UH-UCSB postmortem

sorry, had some computer issues and then didn’t get a final box until late.

agree with most of the comments i’ve managed to read.

not a good night for UH at all. you could see that from the beginning. Passing was off the entire night, a step slow it seemed, and UCSB put up a big block (17-11 edge in blocks), got the big digs when they needed (UH finished with 67-65 edge)

Wahine 5 aces, 10 SEs. Gauchos 2 aces, 13 aces.

Hawaii got too predictable. Hartong had 61 of the team’s 180 attacks. Team hit for .111. They won Set 4 despite hitting .000.

Someone asked about Vorster’s knee brace. She’s worn it ever since she got here 3 years ago.

Shoji is concerned about Saturday. IMHO, his agreeing to consecutive nights when the second night is against a team whose only match of the week is Hawaii could come back to haunt him. He felt Cal Poly may be the better team. They could have gone Thursday-Saturday instead of Friday-Saturday. We’ll see how the Wahine respond after the loss.


  1. Warrior Dave October 11, 2013 11:16 pm

    A good team learns from their mistakes and come back strong. I feel that the Wahine will rebound tomorrow.

    If for some reason they do lose, the problems are deeper than we think.

  2. jmy October 11, 2013 11:21 pm

    I think UH will win tomorrow night…They’re still favored & I think they’ll snap out of whatever they were in tonight…They’ll probably be out to prove that tonight was a fluke…

  3. kimo browner October 12, 2013 12:00 am

    no fluke. Hawaii’s predictability was characterized by Jim Leahy as, “like waiting in a train station”. Opponents have been out blocking Hawaii bc they know where our setter is going.
    That is just part of the elements that contributed to a perfect storm on a night when UCSB played great. It is an omen and it is best to learn now than later. Good teams will adjust tactics and shake-up their line-up, otherwise we will not go far in post-season play.

  4. rudy October 12, 2013 2:02 am

    I think they will play better tomorrow night. No question, they have a lot of things to work on. It’s a long season, but, everyone, mark your calendars, November 9th. Most people call it Saturday, but I believe the Wahine will call it Redemption, when they will play The Gauchos again with the sense of urgency that was sorely lacking tonight.

  5. OrbitalRipZ October 12, 2013 2:08 am

    The pitcher (Uiato) can only go to the well (Hartong) so many times before it breaks. And break it did. By now everyone knows the drill: put up 2 or 3 blockers on the All-American at all times, don’t worry about her tip/dig/swipe shot (for she doesn’t have one — not an effective one), and position your libero for her crosscourt pounders.

    Congrats to head coach Nicole Welch, who did her homework and knew that even though her team couldn’t stop Hartong from leading (as usual) all players in kills, the Gauchos could let Hartong stop herself with an anemic hitting percentage performance. And congrats to Katey Thompson, who relentlessly went after Hartong all night long (especially when serving) and who will be named Big West POW.

    If San Diego dropped I think 5 spots after losing to unranked BYU, Hawaii can expect no less.

  6. OrbitalRipZ October 12, 2013 2:18 am

    meant: tip/dink/swipe shot

  7. Hot October 12, 2013 3:02 am

    Sadly, UH has no answer to the OH position opposite Hartong. Olevao is not it. For Kastl fans, she is not it. She was given every opportunity last season, but she is terribly inconsistent. For every kill she puts down, there’s a matching error. Vorster – is it her or is it Uiato? She joes does not know how to hit the ball. She’s been effective with her off-speed shots because it usually catches the opposing team off-guard, but that can’t be all that she has in her arsenal, right? And her 6-4 frame is wasted because she cannot block. Ginger Long, I was a huge supporter and was looking forward to seeing more of her, but she really has not justified her role in the regular sub pattern. Sadly, I think she needs to stay on the bench and let people like Lelepali serve. Otherwise, just let the middle serve. They certainly can’t do worse.

