Passi All-America HM, new E. Shoji award, Mitchem not at regional

Annie Mitchem will not be with the team this week. She flew back for this week’s final week of classes. She was not cleared to play and was limited in practice. She may return to team should they make the final four.

From Off the Block Tuesday
Off the Block announcedthat it will present in 2016 the inaugural Erik Shoji Award, which will be awarded to the best libero in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the regular season.

The Erik Shoji Award will be the first national position-based award in college men’s volleyball history specifically for a libero. The naming of this award after a former standout college men’s volleyball player was done in effort to preserve and honor the sport’s history.

From Chaminade:
Former Wahine Keani Passi, who finished her eligibility at Chaminade, was named AVCA DII honorable mention All-American today.
She was the AVCA Junior College Player of the Year and an AVCA First Team All-American at the College of Southern Idaho in 2012.

Passi, the Pacific West Conference Newcomer of the Year and First Team All-PacWest member, was also an All-West Region honoree by both the AVCA and the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA).

Passi had a stellar season for Chaminade whose 19 wins in 2015 are the second-most in program history. She ranked 12th nationally in kills per set (4.29) and 19th in total kills (489). Both marks are program records in the rally-scoring era. She finished among conference leaders in hitting percentage (.263) and service aces (0.28 per set). She also had 15 double-doubles.


  1. haka December 8, 2015 3:56 pm

    Sorry to hear of Mitchem’s status and the fact that she is not with the team. Hope it was her decision and not a financial one. She is still a member of the team and deserves to be with them…playing or not. IMO.

    Nice honor for Erik!

    Congrats Keani!

  2. islandman December 8, 2015 4:02 pm

    “Shoji while at Stanford became the first libero in college men’s volleyball history to earn All-American honors in four consecutive years. He also continues to hold both NCAA records for single-season digs and career digs during the rally scoring era.
    Along with his individual success, Shoji as a sophomore helped lead the Cardinal to the 2010 NCAA championship. …”

  3. tongo December 8, 2015 4:07 pm

    Congrats to Keani Passi! You are an inspiration to other young local athletes!

  4. oldtimer808 December 8, 2015 4:22 pm

    It sounds like the important factor for Mitchem coming back was due to academics. I’m just reading between the lines that the final week of classes before the Xmas break is important for her academic standing.

  5. Hapaguy December 8, 2015 4:43 pm

    Glad to hear that Ani made AA. Not to beat a dead horse regarding the ESPN broadcast & announcers, i know that not much can be done about how they mispronounce Hawaii players names (Ka-Hawkeye!) but you would think that they would at least get some of information they put up on the screen correctly. Yes Dave is an inductee of the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame but more importantly Dave is an inductee in the AVCA Hall of Fame which they obviously didn’t know about or it would have been on the graphic…..

  6. nomu December 8, 2015 5:53 pm

    TMO has no lack of talent or physicality. Imho, she just needs keep focused and remember that everyone on the team must support each other and play for each other. What comes to mind is the play of Kahakai in the A&M match. If you have a teammate who is playing at that level next to you on the floor, football field, wherever, you gotta be thinking “LET”S GO” and get pumped. How can you not? As a senior, it doesn’t mean you carry the team, it means get everyone to play as a team. Lastly, for Cindy. Regarding taking anything out of context, it would behoove anyone who posts to make responsible comments and expressions of opinion. Imho, in reality, we all post things for different reasons, but in most cases, if you read between the lines, most people post their opinion because they care enough about something to take the time to do so. Most importantly, sometimes, what we write and what people read, are not two of the same thing. To take anything personal, is a waste of time, simply because people perceive only what they want to. As they say, unless you live with someone every day, you never really know what they are really like or who they really are. My perception of TMO is someone who loves the sport and would give everything and anything she can to help the team. Just my opinion, and nothing else.

  7. hollycow December 8, 2015 5:55 pm

    There would probably a different (hopefully) ESPN3 team calling the match. IMO the two ESPN3 announcers were more biased toward TCU and TAMU rather then UH. And that’s up to very end including match point. Sorry but that’s my opinion of what I got from the commentaries. The mispronunciations of names and no idea of Shoji being in the AVCA Hall of Fame shows me that their caring towards UH is not true. They did not do their homework of Hawaii with care.

