And the national POW goes to … NMSU’s Murphy

Wahine switched practice today. Usually go at 630 on Thursday. Going later this afternoon after most everyone who takes a science is done with lab.

Thought Taylor had a shot but

Gwen Murphy, New Mexico State
SP: 15 K/S 3.80 percentage .478 B/S 0.6 Pts/S 4.57
W Northestern, 3-0; W Air Force, 3-1. L No. 16 Arizona State 3-2; W Montana
Led the WAC in hitting percentage…Earned All-Falcon Classic Tournament honors…Had the match-high in kills in all four matches…Reached a career-high in kills (16) against Air Force and Arizona State and aces (3) against Northeastern…Her .722 hitting percentage against Montana was the third-highest in a single match in her career.
This is the first time in program history a New Mexico State student-athlete has garnered Sports Imports/ AVCA Player of the Week honors.

By comparison Taylor’s stats
SP 10 K/S 5.20 pct .330 B/S 1.50 Pts/S 6.15


  1. Brandon September 1, 2015 9:35 am

    Iosia ranked 21st in the nation, and as the fourth best in the nation of her class. Which I disagree with. Miller I yndersttand, but gray and oleksak are not better than her. Prep once again shafting Hawaii recruits.

  2. KK September 1, 2015 10:07 am

    Congrats to Gwen Murphy. Mike Jordan must be very proud. Always liked Mike.

  3. blunite September 1, 2015 10:19 am

    Not too big of a deal, it’s good to see lesser known schools get recognition; especially, since the media tends to focus on ranked schools. BTW, the setter should also be given her due.

  4. Cubicle1126 September 1, 2015 11:30 am

    i do remember that the AVCA does like to spread out these awards among the conferences. if it was just based on stats against tough/ranked competition, then it would really limit the breadth of the award.

    congrats to murphy and the nmsu program.

  5. Cubicle1126 September 1, 2015 11:32 am

    cindy — are you going to give a recap of your appearance on bobby curran’s radio show this morning? i caught just the tail end of it, when you were discussing the avca poll.

  6. warriorfan September 1, 2015 11:34 am

    Bricio and Taylor were robbed IMO.
    Iosia being ranked 21st is a joke, wasnt higgins 19? doesn’t seem right to me I thought for sure Iosia would be top 12. But not surprised they didn’t even have Nikki in the top 15, which was a joke as well.

  7. mauna September 1, 2015 11:39 am

    The AVCA awards the first week’s NPOW to a non-BIG conference player. Watch what happens from next week on.

  8. mauna September 1, 2015 11:46 am

    Aces has 3 setters ranked higher than Iosia. I take Tawa’s opinions with a grain of salt.

  9. Brandon September 1, 2015 11:47 am

    It’s not her placement that is bad, it’s who is ahead of her. Everyone’s who seen her play, said she is either 1 or 2 behind miller. Prep has her ranked as the fourth best setter behind stanford gray, and Colorado states oleksak and uclas miller. If gray and olksak were behind her, I wouldn’t care about the placement. This is a VERY VERY good class though. The top ten could all be number ones in various classes.

  10. Cindy Luis September 1, 2015 11:47 am

    4. if I can remember what I said. but it will have to wait.
    not sure if I mentioned I’m teaching a class at UH and it it starting in about 15.

    As for rankings, nice for the kids but doesn’t mean much when they get to the next level. Taylor may have been unranked because she didn’t play her senior year at Kaiser.

  11. Brandon September 1, 2015 11:49 am

    I’m just confused how a 2 time POY, pre season all american, multiple accolade and skmeone a who’s made nearly every all tourbament team at club tournaments, can be the fourth best setter in her class. Tawa has been known to shaft Hawaii reveuits. Granato at 80 something was a joke, considering she tore up the under armor game. Castillo was injured, so I understand that. Peolle have also said sibley should of been in the top 100.

  12. mauna September 1, 2015 12:45 pm

    Nikki was ranked #28, even with not playing her senior hs year. I wouldn’t say that Tawa intentionally shafts Hawaii recruits. Like I said I take Tawa’s personal opinions with a grain of salt.

  13. Ki September 1, 2015 12:46 pm

    Those high school rankings are meaningless. So what if they list her as the 4th best setter? More incentive for her to prove the voters WRONG.

  14. vbfan02 September 1, 2015 12:55 pm

    To be fair, Tawa just compiles the list. College coaches actually determine the ranking.

