UH men T10 preseason poll, Mitchem repeats as POY

Hawaii tied with Stanford at No. 10 in poll released today (Wednesday)
Pepperdine No. 1 (10 votes), defending NCAA champ Loyola Chicago NO. 2 with 8 votes.


sorry to be late on the Mitchem thing. appreciate the heads up on the other thread.

from the AVCA
The American Volleyball Coaches Association is pleased to announce Irvine Valley College sophomore middle blocker Annie Mitchem as its 2014 AVCA Two Year College National Player of the Year.

There are numerous quality six rotation players around the country, but not many can claim to be a six rotation middle blocker like Mitchem. She ends the season leading the nation in hitting percentage (.517), fourth in blocks per set (1.24) and third on her team in digs per set (2.46). She played a large hand in having her Lasers lead the country with a .344 team hitting percentage and holding their opponents to a microscopic .106 team clip.

Irvine Valley College had a season to remember with Mitchem leading the way. They went a perfect 27-0, losing just seven sets all season culminating in their first California Community College Athletics (CCCAA) Championship. They avenged last year’s championship match defeat to Cabrillo by defeating the same team this season where Mitchem had a match to remember. She smashed 24 kills, hit .488, and recorded six solo blocks and seven digs en route to winning the CCCAA Tournament MVP.

“She’s the best player I’ve seen ever at the community college level,” Irvine Valley coach Tom Pestolesi said of Mitchem. “She can do everything.”

Mitchem becomes just the second player in Two Year College/AVCA Player of the Year history to win the honor in both of her seasons. Fabiana Spisso de Abreu of Southern Idaho in 1998 and 1999 is the only other player to accomplish the feat. Mitchem will be joining the University of Hawai’i next season.

The formal presentation of the AVCA Two Year College National Player of the Year will be made Dec. 19th in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet held in conjunction with the 2014 AVCA Annual Convention and NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball National Championships.


  1. 'ohanaInBellingham December 10, 2014 12:01 pm

    Wow, I got goosebumps.

    The path from her gate at HNL to SSC will be paved with leis!

  2. warriorfan December 10, 2014 12:05 pm

    Congrats to Annie.
    I think 10th is a little low, but I have high hopes for the warriors this year.

  3. karin December 10, 2014 12:05 pm

    Really looking forward to see Wahine Annie on the court for the next two years. She is the real deal and will carry her accolades from her last two years to the D1 level with a minimal drop off.

  4. st. anthony trojan December 10, 2014 1:32 pm

    me was reading the press release… n was thinking… why can’t we get players like this… then saw …she is coming here… wow what a gem find for uh…be ‘very interesting’ next year…
    why would ne coach want to retire with her coming in ….

  5. LONGs a MUST December 10, 2014 3:26 pm


  6. LONGs a MUST December 10, 2014 3:29 pm

    I’d certainly take a 5th year SR back from the SoCal area.

    It would’ve been difficult during “Hartong’s Era” but one last season could be perfect for an indoor team needing to make up for some lost-time.

    5.11 JANE CROSON for one AA season in 2015.
    She could retire/move to Europe thereafter.

  7. 'ohanaInBellingham December 10, 2014 4:03 pm

    I missed the opportunities to witness Annie Michem’s prowess in her matches recently. However, I have studied McKenna Granato in both the Ann Kang Invitational (vs Mira Costa) and the State Championship this year. Although I’m not as experienced as most of you on this blog, it is clear to me that McKenna stands out. She has great court vision. She plays the backrow like the best passers and diggers. She beams with energy during her interviews. I wonder if this is what Kanani was like in high school? I say that MeKenna’s path from Punahou to SSC will be no less adorned with leis than Annie’s.

  8. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 4:08 pm

    6. Croson is done with college volleyball. She hasn’t made the academic progress that would be required to have her play one more season.

  9. LONGs a MUST December 10, 2014 4:25 pm

    Miss Luis,

    We may want to ask one of your com padres here (and former Wahine alum/coach) but there is perhaps a loophole in that it’d only be *potentially* contentious surrounding the five permissible years of the ticking “athletes’ clock”.

    Croson has Hawai’i credits, she’s not a part of ANY NCAA institution this 2014-15, and she could very well walk-on as Joe Schmo.

    Wong is gone.

    Stack da UH 2015 team!