  8. warriorfan December 8, 2015 6:14 pm

    I’m pretty sure the A&M announcers were from A&M. In sub regionals the hosting school is responsible for the livestreams and the announcers. ESPN takes over in regionals.

  9. hollycow December 8, 2015 6:23 pm

    Shoji was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2010, 5 year old news.

  10. Bleachercoach December 8, 2015 6:33 pm

    6…..I thought your comment was great! Yes, everyone has a different interpretation and you cannot judge a person from what is written on a computer. Sorry my comments are not to offend athletes or coaches because I love this team dearly. I only post my comments because of what I feel is the truth (opinion) but in love. Nothing has to be change if it’s not broken because we have won 28 matches despite some areas of weakness we have. BUT…I just hope coach can be open to”sudden change “(during the match) if those evident spots previously mentioned are exposed. Of course, I am sure he will.
    To me personally, I am so darn proud of what the team and coaches has done! They have over achieved every expectation with such a young team (2 seniors)….Hawaii No Ka Oi!

  11. Cindy Luis December 8, 2015 6:57 pm

    I don’t know if ESPN crew at A&M was from A&M but I’ms sure you are right about the host school.
    They were told how to pronounce the names several times but several people. I even offered some help, including mentioning that Pres. Obama went to Punahou when they were going to show the picture with Corbelli and Anderson. They seemed very surprised to hear that.

    As for Annie, it wasn’t financial. The NCAA pays for the entire roster and coaches.
    The decision was due to her inability to fully practice and she wasn’t cleared to play. Academics, much like health issues, are covered by privacy acts. Just passing along what I was told. But I wouldn’t read between the lines.

    6. just saying that people are selective about what quotes they want to use and comment on one aspect of one sentence without using the entire quote.

    what I don’t understand is the continued bashing of Manu-Olevao. She’s a two-year captain and that is voted on by the team. They’re 28-1. They’re in the regional. obviously they’re doing something right. much like quotes being selective, seems as if people want to pick on everything she does wrong without taking the entire match into consideration.

  12. Cindy Luis December 8, 2015 7:11 pm

    will check back tomorrow after getting to Des Moines. Have a good night.

  13. doug December 8, 2015 7:18 pm

    I think the frustration with Tai sometimes. Is that she’s got all the tools (quickest swing on the team). But somehow she loses focus during matches.

  14. warriorfan December 8, 2015 7:22 pm

    I’d like Tai to have a great match against PSU, double figure kills , hitting over .300, good passing and digging. Hope it happens.

  15. darkfire December 8, 2015 7:32 pm

    13. IMO, I think TMO tries too hard. I don’t think you can fault her on focus. She is her own biggest critic and she admits that. It seems that her desire for the team to do well is sometimes so strong she tries too hard to make it happen. That can have an adverse affect at a time when all she really has to do is stay loose and trust her instincts…and smile more, lol!

    Kudos to Taylor, Magill. Also to Passi; I’m glad she found a niche for herself and her talents.


  16. kkv3000 December 8, 2015 8:02 pm

    I think people see her athleticism and power and frustrated that she does not dominate. However I know this, if Tai plays like she did in the Florida match this team can beat anyone!

  17. leron December 8, 2015 8:25 pm

    I’m pretty certain the ESPN3 announcers last week were the TAMU home crew:

  18. Kryon December 8, 2015 9:11 pm

    Hope Annie returns next yr. Seems like she is getting the short end cuz of injury. They didn’t even bother showing a entire team photo with her as conference champs. Only a pic of them after winning, with no Annie. Sad.

  19. Maverick December 8, 2015 9:12 pm

    Yesterday I compiled some fun facts about UH’s season. Tonight, I looked at Penn State’s losses to see if there is anything interesting to report. A couple of things, but note the sample size is only five losses (2-3 vs Nebraska, 2-3 at Northwestern, 0-3 at Minnesota, 1-3 vs. Michigan, and 0-3 at Nebraska):

    1. Surprisingly, only once was PSU “dominated” in the hitting department in the five losses (Nebraska outhit PSU by .115 in its sweep). Otherwise, the Nittany Lions were only outhit by .003 to .029 in its other four losses.

