Thursday’s NCAA semifinals

On ESPN2 Oceanic 224
Seeds in parenthesis
Minnesota (2) vs. Texas (3), 2 p.m. HST
Nebraska (4) vs. Kansas (9), probably around 4:30 p.m. HST
link for online stuffs, such as game tracker above link for UT-UM
below link for N-KU below


  1. greenthumb December 17, 2015 9:50 am

    Cindy, your post at the end of yesterday’s thread distilled what I’ve been trying to pin down about why the “b$g picture” volleyball scene is so wearing. Shoji has been nurturing — and caring about — the sport for the betterment of the sport, the athletes, and the fans for two generations now.

    Part of #38 from last thread (worth reading in its entirety btw): “Shoji has been a caretaker of the game for decades before the rest of the college world got on board. Hawaii has cared about volleyball before many of these colleges even sponsored the sport.”

    See, that’s the thing. He’s not asking for anything special. He’s just seeking parity. And in the midst of the frustrations, he is still looking out for the sport. Witness such comments as his wish that the tournament matches were spaced out by a day (like MBB) rather than on back-to-back days.

    Speaking of which…. Frankly, if the tourney beancounters are saying “oh noes pay for an additional room night?!” that’s really a minimal incremental cost, even for close-in teams. Transportation is a sunk cost that is not affected by the duration of the stay at the venue. The labor of the staff handling the bookings is the same for a three-night booking as it is for a two-night booking. If they’re doing room blocks like conferences/events do, specifying a period that is one night longer is really just a keystroke’s difference. And for argument’s sake, spacing the matches out by a day could actually increase ticket sales.

  2. ET December 17, 2015 9:52 am

    Talking about being disrespected. Got my issue of volleyball magazine last week and Shoji wasn’t even in the top ten in coaches as voted on by his peers. Funny that Russ Rose is first and they got spanked by the Wahine. I would think that men’s assistant Zarkovic would have been higher, especially after having the year they had. I found a link to the article. They did have a good feature article about Mick Haley about how he has completely revamped his system.

  3. connor December 17, 2015 11:56 am

    I smell a conspiracy. Either the powers that be do not like Shoji personally and use the seedings and AA teams as a slap at him or they do not want a non power five school to be prominent in the sport. The more that they can do to shoot down UH in terms of prestige or attractiveness to players makes the power five schools that much stronger. Sounds silly but too many times over the years, our deserving teams and players have been unfairly treated.

  4. warriorfan December 17, 2015 12:37 pm

    Are these the uniforms for next season?
    I like the flower one actually

  5. warriorfan December 17, 2015 12:38 pm

  6. Cubicle1126 December 17, 2015 1:08 pm

    cindy — nicely said about shoji on the prior thread. he is truly a steward of this game.

  7. noblesol December 17, 2015 1:25 pm

    I’m sure it’s a minority position, but don’t care that much about awards voted on by others, all with their own agendas and prejudices. I certainly respect those who get voted All American, but there is always a bit of tarnish on them in that they say as much about those who did the voting as those who received the votes. If a coach asked a player their goals, and they responded to be an All American, I’d say great, but your priority goals in any sport, as in life, should be to acccomplish great things you have some control over. Recognition based on voting from others is at best a bonus, but as in life, the majority of the great things you accomplish you won’t get an award for. You achieve them for your own self-satisfaction and and for the benefit of others, not for recognition from the unaccountable anonymous horde.

  8. warriorfan December 17, 2015 2:32 pm

    Oh great Minnesota doesn’t look half as good as they did saturday.

  9. bleachercoach December 17, 2015 3:30 pm true..but Texas is playing pretty good
    They have some good jumpers. I think Minnesota can beat them in 5 if Santana starts to light up. Only the Tapp sisters are doing well

  10. heluhelu December 17, 2015 3:57 pm

    Continuing CL’s thought re award relevance to the program. When you’re in the middle of the Pacific beating top-ranked teams (cf Florida’s WVB budget of $2.5m) with only half the budget (Hawaii WVB budget of $1.26m) repping the only competitively & financially successful program for an athletic department drowning in red ink — every bit of recognition is necessary to main your foothold in the scramble for elite prep talent.