  10. LONGs a MUST December 10, 2014 4:37 pm

    How did Joyce Ka’apuni do it?

  11. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 4:39 pm

    9. no need to ask anyone It’s not happening
    yes, she had enough UH credits to play at UA. not sure if she has U of A credits.
    regardless … she will not be coming back to UH, not even as a walk-on.

  12. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 4:40 pm

    10. Joyce did it because the NCAA took over women’s sports. Joyce played two years in the AIAW, left, got married. The NCAA grandfathered those players in. Joyce had two years of eligibility left when the NCAA took over.

  13. LONGs a MUST December 10, 2014 4:46 pm

    12. And yet youre insistent that it will never happen.
    Hmm?! I’m SURE that it would simply take a single phone call from Shoji and it WOULD happen.

    Alas. Meh. Whatevahs!

  14. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 5:42 pm

    13. the AIAW-NCAA ruling that allowed Ka’apuni to play will never happen again.

    A call from Shoji (not sure who you think it would be to) will not make Croson academically eligible.

  15. LONGs a MUST December 10, 2014 5:53 pm

    Get her in NOW–after Christmas break–for a full year of academics. January – August of 2015.

    She transferred in Arizona as a Jr.
    Arizona is on the semester’s calender too, just like UH. No quarters/tri-semesters at both schools.

    She has a few credits from AZ for the transfer to boot.

    That’s possibly four semesters worth of credits to make it to the potential 72 academic credits needed for a MERE Jr yr’s completion.

  16. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 6:24 pm

    She would need to have senior status academically to play in 2015 because it would be her fifth year.

  17. LONGs a MUST December 10, 2014 6:30 pm

    Alohi is already here.

    The Q is will she be transferring back to UH?!

    Who else is going to ask? UR not here any more.

  18. Ron December 10, 2014 6:42 pm

    Where does this guy come up with some of his ideas. JC would be at best our 5th LS hitter next year. That ship sailed a long time ago.

  19. LONGs a MUST December 10, 2014 6:49 pm

    It’s the Elite Eight:
    OH1, 5.11 Croson, Sr.

    MB1, 6.2 Magill, Sr.
    MB2, 6.2 Mitchem, Jr.

    OPP, 6.3 Taylor, Jr.

    Libero, 5.8 Kahakai, So.

  20. Cindy Luis December 10, 2014 6:54 pm

    16. thank you.
    17. I don’t have to ask. I know Croson is not coming back.
    Alohi is in Seattle with her BYU team.

  21. LONGs a MUST December 10, 2014 6:57 pm

    UH needs another setter next season.
    Some one needs to compete.

    Higgins will still be starter, never-the-less, imo.

  22. LONGs a MUST December 10, 2014 6:59 pm

    Bowling is fun in the basement of the Hub (at UW central).

    Texas is going to win the tourney this 2014.

  23. blunite December 11, 2014 7:18 am

    Granato and Mitchem both merit playing time. Mitchem should take over at opposite, with Granato taking a left spot (for Olevao). Both bring consistency and passing ability. This will allow Nikki and Tai to improve their game without pressure. Neither Taylor (poor hitting percentage) nor Olevao (poor passing & high error rate) have shown the needed consistency for national championship aspirations. Castillo and Maglio will compete for the MB spot vacated by Adolpho. Hopefully, Dave gives Koelsch a legitimate shot at starting; otherwise, more heartbreak for the next 3 years.

  24. LONGs a MUST December 11, 2014 7:50 am

    Misplaced again (under ur pseudo)
    Coaching can be repetitious; OPP was maintained over the last two years.

    The “hunch” came as a last minute epiphany back in August of 2013.

    Get real. Koelsch is a beach volleyball player. A freshman–at the bottom-end of a group of Fab50’s–shouldn’t be starting on a team with more lofty aspirations.

    The next 2015 team is STILL in need of another impact player (OH, I’m thinking) to make a national difference.

    Foolishness is to take someone who’s excelled at MB for the last eight years of her life and to displace her to the outside somewhere. (& Hartong played BOTH OH and MB from the get-go, early, with relative comfort throughout her prep/collegiate career).