    2. Penn State relies on Megan Courtney when they are in trouble. During the season, Courtney took 24% of PSU’s swings. However, in the five losses, she took 31% of the swings. Frantti, Whitney and Washington all took a fewer proportion of the team’s swings in the losses relative to their season averages.

    3. But Courtney failed to deliver in the losses despite taking all those swings. Other that the Minnesota loss, Courtney failed to hit above .200 in the losses (she hit .241 for the season).

    4. In fact, Frantti had worse performances in the five losses. The .246 season hitter failed to hit above .200 in any of the losses. So if you can control Courtney and Frantti, you have a decent chance against PSU.

    5. PSU’s blocking is not the advantage you’d think it is. In the Northwestern and Michigan matches, PSU out-blocked its opponents 14-8 each. In the first match against Nebraska, it had one more team block. But PSU was out blocked 9-7 by Minnesota and 12-6 in the Nebraska rematch. The latter two were sweeps, however.

    6. Serve-receive game is key, as many have mentioned. PSU averaged 1.3 receipt errors/set, twice as many as its opponents in the five losses. They were out-aced, but also committed fewer service errors. Overall, the services aces/errors are basically a wash, but the service errors (opponents with 35, PSU with 26) and aces (21 for opponents, 13 for PSU) seem to indicate PSU’s opponents were more aggressive in the serve game.

    So serve tough, disrupt PSU’s passing, and control Frantti/Courtney. Assume Whitney and Washington will get theirs, but still, an opponent has a decent shot at winning if the above holds. All based on a sample size of five, lol.

  20. warriorfan December 8, 2015 9:14 pm

    17. Yep, I hope ESPN sends its’s best announcers to Des Moines like, Barnett, Mowins , Karch or Sunderland. and not their worst like Kelly Tennant or Nell Fortner.

  21. warriorfan December 8, 2015 9:17 pm

    19. Wahine need to serve tough and at Frantti and Pierce. Courtney is a pretty good passer but hope she has an off night friday.

  22. Maverick December 8, 2015 9:17 pm

    19. In #6, should be 26 aces for opponents.

  23. doug December 8, 2015 9:23 pm

    #15 you may be right.

  24. ionw December 8, 2015 9:42 pm

    Well, threads quickly pass…

    Cindy you had answered a few things from Monday’s thread. How about can you post that picture Bleachercoach cited of Kendra holding Granato on the front page of Saturday’s Sport Section? “Very Businesslike, no drama problems, just Love” is a very good motto inspiration to remind Na Wahine to beat Penn State and any other opponent in their way like lay waste to them and love it!

  25. Bleachercoach December 8, 2015 9:55 pm

    24…sorry but that was on the Front Page of StarAdvertiser this past Saturday. I don’t have the paper cause I saw it from a friend but I really thought that was picture worth much words! I hope you can retrieve it

  26. Bleachercoach December 8, 2015 10:02 pm

    Congratulations to Nikki and Olivia! As a matter of fact the whole team are All-Regional to me.
    Kudos to Keani Passi too!

  27. Da Fronk December 8, 2015 10:04 pm

    11. I agree about all the undeserved excessive bashing of Manu-Olevao. I rewatched the match against TCU and TMO came up big in the 5th set. I believe she had 5 kills in the 5th and very crucial kills when they were down 5 – 7 in the 5th & a kill, with a smart roll shot, to get it to match point. If people are going to bash TMO for matches where she was off, they also need to give credit where it is due also.

    If Dave Shoji believes TMO the best option, we need to accept that. For instance, beginning of the season, many wanted Dave to bench Kahakai in favor of Anderson and replace Maglio with Mitchem. There are no complaint about Kahakai & Maglio now.

    As for Annie Mitchem, it’s hard not to read more into it; I just hope it’s not an academic issue.

  28. Willie December 8, 2015 10:21 pm

    #18Kryon, why wouldn’t Annie return? She did not play because of a broken finger, as noted not cleared to play, only recently to practice. She was not in the Conference Championship picture because she did not make that trip, again not cleared to play. If she was not with the team, how would she be in the picture as it was taken after the game? She is important for next year as an experienced middle that is very talented. Took her a little while to catch up to the speed of Div 1 play, she came on very well with each week until the injury.