    I don’t think there is a bias against Hawaii recruits. Jane Croson was a top 10 recruit and in hindsight I think that was too high.

  15. Ron September 1, 2015 1:42 pm

    Did anyone else see the sports talk show last night when Kanoa L.,Bobby C., and Rob D., interviewed Nikki Taylor? They asked her about Tai. She said that she highly respected Tai and she then began to tear up. She then said that when she first joined the Wahine “I was not welcomed with open arms”. She said that Tai took her under her wing and helped her through the transition, “which I will always be grateful for”. I hope the dynamic in the locker room has improved. These three guys just looked at her and did not ask any follow-up questions.

  16. darkfire September 1, 2015 2:04 pm

    14. Was that the weekly show they have on PBS? Do you remember the name of the show?

    On a side note, I’m not that crazy about the intro song they have this year before they intro the Wahine players. This year would have been appropriate for the “Shake It Break It Make it Bounce”!

  17. vballfreak808 September 1, 2015 2:08 pm

    13. I completely agree. We all had the past discussions on how Shoji molds players who are lowly ranked or not ranked at all and turning into All-Conference players. Rankings don’t mean anything until you get into college, maybe not even that.

    Does anyone know if any players from the state of Hawaii made the Top 100?

  18. H-Man September 1, 2015 2:16 pm

    This is rather surprising to learn. It is one side of the story, but still…… I guess the European trip was really needed to build team chemistry.

  19. Geno Tamayo September 1, 2015 2:28 pm

    15. Leahey and Leahey?

  20. Cubicle1126 September 1, 2015 2:47 pm

    it’s cool to hear taylor give praise to olevao’s leadership. clearly, there’s always more to a team dynamic and chemistry than what fans see on the court or on the sidelines. we’re not always privy to it, nor should we always be. and that chemistry is often shaped by the example of the upperclassmen.

  21. Kazu September 1, 2015 2:47 pm

    Any update on Burns ?

  22. Not an Expert September 1, 2015 2:56 pm

    Is the hitting percentage based on kills made, errors made on attempted kills, to total of attempted kills? Please can someone explain.

  23. islandman September 1, 2015 3:01 pm

    14. I thought it was only Kanoa doing the interview with Nikki at a separate time.
    15. I think the program’s name is “But Seriously” and it repeats at 7:45 pm tonight and 9:15 pm. For me it was on Channel 16, OC Sports. The show came on after Inside Access.

  24. Cubicle1126 September 1, 2015 3:07 pm

    not an expert — the formula for hitting percentage is # of kills, minus errors, divided by attempts.

  25. islandman September 1, 2015 3:15 pm

    Inside Access had Robert K, Stephen T, Nate I and Rich Miano. I didn’t see the whole show, but they showed some highlights from last year’s game at Colorado.

    UH’s running game couldn’t do much in the highlights nor the passing too, i guess. (131 net rushing yds, 155 passing on 32 rushing attempts and 46 passes). In the box score it shows UH with only four Tyler Hadden FG’s for 12 points. Colorado had 3 TD’s, one 71 yd pass to Nelson Spruce.

    Although Colorado was ranked 116th in Scoring Defense last year, allowing 5 TD’s average per game, UH could only score on the FG’s and that was UH’s fourth game of the season (first on the road though). I take it that it will be better this year ?

  26. islandman September 1, 2015 3:25 pm

    Sorry, i forgot this was the volleyball blog.

  27. Ron September 1, 2015 3:47 pm

    The name of the show is “But Seriously” as island man stated. Its worth watching.

  28. roofer68 September 1, 2015 4:14 pm

    26. I knew about that in 2013 and thought it was a personality problem to be worked out over time, and it did. The dynamics are great in locker room, no problem, it’s history. Glad the guys got the smarts to respect the situation, that’s why they’re in the business.

  29. tako September 1, 2015 4:43 pm

    Is it “Inside access or But Seriously?” Per program description, “But Seriously” is a comedy show.

    Regarding Norene and Kirsten, next year’s recruits, bottom line, both are QUALITY players; speaks well for the future of the program.

  30. Ron September 1, 2015 4:51 pm

    Thanks Roofer, I can always count on you to get the straight scope.

  31. islandman September 1, 2015 5:18 pm

    28. Tako…That description of the show on the web or maybe somewhere else is incorrect.

    Inside Access is hosted by Robert K. “But Seriously” is hosted by Kanoa.

