Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, November 1, 2001



Wahine face
full gym in Reno

Shoji says the team will
have to try harder than
they did against HPU

By Grace Wen

The Hawaii volleyball team's match against Hawaii Pacific on Tuesday was more than just a ho-hum win against a Division II opponent.

It also gave the 11th-ranked Wahine the opportunity to experience an atmosphere similar to what they'll be facing when they play Nevada tomorrow at 5 p.m. UH meets Boise State on Saturday at 4 p.m..

Though the match was at the Stan Sheriff Center, Hawaii Pacific brought enough people to make the arena seem like the Sea Warriors' home gym.

"That's a pretty good practice for us to play HPU before Nevada," outside hitter Maja Gustin said. "They'll have a lot of people over there (so) it's their advantage. But we have our advantages. We're a bigger team, but we have to show up."

Just showing up may not be enough, as the first game of last Saturday's match indicated. Hawaii coach Dave Shoji said the Wahine would lose at Nevada (13-5, 7-3) if they played the same way.

But Shoji said the pressure is on the Wolf Pack to make the necessary changes.

"Obviously, they're going to have to make some adjustments to what they think our strengths are," Shoji said. "But I think their home court is worth five points just to play there. The small gym is hard to play in. The fans are very vocal, too."

Nevada drew its largest volleyball crowd (1,052) last year when the Wahine came to town. And they hope to break that record tomorrow. The Wolf Pack are 9-0 at the Virginia Street gym. It was at home that Nevada upset then-No. 7 Pacific.

"We're definitely a different team at home," Nevada coach Devin Scruggs said. "I hope we will come to play more than we did. ... The facility will be full."

Gustin said back-to-back matches against the same opponents shouldn't be too much for the Wahine to handle. As a club player in Slovenia, Gustin was used to a seven-month season with only one match a week.

"Three times a week (you) travel here," Gustin said. "The system is kind of weird for me, but now I've made the adjustments. "

Willoughby to try out
for basketball team

Kim Willoughby plans to join the Hawaii women's basketball team once the UH Wahine volleyball season is over.

"Kim came to me and said she wants to play basketball," UH Wahine basketball coach Vince Goo said.

"She has a dream. We're not going to go 10 years down the road and have it said Vince Goo didn't give her a chance. We will give her the opportunity. I told her to come out and we'll see what happens."

Willoughby hasn't played competitive basketball since high school.

Star-Bulletin staff

UH Athletics

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