Sunday morning

We all were up early. Wahine had a 530 a.m. flight i think through Houston. didn’t ask if everyone was going back to Honolulu. Will have depended on whether they had finals left this week or still had to check out of the dorm.

I suggest you check out the final OMG blog, very sweet words. They will miss her and Manu-Olevao.You can also access links to the press conferences.

My flight was at 605 via Denver and LAX. I’m stuck in the Hawaiian lobby for another 3 hours (can’t check in earlier than 4 hours before a flight) on the late 5 p.m.

of course made the mistake of watching SC-Kansas to the end. over at about 1 a.m. CT then had a 3 a.m. wake-up call.
As I said to shoji after Set 2, you could have beaten SC. felt that way after UCLA beat them thee weeks ago. still hard to figure out how the got the overall No. 1 seed when they didn’t earn the AQ from the Pac-12 and lost their next to last match.

But I digress. had mixed feelings over who I wanted to win, KU to prove the committee wrong or SC to keep a west coast presence in the final four.
Now you end up with 2 Big Ten and 2 Big 12.
So for the first time ever there is no west coast team (I’m counting Washington in there)

2. Minnesota. 3. Texas. 4. Nebraska. 9. Kansas.
All Central Time zone playing in the Central Time at Omaha.
Just an observation.

the saddest comment I heard was Kiraly saying the if all top 4 seeds made it to the final four it was good for the sport. Couldn’t disagree more.
What makes March Madness great is the potential for the underdog. The way the RPI is dictating selection and the absurd umber of Power 5 teams getting in (was Arizona State losers of 8 of last 10 more deserving than Long Beach State) think it ruins the game. but that’s just me.

Am going to be off for a few days. Wednesday All-America should be announced Shoji felt that Taylor and Magill will get some recognition, wasn’t sure which of the three teams they’d land on 1st, 2nd or HM.

Thanks again for making this a great blog. was just alerted that Volleyshots is being added to an international list prepared by IPREX, a global network of communication agency, and is listed as one of the most popular blogs in Hawaii.

Aloha for now.


  1. Don December 13, 2015 9:07 am

    I’m rooting for Kansas, since Karch made that comment about the top 4 seeds. Minnesota should destroy Texas just to wipe the arrogance off of Texas’ gifted win @ home…

  2. tongo December 13, 2015 9:49 am

    #1 I agree Texas was given a free point at a critical moment (shot was clearly in by a foot) but the error in the call was made by the line and up refs – not Texas. IMO, their football program is arrogant but not the volleyball team. In addition, Coach Elliott, a former UH Men Volleyball player, has always been a good friend of the wahine program and pro-Hawaii. Jerritt always seems to have local girls on his teams and brings his team to play in the islands in the regular season and for exhibitions. Just saying …

  3. al December 13, 2015 9:50 am

    Mahalo Cindy!

  4. kapakahi December 13, 2015 9:59 am

    Cute little article……that Cindy might not have mentioned…..about her and son Tiff…..

  5. Not an Expert December 13, 2015 10:09 am

    Looking forward for next year. The players improved their play tremendously from last year. Maglio the only new starter played great that helped the Wahine get this far in the playoffs. Anderson became the steady server who subbed in for the middles.

    The middles have done a great job in putting the ball down however the connection between the middle attack and the setter has been inconsistent for the last 2 years which was evident again in the game with Minnesota. Is it the 2 middles not able to read how the setter will set them or is it the vice versa? This part of the arsenal if improved will make them even better next year.

    Will the left OH and the middle replacements also help the Wahine be even better? Will the new freshmen setter coming in be like a new spark plug that has helped Texas and Minnesota to the final 4 with a freshmen setter? Of course it takes the whole team to play good and be successful, no one player makes a team but will Iosefa be that spark plug to get us to that long road to the final 4.

  6. 'ohanaInBellingham December 13, 2015 10:39 am

    Unlike the fans of the vast majority of universities across the U.S., we get to look forward to more volleyball in about three weeks!

  7. H-Man December 13, 2015 10:43 am

    The silver lining in the loss to Minnesota is the experience playing teams at a high level. The Wahine will learn from this knowing where they need to improve. They will only be better next season. Aloha to Olivia and Tai. Really glad that both of you were able to have a great experience playing for the University of Hawaii.

