Burns out 6-8 weeks, could red-shirt

Hawaii gets set for its annual team photo
Hawaii gets set for its annual team photo

Spoke to Burns after she came back from the doctor. She was watching practice. Said it hurt but she was very upbeat saying that it gives her an opportunity to do strength training that doesn’t involve her hand. She had two sessions with the trainers earlier today before going to the specialist.

She even offered to send me ‘better pictures’ of her X-rays than the one she put up on Twitter. I declined.

The rest of this is from the breaking news story I put up a little while ago.

The 6-foot-5 Canadian from Hamilton, Ontario, returned to the Stan Sheriff Center with a green-and-black soft brace on her right hand. Burns said she was told she’d be out between 6-8 weeks for a full recovery but the injury will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

“It does hurt,” Burns said. “But now I can focus more on strength-training while it heals. This is my first injury and hopefully my only one in college.”

“It’s unfortunate,” Rainbow Wahine coach Dave Shoji said. “It was kind of a freak thing but it happens quite frequently in volleyball.

“Obviously it’s a setback for her. She was looking good in practice and had made good progress.”

The injury leaves Hawaii with three middles: senior Olivia Magill, sophomore Emily Maglio and junior Annie Mitchem. Mitchem, a transfer from Irvine Valley (Calif.) College, was only cleared to practice Tuesday.

Hawaii opens the season on Aug. 28 against Idaho in the Chevron Invitational.


  1. hollycow August 19, 2015 4:22 pm

    With 3 middles left, hopefully Mitchem still gets a long look at outside. Shoji’s system for the 41 years has always been leftside dominant. I don’t see anyone among the players practicing on the outside that fills the role of the go to terminator that Hartong, Danielson, Teee, or Kim W. were. Mitchem may be the one to fit that role given the look. Huff could always fill in as the backup MH, a position she was initially recruited for.

  2. Cindy Luis August 19, 2015 4:35 pm

    1. don’t think they’ll move Huff back to MH, not after spending all this time with her at OH.

  3. hollycow August 19, 2015 4:52 pm

    With Shoji we’ll never know for sure. I’m saying if Mitchem can fill that role of the dependable terminator the team may have a better chance to put the ball away. You have to look at the maximum potential to win the set and match, not at wasting all the time spent working out Huff at OH. It’s all about maximizing to put the best 6 players in the six positions on the court.

  4. Cindy Luis August 19, 2015 5:05 pm

    agree it’s about putting the best 6 out there but Huff hasn’t practiced at middle for a year now. You wouldn’t tell a wide receiver to come back and be a running back. It’s a different set of plays, blocking schemes, etc.

  5. mei mei August 19, 2015 5:08 pm

    I like Magill’s hair color!

  6. Warriorfan August 19, 2015 5:17 pm

    Casey looked really good as a middle in club for coast, put up a huge wall.

  7. kimo browner August 19, 2015 5:24 pm

    Shoji may tip his hand when we play Oregon State on SUN in our opening tournament. Im assuming Olevao will continue her religious preference not to play on that day. If so, Shoji will have to move players around. We shall see. I agree with others who say we need a dependable terminator on that side. Otherwise, advancing in post season play is wishful thinking. It will be an interesting season if Mitchem is as advertised and Huff and Kendra step up. Coach has to commit to his best players.

  8. John August 19, 2015 5:29 pm

    I know everyone is really pumped to see Mitchem play the outside and where ever but I think it’s difficult to say where exactly Dave is going to use her. It’s all speculation right now. A lot of arm coaching going on even before the season starts. Lots of opinions and suggestions. It’s all good but I’m just gonna sit back and enjoy the show. I’m sure the coaches now best as to where each player will fit in based on their skills and what they have done in practice.

    Can’t wait for the season to start!

  9. mauna August 19, 2015 5:38 pm

    Casey for backup MH, Mitchem to LOH tryout. Put your best 6 in the 6 positions.

    7. My feelings is Olevao is playing Sundays, looking at what she said about her feelings in the news video for this coming season.

  10. islandman August 19, 2015 6:05 pm

    Dave said, on radio KKEA today, no weaknesses on this team, better passing, balance and Nikki is playing vastly better ( she was injured last year). Mitchem can touch 10-4 or 10-5, physically strong but has to fight for a starting position.

