Maui Sports

UH Preview: Rainbow Wahine Open in Volleyball

August 26, 2011, 10:45 AM HST
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By Fred Guzman

The 10th-ranked Rainbow Wahine volleyball team makes its debut tonight, facing what should be an over-matched University of San Francisco in a 7 o’clock match at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Coach Dave Shoji, in his 37th season, will field a veteran starting unit that features five returning starters led by first-team All-American Kanani Danielson, a senior outside hitter, and second-team All-American Brittany Hewitt, a junior middle blocker.

Also back are sophomore middle Emily Hartong, senior hitter Chanteal Satele and sophomore hitter Michelle Waber.

New to starting roles would be sophomore setter Mita Uiato and junior  libero Emily Maeda.

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Two former MIL stars – Molokai’s Kalei Adolpho and Kamehameha-Maui’s Ginger Long — are among the seven freshmen on the UH squad.  Shoji is still debating whether to red-shirt one or both of the talented recruits from the MIL.

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The Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational begins with a 5 p.m. match today between Wichita State and Arizona.  The round-robin event continues on Saturday and Sunday, with UH facing Wichita State and then Arizona in the tourney finale.

All matches are scheduled to air on the new OC Sports —  that’s channel 12 on basic cable and 1012 on HD.

SOCCER: The Rainbow Wahine face North Dakota State on Saturday and California on Sunday as part of a three-team, pre-season tournament at the Waipio Soccer Complex.

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In last week’s season-opening match, UH gave a hometown crowd of nearly 3,000 something to cheer about early with a goal seven minutes into the match only to suffer a 3-1 loss to Washington State.

Not much is expected of UH in coach Michelle Nagamine’s first season.  The Rainbow Wahine were picked to finish seventh in the eight-team WAC in a pre-season poll. San Jose State and Utah State are co-favorites for the title.

UH was eighth in the WAC last year with a 1-5-2 mark and was 3-14-3 overall in Pinsoom Tenzing’s 17th and final season.

UH returns 18 players — including 8 starters. Eleven newcomers also joined the team.

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