    It’s not rocket science. Individual success redounds to program success; individual recognition increases program recognition. Recruiting can be a dirty process — another reason why Hawaii’s clean, successful WVB would normally sell itself if team and players received the recognition they’ve already earned. But no, the growing trend brazenly favoring have$ over have not$ could foretell Hawaii’s eventual demise.

    That’s what Shoji’s fighting for: the hearts & minds of top recruits who aren’t swayed by more affluent programs but reasonably assured success & hard work as Wahine will reap the recognition it deserves if they want to pursue the next level in their sport.

  11. noblesol December 17, 2015 4:23 pm

    #10 heluhelu: good points; concur.

  12. jmy December 17, 2015 4:37 pm

    Texas won because of their experience…Next year will be Minnesota’s year, even without Santana…

  13. jmy December 17, 2015 4:44 pm

    …and for all the people so concerned about UH’s lack of height, Texas’ kill leader is 5-10 and their setter is 5-7…

  14. warriorfan December 17, 2015 4:44 pm

    12. I don’t think so, Minnesota had to win it this year They won’t even win the B1G next year.

  15. warriorfan December 17, 2015 4:46 pm

    Lack of height isn’t a bad thing when those players can get up high, like Kanani.
    Minnesota outsides had more succes against 5′ 8 Higgins than 5′ 7 Collins though. I think the setter for Minnestota struggled today and against Hawaii she was lights out.

  16. Tipshot December 17, 2015 4:54 pm

    12 , 14 Agree that Minnesota won’t even win the B10 next year. Nebraska, Texas AND Hawaii will be better than them. Penn St probably will be better as well.

  17. haleiwacrossfitter December 17, 2015 4:56 pm

    Sucks Minnesota lost!!

    I hope Kansas SWEEPS Nebraska. And I hope it isn’t even close!

    On Shoji…I have felt since Taylor and Tayler were freshmen, that he promised them he will stay for their careers and then call it quits. I remember him saying he called the 2 of them in and discussed him retiring with them. I honestly feel he secretly, behind closed doors, promised them he will stick around for them and then retire. He is gone after 2016.

  18. haleiwacrossfitter December 17, 2015 4:57 pm

    I missed the beginning of the minny/texas game. Did they do the whole dark arena during intros for them, too? If not…that is not exactly keeping the floor neutral.

  19. warriorfan December 17, 2015 5:03 pm

    Santana will be a huge loss, she’s the only player that kept them in it without her Minnesota get swept in three. Not to mention being their best passer and server.
    I actually wouldn’t be surprised if Minnesota is back to double digit losses next year like last year.

  20. H-Man December 17, 2015 6:00 pm

    warriorfan, you’re right about the height thing. Texas’ outside hitter, Amy Neal, is only 5-9. She had 25 kills against Minnesota.

  21. UHfanNVa December 17, 2015 6:40 pm

    When will the regional sites for 2016 be announced?

  22. mauna December 17, 2015 7:05 pm

    17. The real story is, from Nikki in a news interview when discussing the 2nd team AA selection, Shoji promised them that he’ll stick around for Higgins and Taylor until their soph year. Nikki in the press interview said that she was so happy that he stayed for this season, so Tayler and her got a year bonus for now. But now it seems like he’ll be here for 2016 signing a new 6 year contract with a bail-out clause at least after the 2016 season.

    As far as the departure of Olevao and who’s next in line for the OH1. I see McKenna filling that role at 5’11” or not. She’s a smart hitter, like an Amy Neal, and we all know Neal’s development this season at OH and what she did to Minny tonight. McKenna showed a preview of what she can do against Minny last week.

