Day 3 with the Wahine

Dropping by Wednesday’s second session was quite the coaching circle for Shoji. His coach at UCSB Dennis Berg is in from Santa Barbara, mostly for a couple of funerals. He is the father of Lindsey and Erin Berg.
Shoji’s assistant from the early 80s also here for a few weeks. Charlie Brande, former OCC and UCI coach. Didn’t realize that he was Jeff Hall’s coach at Orange Coast.
And former Punahou coach Peter Balding was there. Shoji coached Balding on the Punahou JV team back in the day.

Team continues to have double days and appears that the offseason conditioning has really paid off. All the players have returned very toned and think you’ll see the difference once the season starts. There seems to be less fatigue after ends of certain drills and at the ends of practices.

What we’re seeing is increased verticals and added snap on the ball. Probably most improved is Huff. Some will not recognize her because of how fit she is. She’s looked good on the right.

As mentioned previously Shoji said they are farther along this early in camp than in previous years with so many returnees. Not so much teaching and learning, or even re-teaching and re-learning. New players quickly grasping things.

Koelsch, who sometimes has her upper thigh taped because of a hip issue, has improved her location. They continue to work both setters hard with setting the middles.

Think I mentioned that in Europe all the coaches liked UH’s middles and said if they could just connect correctly it would make them very dangerous.
It continues to be a combination of the sets not being high enough and the middles either jumping early or starting their arm swing too late. They’re working on the the contact point by the middles, trying to get them to come down on the ball. But it’s a work in progress.

Maglio continues to impress. connecting well on the slides. And Burns has shown she can do the step-out.

Kind of touched on the passing on the previous thread. Think it will be better this year. Guinasso healthier since finding out what was wrong with her knee and treating it appropriately. Plus she spent the summer playing beach. She and the rest of the players look very fit, thanks to the offseason weight program by the UH strength coaches.


  1. H-Man August 13, 2015 10:10 am

    I hope the setters get it right in setting the middle. It seems this aspect of the game has always been a problem the past few years.

  2. blunite August 13, 2015 10:59 am

    After 2 years it is apparent that the middle connection is not there. Concentrate on varying shots by the outside hitters. Roll shots and tip shots were rarely used last season. Perhaps the whole team should follow Huff’s lead and play basketball in the offseason. It is a fun way to stay conditioned.

  3. jimmy the lock August 13, 2015 11:56 am

    We need pics, we need pics…

    thanks for the updates!

  4. tongo August 13, 2015 12:02 pm

    #2 Higgins has just been setting full time for one year – not two. Yes, middle attack is work in process – for both setters and the hitters. However, they must have improved enough to get the attention of the European coaches. Let’s celebrate the small steps.

  5. blunite August 13, 2015 12:22 pm

    My point is to concentrate on improving the outside hitters because setting the middles has not improved. Higgins did not redshirt and has played since her freshman year. It doesn’t matter whether she starts or subs into the game, she played with the middles for 2 years, Moreover, Shoji is committed to playing her regardless of whether she can set the middle, so time is better spent improving the .200 hitting percentage of the outside hitters.

  6. po'okela August 13, 2015 2:38 pm

    I knew it… all the coaching professionals are coming out of hiding.

  7. Maverick August 13, 2015 3:03 pm

    6. You’ve been contributing to this blog for a long time. This surprises you?

  8. surfboy August 13, 2015 3:09 pm

    I agree, the biggest question mark on this team is how Higgins connects with the middles. She is a Junior and I expect her to have it “right ” this season. She will be the starting setter and with all the time she has with the middles most want to see her produce. I agree that the sets to the middles have been UHs weak spot ever since Dani Mafua graduated. To me Mafua wasnt given enough credit while she was at UH. I remember seeing her as mediocre her first two seasons and got it right her Junior and Senior years. Something I want to see Higgins FINALLY do. Do yall think she has it?

  9. tongo August 13, 2015 3:46 pm

    #5 Are you serious? Starting and playing full time is totally different from coming in at virtual set point for couple points. Yes, everything in the past is moot. Higgins will need to deliver this year – but let’s be fair.

  10. H-Man August 13, 2015 8:10 pm

    If Hawaii aims to win it all, the Wahine will need someone like Penn State’s setter, Micah Hancock. I watched last year’s final as she literally destroyed BYU.

  11. Cindy Luis August 13, 2015 9:31 pm

    2. agree with some of the other comments about Higgins. Last year was her first year as a starter. It also was Magill’s first year as a Wahine so don’t think you can say ‘after 2 years …’ Adolpho was used to Uiato setter her meaning she only had one full season with Higgins.

    I do believe the middle attack will be better but it takes 2 and there has been an issue with the middles jumping early and/or having a slow arm swing.

  12. Cindy Luis August 13, 2015 10:00 pm

    new Thursday thread up

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