Maui to Host Regular Season UH Volleyball Game
By Wendy Osher
The University of Hawaii is bringing men’s volleyball to Maui, making the War Memorial Gym home court for its February 27th game against BYU.Â UH Director of Athletics Jim Donovan made the announcement this afternoon at the county building in Wailuku.
“We’re very happy to be back here,” said UH Athletic Director Jim Donovan.Â “Mayor Tavares and her staff did such a great job of hosting our football team in the Spring when we came over here for a scrimmage and an autograph session, that we thought if we had the opportunity to come back again we would as soon as possible,” said Donovan.
The match will be played Saturday, February 27 at 5:00 p.m. One day earlier, Hawai’i and BYU will play at the Stan Sheriff Center. Both matches count toward the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings.
UH men’s volleyball Coach Charlie Wade said Maui provides an intimate atmosphere that will be an exciting venue for the team.Â “We’re playing a real live MPSF match, which I’m sure you know the MPSF is very competitive, and every night is really important,” said Wade.Â He continued, “So to get an opportunity to come here and play in front of Maui fans and have such an exciting match be available to the people on the neighbor island, we couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.”
Maui’s match will be played at the 2,900 seat War Memorial Gym, while the Stan Sheriff Center, at capacity, holds 10,000 people.Â While ticket revenue will be less for the Maui match, Donovan said there is a bigger picture to embrace.
“We represent the whole state and so Maui, obviously is an integral part of that.Â This is not a one time thing.Â We’re going to be looking at other sports being able to come not only to Maui, but to the other neighbor islands as we head out into the future.Â So in the big scheme of things it’s more important for us to be here than it is losing 4,000-5,000 tickets in revenue for one night,” said Donovan.
Ticket prices for the Maui match are $8 (adults) and $3 (UH system students with valid ID and students ages 4-high school) and will be available beginning Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office, 944-2697 and HawaiiAthletics.com. All seats are general admission.
The match will mark the first time UH will host a ticketed regular season match on Maui in any sport since the football team opened the 2001 season against Montana. In 2003, the Rainbow Warrior basketball team participated in the Maui Invitational which was hosted by Chaminade University. UH’s tennis teams have also played there in recent years.
“This is a unique opportunity for our community and I’m excited that our youth and our enthusiastic volleyball fans will have a chance to enjoy college-level action here on Maui,” Mayor Tavares said. “As someone who has played sports most of my life and throughout college, I am especially grateful that this opportunity has been made possible by the support of the University of Hawai’i, Hawaiian Airlines, Senator Tsutsui and the UH athletics coaching staff who have all helped to make this a reality for us.”
“By bringing UH athletics to the neighbor islands, the university is supporting our Maui community in many ways,” said Senator Shan Tsutsui, a UH MÄnoa alum, whose conversation with Donovan played an instrumental role in bringing the game to his hometown. “Our local school athletics programs are filled with enthusiastic young fans who will have a chance to experience collegiate volleyball and gain an understanding of the many opportunities in sports that are available to them at the state’s largest university.”
“Hawaiian is proud to help bring this great event to Maui, and we look forward to seeing everyone at the game,” said Glenn Taniguchi, Hawaiian Airlines senior vice president for marketing and sales.
“We’re excited to be able to take our men’s volleyball team to Maui to play an important conference match,” Donovan said. “BYU has been a rival for many of our teams and men’s volleyball is no different. We’re thankful for Hawaiian Airlines’ support of UH Athletics throughout the years and Mayor Tavares and Senator (Shan) Tsutsui for making this event possible. Our Maui fans will be treated to high quality volleyball and I know Coach (Charlie) Wade will have his team ready to put on a show for them.”
“We pride ourselves as being Hawai’i’s team and this is an excellent opportunity to showcase our squad in front of our fans on Maui,” said Charlie Wade, UH men’s volleyball head coach. “The neighbor islands are rich in volleyball talent we’re thrilled to be able to bring the highest level of college volleyball there.”
Season ticket renewals for the 2010 men’s volleyball season will be mailed out within the next week. New season ticket sales begin Dec. 14.
(Supporting information provided by the University of Hawaii Athletics Department)