  23. Bleachercoach December 17, 2015 7:10 pm

    13…..the difference is Amy Neal 5’10” is a 1st Team All American and their setter (Collins) 5’7″
    is a 3rd Team All American.

  24. Bleachercoach December 17, 2015 7:18 pm

    Kanani Danielson 5’10” , Kim Willoughby 5’11, Robyn Ah Mow 5’8″ were ALL AMERICANS…Height doesn’t matter as much if you carry the team like these athletes did.

  25. doug December 17, 2015 7:36 pm

    it’s not the 5’10” hitting. It’s there blocking or lack of. Minnesota worked over Higgins during the match. They were looking for her.

  26. tongo December 17, 2015 8:40 pm

    #26 Interesting, I recall Minn “working” over everyone in the match and not just Taylor. Santana hit over everyone including the much taller Olivia, Emily, and Nikki. And didn’t the gophers run a ton of slides and set a lot to their OPP – all of which is away from Taylor? And when we put in a taller setter, did she get any blocks in this match or any other match in the post season? Perhaps, but I honestly cannot remember one! So perhaps being short is not all that bad especially if that setter is the better setter.

  27. Not an Expert December 17, 2015 10:02 pm

    From the comments from all the pro and cons of a short or tall setter. That argument will be no more if the incoming freshmen shows she is a better setter and athlete than our current setters.

    I for one hope she will be the real deal. If our setter(s) were the All American type we may have been in the final four. Short or tall don’t matter, it is how good that player is at the setter position.

    I no longer will make a point of our short or taller setter or our tall and shorter setter. The new debatable point is will the setters be All American type athletes that will be All American type setters where height is not the criteria but talent that brings out the best from her teammates.

  28. ionw December 17, 2015 11:13 pm

    Welp..Big Red vs the Horns. This one should be interesting.

    Too bad for Minnesota, Na Wahine needed/needs better focus, its like they upset the 2 time defending national champion and biggest bully of womens volleyball then they fall flat against someone that had never beaten them and it was supposed to be ‘Difficult to defeat the Bows’. Its the same story for Kansas vs Nebraska tonight, they upset the number 1 seed and then they fall flat vs a more balanced team. The horns just got lucky the call went in their favor.

    Hmm I didnt respond to this 2 threads past:

    20. Cindy forget the denotation of or shouting of COAST or coast at all. Just consider it West vs East and well theres still a West in the championship.

  29. warriorfan December 18, 2015 4:37 am

    I won’t be watching the final, I hate both those teams.
    They both will bring back a first team all american next season that didnt play this season, Texas in Ebony Nwanebu and Nebraska that LSU transfer Holman. So UH and other 8 teams will have to really improve or add more talent to keep up with them.

  30. H-Man December 18, 2015 4:57 am

    warriorfan, you should watch the final just to see where the Wahine need to be in order to reach next year’s final 4. Both programs are awesome. And the Wahine can beat them with little tweaks. The talent is there.

  31. doug December 18, 2015 8:21 am

    #27 Minnesota hit over higgins at least 10 times that I could count. Agree they hit over our other players too. But they were definitely going after Higgins. She set great against a&m and Penn St. Not so great against Minnesota.

  32. Cindy Luis December 18, 2015 8:35 am

    29. my original comment was about there being no West Coast presence in the final four. You’re the one who is continuing to put Texas in the West. They are not in the West. They are in the Southwest, Central Time Zone. Big difference.

    32. Tapp hit over everyone in that match. Don’t think you can blame Higgins for every time. She wasn’t the only blocker up.

    I thought she set OK but she did have to adjust to Greeley and Taylor not being 100 percent and eventually Greeley ceding to Granato.

    You could see Magill get a little anxious, went back to an old habit and jumped early. Thought Higgins adjusted well after Set 2.

    The main issue at the end of Set 4. Santana was front left, Taylor was right back.
    That’s when they made that run to close it out.

    New thread up for Friday

Comments are closed.