  32. mauna September 1, 2015 5:59 pm

    20. Burns re-evaluation was scheduled on Sept 8.

  33. blunite September 1, 2015 6:34 pm

    Nikki was not the only one to feel alienated. Hewitt left claiming back pain (which she always had). Jade Vorster also left the program rather than spend another year with the Wahine. Personalities are often fragile and sometimes bruised in locker-room dynamics. Hopefully, the girls show each other more aloha than in the past.

  34. Kazu September 1, 2015 7:24 pm

    31 Thanks for info.Anyone knows how i can get the Championship team photo of this past weekend tournament?

  35. warriorfan September 1, 2015 7:34 pm

    I could tell that 2013 team had chemistry issues, how else could you explain starting of real strong beating texas with an rpi in the top 5 and end up losing three games in the big west and getting beat pretty bad by BYU at home.

  36. warriorfan September 1, 2015 7:36 pm

    However I think Hewitt and Vorster left on good terms and had good reasons for leaving. Hewitt for her health and Vorster to play with her younger sister.

  37. darkfire September 1, 2015 8:14 pm

    Kazu – This may be a simplistic way to get the Championship team photo, but you can go to the UH Wahine Home page where they have an article, photo and video of the team. Just right click on it and copy/paste it.

    I saw some of the “But Seriously” show with Nikki Taylor and it was an eye opener. I guess you can never tell what really happens behind the scenes since all we see are the girls playing together and cheering each other on on TV. It just takes one bad apple (like Croson) to destroy an entire team and their attitudes. Hopefully, they’ll be better this year since there are so many promising girls with pie-in-the-sky attitudes.

    On a side note, this weekend, I saw Nikki Taylor still using her left hand when she was doing high/low fives with her team mates. You think this was just habit?

  38. blunite September 1, 2015 8:20 pm

    Yes, Shoji was asked many times about personality differences in 2013 and he kept denying any issues. Vorster was set once in set 1 (vs BYU), and not set again until BYU had a big lead in set 2. Shoji called time out and after the break Jade was set 3 straight times, too little too late. Similar thing occurred in conference. The sad part about it is all the conference coaches knew, except Shoji. They voted UH’s setter fifth in conference.

  39. blunite September 1, 2015 8:34 pm

    My guess is Tai Manu Olevao is the boss in the locker-room, who makes sure everyone plays nice. When she leaves, Higgins and Taylor will have to take the reins, although Huff may help out. Hopefully, the coaches aren’t as clueless as previously concerning group and individual interaction and dynamics.

  40. Cindy Luis September 1, 2015 9:29 pm

    32. Hewitt and Vorster did not leave because of ‘team issues.’
    Hewitt was going to leave one year earlier because of the back pain. But because she and Danielson were such good friends, she agreed to stay through Danielson’s senior season (which was Hewitt’s as a redshirt junior).

    Vorster left for a couple of reasons, one being that she had the opportunity to play with her younger sister, one that she would have been playing as a grad student and UH didn’t have the degree program she wanted and, perhaps the top one was she told me that she was more of a serious student than a volleyball player and she put academics first.

  41. Cindy Luis September 1, 2015 9:33 pm

    Thanks for all the help in getting to some of the questions regarding hitting percentage and Burns’ injury. Saw her today, still very upbeat.

    Sibley will be making her official visit this weekend.

    Also ran into Adolpho who was working out with the Wahine basketball team in Klum Gym. I think they all must have dropped a gallon of water given how humid it was in Klum. Said she watched the matches in the arena last weekend and thought the team looked good, even the new players.

  42. cocobean September 1, 2015 9:46 pm

    #38. Wasn’t Mita 1st team Big West in 2013?

  43. blunite September 1, 2015 9:57 pm

    In 2013 Hawaii tied for 1st place in conference. At the end of the year coaches submitted their votes for the best in conference position by position. Emily Hartong was voted top OH and received All American honors. Mita Uiato came in 5th at setter. My understanding is that the top 2 are submitted for All American honors.

  44. Cindy Luis September 1, 2015 9:58 pm

    39. The coaches aren’t clueless. How many do you know that come out and publicly say, Oh we’re having problems. The players don’t get along …
    Things are handled from within the team.

    As for what Bobby and I discussed this morning, more about the poll and the RPI, and what Hawaii would have to do to host the subregional. And the Power-Five/BCS mentality that began trickling down into volleyball after 2001.