  8. Grammy October 12, 2013 4:34 am

    Kudos to UCSB, they are undoubtably a solid and formidable team. And the BW is obviously not the WAC. Those things are truths. But the Wahine are not done and neither is Coach Dave. Adjustments are necessary but possible. If they were outplayed so be it but if you’re going to throw in the towel and bow to the inevitable so easily than you haven’t really been paying enough attention. For the longest time, in this very blog, numerous bloggers have been saying we need more diversity and if we knew it, than it was damn sure that people getting paid to coach against the Wahine knew. Heck, even Coach Dave knew it. What is left to be determined is if he and his braintrust also know what it will take to ‘shake up’ the talent he has on his bench/team enough to beat the best game plans the rest of the BW has to offer for now. Hawaii is one of the most scoutable programs because of all the past broadcasts and Youtube video available. Any video geek could put together a tendancies reel on our offense given enough time. We’re also the biggest target in the BW, so it pays dividends and raises visibility to make that effort. Also, by now we all know Coach Dave likes to go back to what worked he got caught last night when in set 5, Hartong ended up across from Thompson for the first time in two sets I think. So, yes, tonight’s game might be another questionable one, but I don’t think that Coach Dave (or the Senior 7) are not capable of getting the Wahine up for a battle. I anticipate a real battle and not just the same people/person stepping up. What we haven’t been seeing lately is ‘heart’ not ‘Hart’ we knew it was going to take a team effort and now some of the young guns are going to have to grow up fast or the rest of the season will be painful indeed. Go Wahine! How bad do you want it? We might want it but only you have the ability to go and get it, so I stand behind you and believe in you.

  9. Kazu October 12, 2013 5:14 am

    At the start of the season i thought Long would have a break out year,but sure dosen’t look like its going to happen.That’s sports though, on any given day you can be beat. They have to be careful with Cal Poly cause they seem to have improve from last year. Kate Thompson was tough,enjoyed watching her play. Maybe Irvine can upset Northridge tonight. Good luck to the Wahine tonight,but going five last night may have alot of tired legs. Did Shoji agree to go Friday Saturday, because there may not be many fans if they played Thursday? I would think he would have rather give his girls a break in between matches.

  10. Buds4life October 12, 2013 6:00 am

    Perhaps more credit should be given to UCSB players and coaches but in all my years of watching NaWahine I cannot recall a match where not one starter played well. Was their pregame meal turkey?

  11. LanaiBoy October 12, 2013 6:12 am

    Dave Shoji got it right in his radio call-in show. He said that Hawaii is easy to scout because it is so predictable and of course opposing coaches have tons of high quality tapes to devise defensive strategies against the team. So all opposing coaches will target Hartong on serves and camp on the outsides because that’s where almost all the sets are going. In the first two sets there were fully formed blocks on both Emily and Tai almost all the time. On the other hand, the Hawaii middles were slow to close on all the UCSB hitters; sometimes it looked like a shooting gallery cuz there were no Hawaii blocks or touches in those two first and the final sets. In matches like this, the Hawaii faults are magnified. One, the inability of the serving specialists to put the ball in the court on a consistent basis (actually, wasn’t too bad last night, but still very noticeable). Two, the inability of Vorster to hit the ball squarely. Only about one in ten of her hits are hit with authority. Most times it does not matter because she puts it to the ground most times because of the steep angle of her shots (she hits at a high percentage, in fact one of the nation’s leaders when she qualifies). Last night she scattered her love-taps all over the place, mostly out of bounds. Third, Hawaii has some powerful hitters, Hartong, Kastl, Manu-Olevao, and Taylor. Powerful hitters can be blocked easily if you hit the ball in the same place—cross-court. I don’t know how many times I yelled to the hitters, “hit line, it’s open,” but they hit right into the block instead. Then when they are blocked a few times then they overcompensate by going line and high hands but hit it out bounds instead. That was the pattern all night.

    However, all in all Hawaii must do a lots of things right, because they are highly ranked and respected with only two losses and wins against quality teams. These things are, I’m sure, emphasized over and over again in practice, especially diversity in offense. But in the heat of battle it is easy to go to what has worked best in the past. The loss last night surely taught the Bows the importance of not being so predictable. Against a team like Riverside and others similar, all these faults do not matter in the least. Against opponents like Northridge, UCSB, Cal Poly, or even Cal Davis (it beat California) these faults are magnified and may lead to a loss.