    When the real games come up, will his opinion change regarding the team ?

  11. tongo August 19, 2015 6:18 pm

    #9 I agree. It is her decision on whether to play or not. I hope she does play but will continue to respect and honor her wishes either way.

    So bum about Tasha.

  12. wildcard August 19, 2015 6:20 pm

    hey cindy do you know why shoji does not do or seems to not prefer to run a true 6-2? perhaps its too much work, costly (physically), for little reward?

    also do you know if shoji is getting everyone to drill on jump/spin serves (the jump float is shoddily inaccurate, note that standing floats are not inaccurate and are acceptable).

  13. tongo August 19, 2015 6:24 pm

    #10 I have no doubt that Mitchem will perform. I am equally excited to see Nikki. She looks super fit and ready to go. Watch out!

  14. islandman August 19, 2015 6:47 pm

    Understandably, Natasha had some tears in a brief KHON new video of the team getting ready for the team picture and later.

  15. tongo August 19, 2015 6:49 pm

    #6 I agree. I live in So. CA now and Casey was a stud in high school. An injury set her back. She had often been included in the top 20 watch list of her class. Casey has game!

  16. uhfan August 19, 2015 7:37 pm

    Here’s the KHON video


  17. bleachercoach August 19, 2015 7:58 pm

    #4 I totally disagree with your assessment of a wide receiver being moved to running back. There are many instances where you can move an athlete to another position knowing
    as a coach the person your moving because of their athleticism they possess. Sometimes you can put move an athlete to get the best 5, 11, or in this case, 6 playing in the court. As a coach you have to be creative and not rob a great athlete to be on the bench because that is the easiest thing to do now. Great coaches are able to assemble the athletes they have and mix/match position regardless where they have been practicing or currently at. I am quite sure with the current athletes we have especially with their height they possess should be able to adapt in moving from O/H to MH (vice versa)…There should be no excuse with this very athletic team

  18. H-Man August 19, 2015 8:10 pm

    With a bad finger injury, like a turf-toe, I say it will take 12 weeks to heal. Might as well think about a redshirt year for Natasha.

  19. tongo August 19, 2015 8:16 pm

    #16 Our hearts go out to her. Life is about adjustments. With a little luck, it may heal within 3 weeks before regular conference starts.

  20. Kazu August 19, 2015 9:00 pm

    Hang in there Natasha, everything will be ok.

  21. Cindy Luis August 19, 2015 10:45 pm

    7. Manu-Olevao has not made her decision but there will be an announcement soon, likely before Monday. I feel she will play but, as stated before, she will get grief either way.

    12. he has run a modified 6-2 when he had Carey and Vakasausau. Think he likes to keep a certain rhythm on the court which a 6-2 can disrupt. but that’s just my opinion.

    15. from what I’ve been told, Castillo is not the player she was before her knee injury. Still a solid player though. And club is club. sometimes they use people out of position because they have no option.

    16. Her tears started when we were shooting for next week’s preview but didn’t think it necessary to mention. She’s a very mature freshman, is very upbeat about the situation as well as open.

    17. then we can agree to disagree. There is not much time to finish getting that starting lineup for next week so trying to move players into other positions now is a bit counter productive. There’s a lot more involved then just switching one player with another. There are blocking schemes, passing schemes, serving rotations to consider.
    I’m sure they’ll continue to experiment during the season as the freshmen get used to the college game.

    Never said it was the easiest thing to do. Just said that after a year of Huff training as an OH, they aren’t going to suddenly move her to MH, not when they have Magill, Maglio and Mitchem.

    18. Again, Doctor told her 6-8 weeks for full recovery. They’ll re-evaluate after 3 weeks. It’s the main bone in the middle of the hand. I did ask her about the X-ray she tweeted that circled the bottom of the ring finger. said that’s not where the fracture was. I declined her offer to send me updated X-rays. 😉

    20. she seems to be very mature and is very matter of fact about this. Very bright too. She’s going to do what she can do to stay in shape while she’s sitting out, much as Taylor did last year with the elbow problem.

    Been a long day so this is good night. Team taking the morning off, be back in the afternoon. They have 2 practices Friday and one on Saturday that will include the scrimmage open to booster club members and family.