    My take was that Hawaii needs to win all three this weekend, be 11-0 or 10-1 (Florida the loss) before conference and run the table in the big west.
    Discussed this week’s teams, that American nearly forced a fifth set with Florida but gave up a string of points to end Set 4. That Iowa just lost to Northern Illinois and UCLA had a bad loss at home to LMU.

    That we will see how Florida is with Hawaii being its third straight road trip to open the season and will be coming here after a tough tournament at Texas (Gators play Oregon and Texas, not Nebraska, which plays Texas and Oregon).

    Talked a little about UH’s height and how smaller UH teams often got worn down by the bigger blocked. Used 95 against Michigan State as an example. Said you could see Oregon State’s hitters get worn down against Hawaii’s block.

  45. Cindy Luis September 1, 2015 10:10 pm

    43. there is a process for All-American and it’s not the one you describe. starts with the all-conference teams then regional committee coaches vote on the all-region teams which the A-A committee then votes from the all-region list.

    Uiato was first-team Big West in 2013. Hardly the honor that someone voted ‘fifth best’ would get.
    She was one of two setters on the first team, the other being CSUN’s Gedryn.

    There was no second team. UCD’s Woolway the only setter on honorable mention and UCI setter Anderson was all freshman.

  46. Cindy Luis September 1, 2015 10:22 pm

    Now Uiato might have been voted No. 5 among the setters when it came down for the all-region team vote but I don’t know. The 2 setters that year were from Stanford and Colorado State.

    What has hurt Hawaii’s selections recently is that they are in the Pacific North Region, which includes Pac-12 teams Stanford, UW and MWC’s Colorado State as well as the northern WCC schools.

    That year, only Hartong from the Big West made the All-Region first team.
    Taylor as FOY in the Big West was also eligible for all-region and she made honorable mention.

    Ridiculously teams that are farther north than Hawaii, as in everyone, are in the south such as USC, UCLA, CSUN and The Beach.

  47. cocobean September 1, 2015 10:22 pm

    Just googled Mita. Says she was 1st team all-WAC 2011, all 1st team BWC 2012, 2013.

  48. Cindy Luis September 1, 2015 10:30 pm

    47. see above explanations

  49. Ron September 2, 2015 6:21 am

    After watching the interview the second time I came away with a totally different conclusion. Nikki showed that she is not only maturing on the court but more importantly off the court. She showed a level of self awareness that is rare in anyone her age and especially someone who is the “star”. Her parents raised a wonderful girl who is a credit to them and the University. I also gained new-found respect for Tai and what she has done for the team.

  50. Cindy Luis September 2, 2015 8:34 am

    Thanks Ron. Will have to try and catch the interview and particularly that quote that someone said was “wasn’t welcomed with open arms.”

    I wasn’t the beat writer in 2013 Ann Miller was. so I wasn’t as close to that team as the ones before 2009 or since 2014. I did go to every m match but mostly did live blogging and handled the breaking news stuff on our website.

    Did look at the roster from 2013 when she was a freshman. What I see is she came into a very senior-laden team with Hartong, Uiato, Goodman, Tuaniga, Longo, Lelepali, Kastl. They had very high expectations and I know that senior class, as most do, felt pressure to win since it was their last chance. That’s a lot when almost half your team are seniors.

  51. Cubicle1126 September 2, 2015 8:51 am

    cindy – thanks for the recap from the bobby curran show.

  52. roofer68 September 2, 2015 9:11 am

    Nikki’s recognized by as #1 on the RS. No Murphy on the middle list.

  53. kahuna September 2, 2015 10:59 am

    I’ve always respected Tai as a person. I never saw her do anything bad and is always positive on the sideline. NOT ONE negative thought about Tai as a person but you still have to produce as a player. I’m glad she bounced back and did well against OSU but she still need to continue to improve and help this team.

    When fans criticize her play, it should not be taken as a criticism of her as a person. Too much time, some interpret it as an attack on Tai the person when its strictly unhappiness about her play.

  54. Cindy Luis September 2, 2015 11:34 am

    53. the criticism of her personally has been deleted here, particularly when it came to religion.
    The team wouldn’t have voted her co-captain again if she wasn’t a leader. And this was knowing she wouldn’t play on Sundays (last year) and before they knew she would play this year.

  55. Cindy Luis September 2, 2015 11:40 am

    new thread up for Wednesday

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