Disappointed Wahine hit road


POSTED: Monday, November 30, 2009

No rhyme. No reason. No postseason home matches.

Dave Shoji doesn't understand what happened to his Hawaii team yesterday. The Rainbow Wahine (28-2), with a better record and more quality wins this year than last, have a lower seed (12th) than last (seventh).

And for the sixth consecutive year, Hawaii opens the postseason on the road. The Wahine will be at unseeded USC for a second straight year, taking on New Mexico (20-9) in Friday's second match.

“;I know it's a tough job to put this bracket together,”; Shoji said, “;but it really makes no sense.

“;They are flying people all over the country. There is no rhyme, no reason, for any of the brackets. I'm definitely disappointed ... really disappointed. I don't see much difference between us and Florida State. They haven't beaten anyone of significance. The committee has taken the RPI and taken it to another level.”;





        Where: Los Angeles

When: Friday, first round


Who: USC (21-9) vs. Oklahoma (18-11), 3 p.m. Hawaii (28-2) vs. New Mexico (20-9), 5 p.m.


Up next: Saturday, second round, Friday's winners, 4 p.m.




Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM


Tickets: All-session $15 adults, $12 students/seniors; Single session $10 adults, $6 students/seniors




Hawaii has the same overall record as Florida State, which was given the No. 3 seed during yesterday's NCAA tournament selection show. But the Wahine's RPI was at 22 and the ACC champion Seminoles' was at No. 3.

At issue for most was quality wins and losses. Hawaii swept Stanford, the fourth overall seed, and UCLA, the ninth seed, while losing to second-seeded Texas in four and eighth-seeded Cal in five. FSU's losses were to struggling Florida (current RPI 16) on the road and Georgia Tech (current RPI 50) at home; the one signature win came against Illinois, the tournament's fifth seed, at the New Mexico State Invitational on Sept. 4.

New Mexico State (20-9), the Western Athletic Conference runner-up, did not get an at-large bid. The Aggies upset Colorado State on Saturday, but “;I think the brackets were done before they won,”; Shoji said.

Hawaii is in what many consider the toughest region, which is being hosted by fourth-seeded Stanford. The other seeded teams in the regional are Illinois (five) and Michigan (13).

Shoji felt sixth-seeded Washington had the easiest route to the final four, playing in the Minneapolis region. Besides FSU, the other seeds are host Minnesota (11) and Oregon (14).

“;That bracket is just ridiculous,”; the Wahine coach said. “;For Washington to get a sixth seed after the way they've lost over the last 10 games (6-4) ... it's ridiculous.

“;I thought we deserved somewhere between 3 and 6. I don't see how we get 12. It makes no sense after what we've done, but that's the NCAA.”;

“;It's understandable not to be in the top four,”; Hawaii sophomore hitter Kanani Danielson said. “;But it's disappointing not to be in the top 10 after the important wins we've had.

“;The main goal is to win that Stanford regional, have no setbacks.”;

For the Wahine from California, it will be another chance to play in front of family.

“;But we're on the road ... again. At SC ... again,”; senior setter/defensive specialist Stephanie Brandt said, who is from Irvine, Calif. “;I don't get it. But all we can do is prove we deserve to be in the top eight, prove to everyone that we are that good.

“;We swept Stanford and UCLA. They're better now, but so are we, especially in mental toughness and team chemistry. For five of us (seniors), it's our last shot. It's one game at a time. We can't look past New Mexico.”;