  8. kapakahi December 13, 2015 10:52 am


    It’s Iosia……not Iosefa (as in Joey).

  9. tongo December 13, 2015 12:04 pm

    Didn’t know about Kalei’s injury until the post game comments by Shoji. It partially explains why the wahines were not playing the way they normally do in set 1 & 2. Kalei was having such a great post season. It seems that only when Kalei is “off” when we fully see the critical role she plays on this team. Hope her shoulder surgery goes well and she comes back even stronger.

    Great job Kalei, you were the starting OH for a Final 8 team – pretty darn good!

  10. nomu December 13, 2015 12:13 pm

    With the exception of USC (and it could have gone either way), looks like he and the NCAA got it right as to the final four teams. For example, Minnesota was a team which steadily got better throughout the season, losing their first two games I believe. Obviously, while it does carry significant weight, there is more to the selection than just RPI, and have to respect the process. It’s not an easy task.

  11. ionw December 13, 2015 12:35 pm

    cindy, need west coast representative in final four eh? well texas is considered west coast or so i have heard (southwest not east i guess when considering west and east coast only).

    i want texas to bring their horns to minnesota even though isnt daly a professional (she a puerto rican national team would make her a professional team member wouldnt it?). but its probably going to be nebraska and minnesota for championship match. (shoot i check minnesotas roster and they are heavily armed with 5 middles + 1 middle/opposite, 5 outside hitters, and 3 setters, only 2 libero/ds; i can see how they had/could win and how they had lost, with 11 out of 16 being 6’+ and only 2 of the 5’+ are if really considered ‘small’)

    rooting for nebraska to be the better balanced, GO BIG RED!

  12. ionw December 13, 2015 12:45 pm

    9. didnt know kalei was exactly injured or couldnt keep up the pressure or shoji wanted mckenna to bring more fearlessness or both, but yeah kalei got injured? that would be the contributing factor to the loss, with the loss of ‘the steady eddy’ (apparently said by espn).

    KG – Kalei Model G, youre still an Elite Eight!

    10. guess sc is overrated or mick haleys coaching skills are old causing team to choke badly (last year was a terrible losing team including losing to a weakling north carolina and this year, though surging to the top was beaten by a weakling for their first ever meet, now 0-1 vs kansas and on post season), what a pity disappointment.

  13. greenthumb December 13, 2015 1:33 pm

    I have only positive things to say about our team — the young women did Hawaii proud. They competed with grit and class. The loss probably will feel raw for a while but I hope that as time goes on they will remember the other matches and recognize the accomplishments that came from working as such a selfless unit. And in this let’s be sure to count every single player, no matter how much game time each one had, because without those countless hours of practice, this team would not have been as strong and cohesive as it was.

    I watched part of the Kansas-USC match and took away the message that Na Wahine really belong in the handful of top-tier teams. By this I’m not second-guessing the seeding or the brackets, as we’ve parsed those really well earlier. I’m just saying that any day, any court, any time zone, our team is a worthy competitor.

  14. heluhelu December 13, 2015 5:17 pm

    5 Not an Expert December 13, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Lmao. You wonder what game some ppl were watching. Maglio almost hit .300. Magill tapped several hittable balls which became Gopher points. Meanwhile, MIN hit .403 for the match on a nite when Wahine’s block disappeared & backrow d was a tick slower than Friday. FOUR OH THREE. But if Higgins haters insist Hawai’is middle-setter connection was “the” problem, go ahead. I need the laffs. So do Shoji & Na Wahine.

  15. Ron December 13, 2015 5:18 pm

    Sorry to go over what “might of been” but we did lose three young ladies all over 6’3″ who would have greatly helped the team. Just decompressing!

  16. heluhelu December 13, 2015 5:23 pm

    Still might-have-beening myself. I think another day or even half-day of rest after Friday’s late-nite closer might’ve been just enough for Wahine to close out the 4th. Wahine have great athletes with decent length but they don’t carry a lot of meat. A little more rest might’ve been the equalizer to MIN’s advantage in heft/reserve stamina.

  17. heluhelu December 13, 2015 5:28 pm

    Oh. And the injury tweaks which slowed down Taylor, Greeley, Higgins, Kahakai. Must assume Gopher players had assorted tweaks too. But u couldn’t tell. Whereas longtime Wahine watched definitely noticed diffs in Nikki, Kaley, Tayler & Savannah.

