Maui Sports

Hawaii volleyball foe has international flavor

February 10, 2011, 2:59 PM HST
* Updated February 11, 6:09 AM
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By Fred Guzman

It would be easy – and totally incorrect – to dismiss the Cal Baptist volleyball team as a cupcake opponent as the University of Hawaii men prepare to play the Lancers this week – on Friday at the Stan Sheriff Center and again on Saturday at Maui’s War Memorial Gym.

The private school with enrollment of 4,700 is based in Riverside and has a lofty reputation in the sport. In fact, the Lancers not only are the defending NAIA national champions but also are currently No. 1 in the latest NAIA national rankings.

Cal Baptist brings a record of 10-3 to the islands, with all of those losses coming against members of the powerful MPSF, of which Hawaii is a member. The Lancers also has a victory at the expense of then No. 2-ranked UC Irvine.

And although not as prestigious as the NCAA, the NAIA allows its members to offer 12 scholarships compared to 4.5 by NCAA schools.

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Also, because of different eligibility requirements, it’s not unusual for NAIA schools to feature older and more international players. In Cal Baptist’s case, that includes athletes from Brazil, Croatia, Egypt and Switzerland.

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The first serve for the Valley Isle match is 5 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at the Pacific Radio Group offices located at 311 Ano Stree in Kahului. Tickets are priced at $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for students.

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