  12. menehune October 12, 2013 6:16 am

    Let’s face it. UCSB was the better team in all areas; hitting, blocking, tooling the blocks, tips, and they played like a Japanese team in refusing to let the ball hit the court. And this is a team with three freshmen in the starting lineup. The Wahine will take a major hit in the AVCA poll and RPI. So ladies, it’s time to step back, regroup, reload and attack with renewed vigor. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. LET’S GO BOWS.

  13. Kazu October 12, 2013 6:58 am

    Not a good night for Shoji. Wahine loose,and LA loose to the Cardinals.

  14. Think2Much October 12, 2013 7:32 am

    We’ve seen it before where Hartong is being blocked regularly yet Hawaii manages to pull out a win. Last night the difference was energy. USCB had high energy, UH low energy. Most evident with Longo and Ulivao, Adolpho and Vorster. Key players, no doubt. But seems Shoji had a sense of this and mentioned it in an pre-game interview. But what is the reason? Why are so many key players a step slow mentally?

  15. Msrpantoja1@netzero.com October 12, 2013 7:49 am

    Tweet out: “Any ideas?” and I’ll personally answer with your help on the female psyche. All these years has you still stumped.

    People can be fatalistic..UH will only drop to about 9 RPI and around 12 AVCA (this week).
    *It’s their next BW loss that puts them over the edge & ‘out’; at that point they’ll STILL be in the top 16 (RPI-wise), but it’s the coach’s poll in which UH will plummet.

    The NCAA will be using the AVCA to help braket this 2013 postseason.

    Why so many doubters?!..who knows volleyball on VS/VT?

  16. setaone October 12, 2013 8:12 am

    I’m assuming UCSB’s RPI will go up? As much as it sucks for Hawaii to lose, we need the Big West, as a conference, to be better.

  17. RedZone October 12, 2013 8:45 am

    Hitting the ball out-of-bounds have nothing to do with scouting. Just too many errors. Late on blocks. Lack of energy. Worst game overall I have seen in a long time. As players need to improve thru out the season it seems as if some have peaked. Can’t have serving specialist who comes in and serves it out. I can see why UH goes to Hartong. There is no one else.

  18. Alohilani October 12, 2013 9:22 am

    Here’s a question: Both Lisa Strand Ma’am and Chris M said during the half that a better match up would have been moving Hartong away from Thompson. If these two people could see it, why couldn’t Shoji. The switch didn’t happen until the 12th point in set 5 according to Chris. This is not a slam on Shoji but do you think perhaps he knew the better matchup would have been as Lisa and Chris said but Dave didn’t want to switch it up because it would mean he would have to adjust instead of beating a first year coach as he usually should have – maybe a sense of pride. And maybe he just expected the Wahine to win. Yes, they won the third and fourth set but just barely and because they were winning, he didn’t want to make the switch in the 5th until it was too late.

  19. Vbfan October 12, 2013 9:24 am

    Reminds me of the home loss against NMSU a few years back. It was just hitting error after hitting error. At least that team proved it was a fluke as hey beat them handily and won the WAC championship later on and made the elite 8. Hopefully this team will do the same and prove it was a fluke.

    Really if either Hartong, Adolpho or Taylor have even average games they win, but they all were off last night.

  20. wop ur jaws October 12, 2013 9:42 am

    I blame Dave. He should have removed Manu and Jade then Nikki faster than he did. They camped out on the OH because we had no middles that were doing anything effective consistently. I’ve said it time and time again. Manu is not the answer. Jade is not the answer. UCSB tooled the block by waiting a half second then tooling. Also the beach rolls caught UH all night. The right side OH had a field day with the cross court. And for God sakes, back row attack with Hartong was triple block every single time. Seriving out didn’t hepl with momentum. Why have a deep bench if you are not going to recognize them and use them. Everyone around us could see the body language from Manu and Jade then NIkki. Its not personal, but if you want a championship ring, you have to make the changes sooner than its to later. Dave you droped the all this time. IMHO.

