehameha Schools' pool at 5 p.m.


The Brigham Young-Hawaii Cross Country Invitational will go on tomorrow at 8 a.m. in Laie, despite a postponement or cancellation that was considered due to Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

"There was a lot of discussion before we made the decision," BYUH athletic director Randy Day said. "We wanted to comply with some of the things the president said, that even if someone commits a heinous crime such as this, it can't bring this country to its knees. We wanted (the athletes) to have a chance to contemplate things other than sports, but we also wanted to get them back to some semblance of normality."

Day said that the three other schools -- Hawaii Pacific, Chaminade and UH-Hilo, were behind the decision, although Hilo won't compete.


Hilo decided not to compete because of the travel situation, the fact that it is slated to run against the same three teams throughout the season, and fears that their athletes will not be "mentally ready" after the attack Tuesday.

"I met with the teams and they expressed their concerns," Hilo athletic director Kathleen McNally said. "Considering their feelings, the travel situation and having competed with the same field last week, we felt it was best that we not participate."


The national No. 1 Hawaii Pacific women's volleyball team (8-0, 2-0 PacWest) is not scheduled to resume conference play until next Friday at Montana State-Billings. At this time the Sea Warriors, who are the defending national champions and riding a 36-match winning streak, are still scheduled to make the road trip that includes two games each with MSU-Billings and Western New Mexico.

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