  18. heluhelu December 13, 2015 5:28 pm

    Sorry, KALEI. Good grief.

  19. heluhelu December 13, 2015 5:29 pm

    “longtime Wahine watcheRS”

  20. Ron December 13, 2015 5:45 pm

    Good point, the back-to-back games favor the ones who have sleeping in their own beds most of the tournament. Anyway on to next year!

  21. Bleachercoach December 13, 2015 5:51 pm

    Kind of feeling the blues today! I was so looking forward to going to the Final 4 if we were there.
    Hawaii left a mark and taste of what next year could be…We lost two beautiful athletes TMO and OMG… but like the Penn State’s, we are reloading,
    “Locked and Loaded” in 2016 and 2017. At least we got Sand Volleyball to fill that void and look forward to August 2016. “I LOVE NA WAHINE VOLLEYBALL!!!” Merry Christmas Cindy and to all the wonderful bloggers…See you soon!!!

  22. darkfire December 13, 2015 7:05 pm

    4. kapakahi – interesting link. I didn’t know that was her son. Thanks! That was pretty cool! Mahalo nui loa for all you’ve done for this blog Cindy. It has made this volleyball season all the more enjoyable. Not only for me, but for a bunch of my co-workers when I share this blog with them.

    Anybody wanna play “who’s playing where” next year? LOL!

  23. Big Island VB fan December 13, 2015 8:27 pm

    Question: Will Dave Shoji, Nikki Taylor and Olivia Magill remain in the midwest now that finals are over? Why fly back to Hawaii for only a few days? What if Nikki Taylor and Olivia Magill earn first or second All-American honors? Then they would have to fly all that long way back to Omaha? And of course, Dave Shoji has to be there for the annual coaches convention. Does anyone know the answer to my question?

  24. Big Island VB fan December 13, 2015 8:32 pm

    On a different topic, I just finished watching the USC-Kansas volleyball replay. That fifth set was high drama, ending with a real stunner. It’s well worth watching.

    If it’s any consolation, at least the Wahine didn’t suffer a huge upset like USC where no one expected them to lose after they were ahead 4-0 and 13-9 in the fifth set. That was a true shocker. I say kudos to the Kansas libero who did not miss a serve in the six-point comeback and managed a crucial dig as well.

    As for the Wahines, let’s hope for a better outcome next year or the year after. The Kansas victory proves that miracles can still happen. Be inspired.

  25. Dano December 13, 2015 8:43 pm

    At the outset though, Shoji did prefer playing in midwest rather than the west coast. He did not want to play on the west coast. and we did go farther this time by not playing on the west coast and washington as we have done in recent years. Hawaii had a chance yesterday.

  26. obachan December 13, 2015 8:58 pm

    Karch Kiraly sounds like some kind of skin rash.

  27. Dano December 13, 2015 9:03 pm

    Of course as a Wahine fan, we want the west teams and us to dominate. in fact, it was just that during the 80’s when Hawaii won the titles. it was all USC, UCLA, Stanford, UH etc. always ranked in the top 5. now it has become a big time national sport with mid west and east coast teams always in the mix. there is nothing wrong with that.

  28. tongo December 13, 2015 10:01 pm

    To TMO who had to endure through many ridiculous and totally uncalled for criticisms, thank you for your grace and maturity in handling it.

    To the critics who regularly crossed the hard line between critique and personal attack, Tai got the last laugh as she made the NCAA Regional Final All- Regional team along with Nikki. No amount of disparaging, belittling, and ugly put downs can undercut that recognition! Congrats for being above it all!

  29. cruisecontrol December 13, 2015 10:12 pm

    If Shoji does retire, doesn’t that mean that Hawaii’s recruits for next year can be released from their LOI’s if they so choose? Would be a shame if Hawaii loses any of them, especially Iosia.

  30. Not an Expert December 13, 2015 11:32 pm

    heluhelu you must be closely connected. My apology if I my observation are not to your liking. Just my point of view

  31. Ron December 14, 2015 6:05 am

    I bet Dave will be here at least one more year. Iosia is not going anywhere else, Dave was only part of the reason she picked UH, she has “poly pride” and Robyn is here.