  25. Cindy Luis December 11, 2014 7:52 am

    23. While the 3 new players might break into the starting lineup, none of them have played at the DI level. Nothing will be determined until August fall camp.
    Don’t think you can go strictly on stats. Sometimes hitters have no shot at a kill because the set is off, but if they take a swing at it, it counts as an error and an attempt.
    The one stat that is valid is how many times Manu-Olevao was aced. Passing is definitely her weakness and opponents targeted her.
    If you read my story from Monday’s paper, Shoji does say the setting needs to be better. they might go to a 6-2 and IMHO Koelsch will get more of a chance next year. As for the MB, they might keep Mitchem in the middle where she’s been playing but it seems that her playing OH makes more sense given her athleticism.
    Again, nothing will be decided until August, if even by then.

  26. LONGs a MUST December 11, 2014 8:27 am

    Ala Carlos Bercenio.

  27. Cindy Luis December 11, 2014 9:37 am

    26. ?? Do you mean Carlos Briceno, former UH player? And what about him or whoever you are referring to?

  28. Butch December 11, 2014 9:49 am

    Someone has a lot to say.

  29. LONGs a MUST December 11, 2014 9:54 am

    Yeah, Briceño (that’s him).

    MB at UH.
    OPP on USA.

  30. tako December 11, 2014 9:59 am

    Big time programs have talent and depth to take them to the final four.

    The Wahine are painting that picture.

    IMHO: They have a great role model to follow. Follow the lead of a Emily Hartong, she improved and got stronger each year. She would be a great motivational speaker for this team to get them prepared for next season.

    Anyways, that’s the thinking, “EYE on the PIE, having the EYE of the TIGER.”

  31. darrel December 11, 2014 11:36 am

    tai’s passing was definately a weak spot but remember the coach had the option to sub her. However Shoji decided not to throughout most of the season. Why? As
    for setting Higgins setting was in my opinion less than average. If you look at the replays of their games she trapped set her hitters many times during the game. Even when she had a good pass she blotched the set. Also she neverfigured how to set Magill. Maybe she is not as good as we thought she would be. Or Ah mow isn’t a
    good enough teacher. I know Ah mow was in the olympics but being a great player doesn’t mean you automatically become a good teacher

  32. High N Wide December 11, 2014 11:41 am

    25. if shoji is serious about setting improvement why not consider a new setter
    period? i’m not sure 6-2 solves the setting problems.

  33. bleachercoach December 11, 2014 3:43 pm

    Agree Mckenna Granato is a good player but again in these days if you are 5’11” and not over 6’1″ you better be really athletic, explosive, and hit off the hands or like Scates said on the Pac 10 telecast hit flat. Today, it seems like the women to excel in D1 have to be extremely athletic, quick, and durable. Granato will prove me wrong if she takes one side. She will only be a freshman and think will be deep enough at outsides. Annie Mitchell on the other hand is one level above high school level and she does have the athletic ability to play all 6 rotations soundly at 6’2″…She will be a force in getting a starting nod….My prediction IMO is Magill, Mitchem, Taylor, Olevao, Kahakai, and Higgins…Huff, Maglio, and Kendra Koelsch will add depth or make things interesting…..Guianasso, Anderson, Ponce will compete for libero/ds….Castillo and Granato might make immediate impacts but could redshirt… Plenty talent not enough court space….Great Problem with What? Coach??

  34. bleachercoach December 11, 2014 3:51 pm

    Hope Tai participates on sand or someone works with her diligently to improve her passing and digging. You know next year every team will serve her…After 3-4 years especially in college that is a skill that should be polished. It is not she is like 6’3-6’6″ and harder to return balls. That element of her game will make her “Big Time” next year if it is addressed…

  35. Maverick December 11, 2014 4:09 pm

    Where does Greeley fit into your lineup?

  36. Maverick December 11, 2014 4:09 pm

    Referring to 33

  37. bleachercoach December 11, 2014 4:37 pm

    33..How can I forget my favorite and most steady player on the team….see I get A.D.D.
    and all that….Here we go: Greenly, Taylor, Magill, Higgins, Kahakai and Mitchem or Tai…Let’s play the Best…Look for the best group that can play all 6 rotations…only subs would be for Kahakai and or Higs…i.e. when you want Kendra to come in for a bigger blocker. ..
    If Tai’s back row doesn’t improve….Then you can mix and match the lineups Taylor and Greely(oh) Mitchell and Magill (MB) , Kahakai (L), and Higs (S) …

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