UH gets literal wake-up call


POSTED: Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hawaii didn't have much time to dwell on Sunday's stunning Western Athletic Conference volleyball loss to New Mexico State. The Rainbow Wahine were back at practice by 6:30 a.m. yesterday, working out a lot of frustration in Gym II.

Much like falling off a horse, the only real option was to get back in the saddle for the next ride. And that comes quickly: Hawaii leaves tonight for road matches at Utah State on Thursday and at Nevada on Saturday.

“;It was good to get back in the gym so soon,”; UH junior hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru said. “;I'm hungry to play again.

“;I was mad that we lost but, on the positive side, it's a good thing for it to happen now. It could help us in the WAC tournament, help us in the postseason.”;

The 25-22, 26-24, 25-21 sweep by the unranked Aggies hurt the Rainbow Wahine in both the national poll and RPI. Hawaii fell three places to No. 9 in the AVCA Coaches Top 25 while dropping eight spots to 17th in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index, which is used for postseason seeding.

Sunday's result also means Hawaii (13-3, 6-1) and New Mexico State (11-7, 6-1) are tied for the WAC lead. The two teams finish out conference play with similar schedules, including five home matches each, and both have to travel to Idaho (12-6, 5-2), currently in third place.

The challenge for both is to not lose again.

“;We know we have to win out and they know they have to win out,”; Wahine coach Dave Shoji said. “;Both teams have to move forward from here and not rest on anything that has happened before.”;

The Aggies move on with a few more positives this week. Besides coming off their first win over a Top 10 program, NMSU senior middle Amber Simpson was named the WAC player of the week after an 11-kill, six-block performance against Hawaii.