  32. darkfire December 14, 2015 6:51 am

    29. Amen, Tongo, Amen to that!

    So proud of all the girls and staff for battling through all the injuries and maturing to be such a great team! GO BOWS!

  33. blunite December 14, 2015 8:14 am

    Hawaii’s future is bright but they could use a rock solid “24/7/365” accurate passer to facilitate the setting, and a slightly lower arc on the sets (off the net). Hitters should be versed in 5 shots (line, cross, tip, roll, cut) and be able to pass.

  34. mauna December 14, 2015 9:30 am

    In this mornings paper, from his quote’s, it seems like Shoji’s carrying on to be here next year. Talking about the returnees of the outside hitters and 3 setters on scholarships “Well let them battle it out”, among other we’ll quotes.

    Cindy, why the holding out on naming the three (besides UCLA) Pac12 teams in the 3 tournaments or any other verbally committed schools agreeing to play in the 3 tournaments. It’s not like an unsigned recruit that he cannot comment on. Coaches of D1 teams with tournaments scheduled for next year, have been over the years, seemed free to have named the schools in their tournaments?

  35. mei mei December 14, 2015 10:28 am

    Cindy, my setiments too… re: the big 10,12 schools only representing the final 4… i hoped at least USC made it in … i was cheering on the west coast teams! (minus Washington – hehe!)

    looking forward already to next season!!

    best wishes to TMO & OMG! will surely be missed :/
    and until we see you again Na Wahine 2016 squad… aloha and a hui hoa!

  36. tongo December 14, 2015 10:40 am

    Thanks OMG for those 4 blogs on the UH Athletic site for sharing your insights and feelings – very heartwarming from a very classy and great player .

  37. Cindy Luis December 14, 2015 11:35 am

    4. thanks for the link was unaware of the story.
    ESPN3 said it was going to use something but they never.

    Regarding Greeley’s injury. she rolled it late in practice Wednesday. but it didn’t seem anything out of the ordinary. so didn’t mention it. She had been in out of practice the past two weeks, which was mentioned during previous practice reports.
    And then the way she played Friday … didn’t seem to be an issue. guess i could have put in that she played very well despite re-tweaking the ankle.
    but hindsight is 20-20. Many times I would like a story back because I think of things i should have mentioned or a better lead the next morning.

  38. Cindy Luis December 14, 2015 11:43 am

    Couple of other responses. a little jet lagged to go back and look at numbers.

    Texas considered west coast? Really?

    considered it a rude comment saying Karch Kiraly sounded like a skin rash. But i’ll leave it up to respond. One of the greatest players if not the greatest players in the sport, only player to win Olympic gold indoor and beach. And the coach of the women’s national team.

    IMHO, Shoji stays through 16. which is what i’ve felt and said for 2 years. Sons will be in the Olympics. but tournament will be done right before the first week of play. Don’t see it as an issue with him being gone for 2-a-days. They video practices anyway so easy for him to watch either real-time or after. Such a veteran group returning makes things a lot easier.

  39. Cindy Luis December 14, 2015 11:51 am

    37. link was on original post. worth a read.

    23. Shoji does not have to attend the Convention. He told me he wasn’t sure if he’d be going. He wasn’t there last year.

    The NCAA picks up the tab for the team so they were booked to leave Sunday.
    No reason not to believe that Taylor and Magill won’t be All-America. Getting to the Elite Eight should have helped them get on the 1st two teams and not just honorable mention.
    Announcement Wednesday. Believe banquet Thursday before the first semifinal Or banquet on Friday. I forget.
    UH will know early enough before the announcement if the two made it and, if so, if they would go back for the banquet.

  40. Cindy Luis December 14, 2015 12:06 pm

    12. ESPN’s use of ‘steady eddie’ may have been poached from the OC16 broadcast. Lisa Strand-Ma’a uses it a lot.

    15. Not sure which 3 players you’re discussion. I assume Huff and Mitchem. If you’re counting Burns, not sure why. She was pretty much going to redshirt regardless of injury.

    And about the players’ who signed a legally-binding NLI. They signed with the school not with Shoji. They could always ask for a release, much as happened with Burns at West Virginia. up to the school to do it.
    but I do believe he won’t retire until after 16.
    New thread up for Monday.
    Men’s volleyball tickets on sale.

Comments are closed.