  29. nomu December 8, 2015 10:56 pm

    Cindy, you defend (not sure if that is too strong a word) TMO because you care about her and the team. Frankly, I enjoy reading everyone’s opinions about anyone and everything on your blog. Some posts I’ve read (not just on this blog) get close to crossing the line but if I don’t agree or it’s just plan *!#xx, I just exercise my prodigious right to read past it. Anyway, don’t you think that there usually seems to be some ounce of truth in most of the posts? Way I see it, these are opinions about how this team can be better, which just for me, I find so much fun reading about. An example – “people keep hitting over Higgins, or TMO is not getting it done”, why isn’t Shoji doing something about this, etc. My translation – “Here we go again. Frustrating, maybe we can do better. No, I know we can do better. Let’s try something or someone different, couldn’t hurt.”

  30. heluhelu December 9, 2015 12:11 am

    As a recoverying TMO basher, it took awhile to see what Wahine coaches might see & now have a firmer handle on the sometimes misleading stat of hitting percentages.

    So basically, Tai is not a priss. Rarely do you see TMO dink or tap a bad pass just to return the ball, which instantly cedes a point’s attack advantage to Hawaii opponents. Instead, Tai attacks every ball however well or poorly set & despite the risk hitting errors because of her amazing quicks, hops, balance, agility, strength and *confidence* to hit any pass with velocity. That’s why, I bet, every Wahine setter from Uiato through Higgins/Koelsch must love her. Bettering the ball isn’t an occasion, it’s a rule; call it Tai’s rule — whether she succeeds or fails.

    That persistent confidence & aggression might also explain intermittent difficulties on serve-receive. As a player who prefers being on the attack, who is literally, almost always moving forward — passively waiting to be attacked must go against every instinct, twitch, reflex intrinsic to her being. Too often, we assume athletes who excel in one aspect of competition “should” excel in all. Nope. It’s the same fallacy that exposes PGs who are blurs in transition or iso dribble-drives suddenly faltering on defense, when a different set of muscles/reflexes/hand-eye assessments are required to backpedal, slide or close. Ditto football, where you often observe OLs who love to run block but have difficulties in pass protect. Run blocking is pure aggression, pass protect? Fundamentally passive. Ergo TMO the perpetual motion front row attacker v. TMO the willing-though-uncomfortable backrow defender. Different visual cues, different reflexes but most of all, different mindset.

    To her credit, TMO has made tremendous strides to become a complete player since her frosh season. Purists will never overlook her flaws. But you can bet her Wahine teammates know exactly what TMO brought every night without fail — or credit. And they will miss it.

  31. Hot December 9, 2015 12:42 am

    The thing with Tai is she is just not a very smart hitter. She’s the kind who excelled in high school by going over shorter blockers or overpowering fellow high school players. It’s understandable how fans can be frustrated with her, since this is her senior season. I mean, even Kim Willoughby, for all her physicality, used a vast arsenal of shots to get the ball down.

    I disagree with the above poster’s view that makes it seem like Tai’s one-dimensional attack style is somehow more effective than tipping or dinking or some other type of shot. She is only now hitting just over .200. For most of her career, she has hit below .200. It is NOT smart to just try to overpower blocks at this level. She should know by the now that that’s not the way. As for “instantly cedes a point’s attack advantage to Hawaii opponents,” I have this to say: they are the No. 1 blocking team in the country, right? So if all your spike angles are taken by the opposing blockers, why not tip, dink, hit high hands or whatever, just keep the ball in play and give your team a chance to defend and transition, instead of trying to foolishly overpower a block when you know it’s very likely the ball will go straight down on your side or hit you right in the face.

    Her passing…AYAYAY. Instead of using Anderson to just serve, why not let her play at least two of Tai’s three back row rotations so she can help with the passing. Let Magill serve or sub in Guinasso/Ponce to do that. I realize there is the issue of running out of subs, but that’s a risk you have to take versus Tai getting served off the court.

  32. haleiwacrossfitter December 9, 2015 2:01 am

    LOL @ #29, heluhelu.

    “As a recoverying TMO basher”

    that is hilarious….