  22. jkjones August 20, 2015 1:08 am

    Play the best six is easier said than done. Coach is a hard head. It was evident last year. This is one team where “coach knows best” is not always an easy pill to swallow.

  23. Max13 August 20, 2015 3:29 am

    Hate to be “that guy,” but comparing Mitchem to another JC-POY is never going to be fair to either party. Fact of the matter is, Mitchem was a Fab-50 player out of high school. It’s not like she wasn’t heavily recruited. Academics sort of interfered with that. Many of the players that go on to compete at the JC level are in a similar position and/or international. With the exception of Passi & Kayla Schmidt (who prepped in Texas and ended up playing at Alabama), the POY at that level have always been international for over 10+ years. Only chiming in here because people seem to be comparing the situation to Passi. On paper very similar, but very different in reality.

  24. Kazu August 20, 2015 4:34 am

    Booster club have their Ace Club/Roofing Company open for pledges on their web site if anyone wants to donate. Another way to support the Wahine.

  25. Hot August 20, 2015 7:25 am

    I can understand why some fans are curious about moving Mitchem to the outside if she has the skill set to do so, like Hartong. Manu-Olevao is a hard worker but her sub-.200 hitting percentage isn’t going to cut it for UH to be successful, especially if she is going to take the majority of the swings. Unless Taylor suddenly averages 4 kills per set and hits near .300, I can see why some fans want to see what Mitchem can do on the outside.

    But if the setters can find a way to consistently put up great sets to the middle regardless of passing, they can use Mitchem more on offense even if she plays middle. Much like Kamana`o did with Prince, who averaged 3+ kills in the middle. And with Magill playing the other MB spot, UH can still be very effective offensively.

    I really hope Manu-Olevao has improved. If she can hit .250, it will go a long way towards the team’s success. If she can’t, let’s hope Granato can be the answer.

    Cindy’s report on Huff’s progress is exciting. She’s someone who has the potential to be a versatile player. And she’s 6-3 to begin with.

    I’m curious about the substitution pattern. Who’s the first hitter off the bench, first blocking sub, who will be in the regular rotation as a server, will somebody be subbed out for a DS in the back row and who will that DS be. Stuff like that.

  26. Cindy Luis August 20, 2015 7:36 am

    22. the best six players doesn’t always mean the best team. Shoji may be a little stubborn but he’s also been open-minded from what I’ve seen over the years (34).

    23. Interesting, unless I missed something, Passi’s name has never come up during this discussion. Passi can hardly be compared to Mitchem when it comes to size and versatility.
    Mitchem was highly recruited but schools did back off because of her academic issues. A number of them came back in after she finished her first playing year at IVC but she had always had her heart set on Hawaii and never changed her mind

  27. islandman August 20, 2015 7:54 am

    KHON sports yesterday mentioned that Burns could be out even longer than 6-8 weeks, if she has surgery on her hand. I guess that means that so far she is not having surgery ?

  28. tongo August 20, 2015 8:32 am

    #21 Thanks Cindy for the insight and keeping us pointed in the right direction. In our enthusiasm, we can often get side track.

    I like the fact that Dave is making Mitchem earn her “spot” in the starting lineup. No disrespect to Annie with her stellar credentials but I like how Dave is insuring competition and fairness, as well as rewarding those who have put in their time and energy into the program.

  29. Cindy Luis August 20, 2015 10:18 am

    27 What it means, as have mentioned several times, they are going to re-evaluate in three weeks. May need surgery, may not. But even if she’s out 6-8 weeks no sense in bringing her back and wasting a season when she can redshirt.
    They won’t burn a redshirt year unless there are extreme circumstances as happened with Manu-Olevao when Croson was suspended. They might have redshirted Huff but Taylor’s injury and the uncertainty of her return didn’t allow it.

    28. Mitchem has had all of four practices. She’s been mostly on the ‘B’ side but, as with all of the players they get chances to play both A and B as the coaches evaluate the best team makeup.

  30. KaimukiWahine August 20, 2015 5:52 pm

    Info on USAV Men’s preliminary roster. 4 on it with Hawaii ties.

  31. Cindy Luis August 20, 2015 5:55 pm

    yes, mentioned last week I think.
    USAV email to me said it was preliminary and that there would be cuts before the official roster.

  32. Cindy Luis August 20, 2015 6:17 pm


    Thursday thread up

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