The Hawaii women’s basketball team is parting ways with two of its tallest players at the outset of the 2018-19 season.
A pair of 6-foot-3 players, Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard and Taylor Donohue, will not be available. The two were tied for second-tallest on the team, behind sophomore center Lauren Rewers.
UH announced Thursday that Clinch Hoycard, a native Australian, is returning home prior to her sophomore season.
In a UH release, Clinch Hoycard said, “I valued my time here at UH, but I miss home. I love this team, Coach (Laura) Beeman has always been supportive, and Hawaii has treated me so well, but I love my home in Australia. I’ll miss my teammates and my coaches because I know they’ll accomplish great things this season.”
Beeman said in the release, “This program loves Mackenzie. She’s a high-caliber player, but more importantly she’s a great person with a big heart. Her teammates love her, our coaches love her, and I love her. We don’t want to see her leave but support her and her decision.”
Recently, UH dropped Donohue, who would’ve been a junior, from its roster for unspecified reasons.
Both players battled injuries through their UH tenure. Donohue was limited to two games last season after playing in 23 off the bench her freshman year out of Santa Margarita Catholic (Calif.) High. Clinch Hoycard, who could shoot from outside as well as play inside, showed promise late in her freshman season of 2017-18 after missing most of the nonconference season. Her best game was a nine-point, six-rebound effort on 3-for-3 shooting at Long Beach State in February.
The two bigs accompanied the team on its foreign tour of Australia in August. But now, the roster is down to 13 players.
With the combined hit in size, UH could have to be creative against some of its larger opponents this season, like, say 6-4 Channon Fluker of Cal State Northridge. After the 6-4 sophomore Rewers, UH will likely turn to 6-2 forward Kenna Woodfolk and 5-11 senior twins Lahni and Leah Salanoa to defend the post. There’s also 5-10 newcomer Myrrah Joseph, whom Beeman has compared to former Wahine player Destiny King in skill-set and ability to play all five positions.
UH will give Clinch Hoycard a sendoff at its Green and White scrimmage at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Stan Sheriff Center. Admission is free.
After a Nov. 1 exhibition vs. Hawaii Hilo, UH opens the regular season Nov. 6 vs. Pepperdine at the Sheriff.