  33. haleiwacrossfitter December 9, 2015 2:06 am

    Ok…I am really, really, really sad that Annie’s injury was a season ending one. Especially since we only have her for 2 years. As stable and as set we are with our lineup, when it comes to the regionals/final four, your bench plays a critical role in winning. Annie would definitely provided some spark off the bench for a few plays for a different look or struggling rotation.

    I feel we will still win….but it is no secret what Annie would have been able to provide for us out there. What a wasted year of eligibility. 🙁

    We lost 2 crucial back up roles this season with Huff being the other.

  34. Robin December 9, 2015 5:51 am

    Agree with #30. One of the best at varying her shots, though she could pound, was Kanani. TMO could learn a few thing by watching Kanani’s mix of shots.

  35. menehune December 9, 2015 6:26 am

    At this stage of the season/tournament, I don’t understand this obsession to focus on TMO and her faults.

    Every member of the Wahine has strong and weak points, but we seem to focus mostly on TMO’s inconsistency or Higgins lack of height to be an effective blocker.

    I sometimes tend to agree with some of the posters, but what I’m really thankful for is the position they’re in right now, with the possibility of going all the way.

    So, in spite of all the negativity against certain players, for once, let’s all band together and wish them much success this Friday and beyond.


  36. Kryon December 9, 2015 6:35 am

    just cuz she wasn’t on the trip wen they won the championship, doesn’t mean u not include her in another team photo. Maybe they did after, but I didn’t c it.
    Another thing, jus cuz she is injured n not cleared to play doesn’t mean she can’t b part of the experience n stay to support the team. I mean, if u had a kid who played on a team that was, lets say, in the little league world series then got injured, would u b OK wit him being sent home cuz he’s injured? Or would u want him to b there so he can b wit his team n support n take in the experience as well?
    It’s called team.

  37. connor December 9, 2015 7:10 am

    I am cheering for the team on Friday and hope that they all bring their A game. I have been one of those who have been frustrated with TMO from the beginning of the season and watching her this past weekend has not relieved my anxiety when she hits the ball hard directly into the big block or passes off serves badly. I am hoping that she elevates her game. I do find that I disagree with Cindy in one aspect. The simple fact that she was voted captain does not mean that she should be returning serves or playing the front row when she is clearly in one of her funks. Cindy, you seem to place great weight on the fact that all of the girls like her. I do too, but that doesn’t help beat Penn State or Minnesota this weekend. The Wahine are playing much higher level teams this weekend and Dave needs to adjust passing and blocking schemes to prepare for them.

  38. Not an Expert December 9, 2015 7:40 am

    Reading a comment made by Shoji from a question from Cindy, I concluded that Shoji will play his starters and make substitutions as needed. Though these starters may have some shortcomings they will be back in, playing the majority of the time although the subs had successfully done their job and appeared they deserve more playing time.

    Shoji believes his starters playing the most minutes will give him the best chance of winning. Reflecting on his comment “you’re not going to win with that lineup” referring to the subs. Thus one gets to understand why he will stick with his starters that he feels will give the team the best chance to win, which they have this season except 1 game and may it stay that way till the end of the tournament.

  39. Cindy Luis December 9, 2015 7:56 am

    18. don’t know you’re questioning her returning.
    It’s not that they ‘didn’t bother’ They took the photo right after the match that they won the title and she was not on the road trip.

    30. Anderson can only come in once a rotation and she serves for one of the middles.

    33. personally I feel Manu-Olevao has developed a variety of shots, including tips and 3-meter attack and deep lob. Agree that she tries to power through too many times. People also forget that she never passed in high school and it’s taken her a while to become a 6-rotation player.

    35. Again, the photo was taken when it happened.
    The decision was made to send her back home for the final week of classes. hardly the same thing about the LL kid who is playing during summer and not in school.
    She came to Texas, got that experience, saw her family and friends. For whatever reason, they decided it was more important for her to go back for classes.

    36. I place great weight on how the team respects her and what she brings to the court. Team captain is not a popularity contest so the ‘just because all the players like her’ isn’t the reason she has been voted captain for two year. She has a lot of leadership qualities that I guess people aren’t seeing.

    I’m sure the coaches will adjust when and if they need to.

  40. Cindy Luis December 9, 2015 8:00 am

    new thread up for Wednesday.

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