Thursday check-in

No real reason other than past thread was a few days old.

Berg expected to arrive Saturday, Pestolesi on Monday. Shoji leaves for Brazil Wednesday.
They’ll be meeting before Shoji leaves to discuss the general practice routines. They’re expecting to communicate every day with practice updates. don’t know if there will be video sent. Probably will know more before first practice on the 9th.

Hall said that Castillo was good to go. She’s had this nagging hip thing I guess.


  1. rabbit ears July 28, 2016 4:25 pm

    So Jeff Hall is in charge? Watching beach, he really has a good realtionship with the players.

  2. blunite July 28, 2016 8:19 pm

    Nikki Taylor is good, but her prime competitor last season (Bricio) was on fire.

    Surprising that Samantha Bricio (formerly of USC) was not wooed by the National team (she is going to play pro in Europe). How good was Bricio?

    – American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) 2015 Player of the Year,
    – Three-time AVCA All-American,
    – Volleyball Magazine, ESPNW, and HERO Sports all named her National Player of the Year.
    – Honda Sport Award for women’s volleyball, given to the year’s top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports.

    …and her stats speak for themselves:

    – First in the nation in service aces (89),
    – First in the nation in points (803.0),
    – First in the nation in points per set (6.18),
    – First in the nation in aces per set (0.68).

  3. 808 July 28, 2016 8:49 pm

    2. I thought Bricio was Mexican and if she were to play for any national team, it would have been the Mexico National Team. I don’t think Mexico qualified for Rio.

  4. Maverick July 28, 2016 9:43 pm

    3. You are correct.

  5. haka July 29, 2016 6:16 am

    What’s with the Bricio crush and who really cares? Kudos to her, but don’t knock Nikki’s accomplishments.

  6. Ashley July 29, 2016 7:11 am

    I agree with #5.
    why are we comparing Nikki’s playing with another player?

    Nikki was the bomb last season and she accomplished a heck of a lot, and we shouldnt compare her playing with someone who has nothing to do with Hawaii to begin with.

  7. Hot July 29, 2016 7:11 am

    2. Bricio played outside hitter for USC, while Taylor was an opposite last year. I don’t really get the “prime competitor last season.” Bricio was the National Player of the Year and a first team AA. Taylor was second team.

    I’d say Taylor’s competitors last season were Kelsie Payne of Kansas, who hit .379 with 4.35 k/s and 0.76 b/s, Nebraska’s Kadie Rolfzen, Purdue’s Annie Drews, Stanford’s Hayley Hodson, and Florida’s Alex Holston.

  8. blunite July 29, 2016 8:22 am

    2 take aways, Nikki (see first 4 words in previous comment) and what it takes to get the NPY.

    @3. Exactly, which is why the U.S. National team should have asked her.

    @5. My bad, the implication was that Nikki was in the running for AVCA Player of the Year (which is actually complimenting Nikki on her play). Players get “hot” during stretches (Bricio in this case) but records are made to be broken and having targets (goals) provides inspiration.

    @7. Spot on but National Player of the year is not position specific, which is why Micha Hancock won it as a setter in 2014. I compared Nikki to Bricio because of their serve, hitting, and worth to their teams.

  9. rabbit ears July 29, 2016 8:29 am

    wish Nikki wasn’t so laid back. In life ok, on the court not so much, but what do you expect, she’s from hawaii.

  10. Maverick July 29, 2016 8:54 am

    8. Bricio is a Mexican national who has already played for the Mexican national team. She would not only want to play for the US, but also must obtain citizenship to qualify for the US team. IMO, the US doesn’t need to recruit recently-graduated foreigners to fill out the roster for its top-ranked Olympic squad. We have a strong team with great outsides. Plus we all know there are big benefits to playing with the same group of players as the US team has done in the current Olympic cycle, among them, chemistry.

  11. tongo July 29, 2016 1:32 pm

    #9 Nikki does appear to be more laid back but she also has shown that she can ratchet it up come crunch time. I actually like her laid back style as there is a clear joy of life and the game that is transparent. Life is too short. I am sure that she will give it her all but it will be done her way, as it should be.

  12. rabbit ears July 29, 2016 2:08 pm

    tongo, I agree, still wish the tiger would come out a little more. Thats why I enjoy Maglio so much, she got the tiger in her.

  13. Cubicle1126 July 29, 2016 2:53 pm

    the issue of bricio on the us national team is an interesting one. i recall it was also briefly discussed on the VT forum. the system that usc ran during her senior year — that faster tempo offense — was one that bricio thrived in. if us could somehow net her services in the next quad cycle, she might do well in karch’s system. but as has been mentioned, there are challenges to an athlete switching country allegiance for national team purposes.

    the big challenge for bricio might be whether her passing stands up to the int’l game. i recall from usc (and pac-12) fans that her passing was at times an issue during her first 3 years at usc. but her passing held up during her senior, and together with their libero whittingham, they anchored usc’s passing just enough to successfully run their up-tempo offense.

    she’s a highly skilled player who may find a successful career playing overseas, and she’d be fun to see grow and develop internationally. but if her playing commitment remains with her current national team, she may never see the olympics (unfortunately).

  14. Cubicle1126 July 29, 2016 3:09 pm

    at the start of this season, nikki will certainly be in the discussion for national player of the year. however, the reality is that hawaii would likely have to be a final four team at the end of the year, for nikki to seriously be in contention for it. that’s just the way that award has shaken out over the years (with some exceptions, like bricio last year … but really few and far in between).

    on top of that — even if hawaii earns a seat at the FF — nikki’s stats might even have to be eye-popping for her to get the award (like willoughby-like numbers when she nabbed the award while hawaii was still in the WAC). because hawaii is from the big west, and does not play power-5 conference teams day in and day out, the award selection committee might view her stats with that asterisk (unfortunately). this is hawaii’s reality. the perception is that they come from a lesser conference and therefore their stats are the result of playing against an easier conference schedule.

    among most fans on VT last year, the talk was that nikki was a shoe-in for a first team all-american slot. but she was placed on the 2nd team … and hawaii was the only elite 8 team last year who did not have a player on the first team. (hawaii was also the only team in the elite 8 who didn’t come from a power 5 conference, and the only team in the elite 8 who had to play a power 5 conference team in every round of the tournament.)

    but i would trade all those ‘awards’ for this team to get back to the final four! and contend for a title again! they’ve got some good pieces, if healthy, to make a run. just need some luck with the draw come tourney time.

    … starting to get excited to see this year’s version of wahine volleyball!

  15. Cindy Luis July 29, 2016 5:04 pm

    1. yes, hall will be in charge of getting things that Shoji wants implemented.
    As mentioned, staff will be having meetings before Shoji leaves Wednesday

    11. I don’t see Taylor as being laid-back. People have different game faces

    as for Taylor being in contention for NPOY … it would take a lot, likely including Hawaii getting to the final four. But the bias against non-power 5 conferences has been evident for quite some time
    If you remember Shoji was pretty irate about her not being a first-team AA which most would agree. The only non-power5 member on the first team was from BYU.

  16. Hot July 30, 2016 5:43 am

    How is Nikki Taylor laid back on the court? Is it because of her facial expression? I would take her being laid back over the overly “fierce” game faces of Juliana Sanders, Kari Gregory, etc. You don’t have to look like you’re about to beat someone up to be a good player.

  17. Cindy Luis July 30, 2016 11:30 am
    blog on hiatus for a bit

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