  21. wop ur jaws October 12, 2013 9:46 am

    These seniors have more composure at this point than the underclassmen, use them for that. Steady and less rattled. Ahsley made great moves with simple things as passing and right side blocking. You could see Scott telling the blockers when to cheat in to take angle and she executed it perfectly. Back row 1 position defenders were cheating to up when ever she hit those deep angle shots. No one was covering. And when Ali got her dig on it, it was to hard hit for her to steet it back to the setter. It has been said prior that our blockers are late closers, well this what you get from a right side hitter when your middles are not fast laterally moving blockers. Big seems from right side pin blockers and the middle. No excuses.

  22. Msrpantoja1@netzero.com October 12, 2013 10:41 am

    Stanford is good; Penn St. is good because they have all the vb players.
    Texas is good because they have THE athletes/horses to win.

    What’s amazing to me is the spectator who expects sooo MUCH with sooo little (as an aiding assist for all facets making a program successful).

    Too funny!!

  23. LC October 12, 2013 11:42 am

    Here is a question I would like to throw out there. Was this a case of the team not being properly prepared for UCSB by the coaching staff ?

  24. mei mei October 12, 2013 11:52 am

    23 I strongly believe that the coaching staff absolutely underestimated this UCSB team and their new coach… for Na Wahine came out soo flat and really were on their heels all night long…

  25. hollycow October 12, 2013 11:58 am

    UCSB match is history. Cal Poly better have their A game tonight, I see a very motivated, angry Na Wahine tonight.

  26. LC October 12, 2013 12:05 pm

    I ask this question (#23) because in the past I have heard Dave take the blame for some losses because he felt that the coaches didn’t do a good job preparing the team and while I’m not trying to make excuses I’m of the opinion right now that the UCSB coaches did a better job.

  27. tako October 12, 2013 12:16 pm

    As much as I think Mita is a great setter. Last night, she would have been my first sub out and sit for at least a game. She, as the setter, is central to the team. The TEAM needed a wake up call, sitting her down would have gotten the team’s attention and I feel would have shook them up enough to get them out of their stupor.

  28. hollycow October 12, 2013 12:22 pm

    26. Partly UH coaches and a lot for the UCSB coaches. Another issue is since UH is the lone wolf in scheduling, Cindy mentioned a Thurs/Sat would have bode them better, is someone on the UH staff hearing this?. Going 5 didn’t do them any good for tonight.

  29. Volleyball fan October 12, 2013 12:31 pm

    As I said in the comments to Ann Miller’s article, perhaps the Wahine were weary after a string of midterms, while the Gauchos were just thrilled to be in Hawaii, especially the freshmen. So they were all excited and pumped up to play. Totally different mind-sets here. Also, perhaps the Wahine weren’t fired up as they overlooked UCSB thinking that they’d be a pushover after having lost to Long Beach which Hawaii had beaten on the road in three straight sets. Which comes to prove that winning in sports is not transitive. Just because team A beat team B and team B beat team C, doesn’t automatically translate to team A beating team C. The first week of the tournament (Texas, San Diego and Hawaii) proved it right away and that’s why three teams were 2-1.

  30. eMpTy October 12, 2013 12:37 pm

    During the preseason they played three nights in a row and they came out okay. So I would hope this two nights in a row shouldn’t affect them too much. Go Bows…

  31. hollycow October 12, 2013 1:23 pm

    30. eMpTy but, remember during the preseason all of the four teams played three nights in a row, except for the first tournament this year. Cal Poly was in their hotel beds relaxing and watching this match.

  32. Warriorfan October 12, 2013 2:10 pm

    Enough excuses they stunk it up and looked like a barely top 30 team last night. They need to try to figure out why they lacked intensity and focus and regroup ASAP and no complaining when the ncaa sends them to usc for the second round, gonna have to get the job done the hard way now.

  33. OrbitalripZ October 12, 2013 2:13 pm

    Re: 20, 24, etc Cindy, this is what I mean by “off with his head”; not exactly those words, but you get the drift … And it used to happen (not anymore) when the NCAA released the season’s first RPI, which used to show the Bows no where close to their AVCA Poll ranking, and which used to draw the ire of mathematically inclined fans who couldn’t understand why Team Shoji failed to understand how to play the RPI game

    Halloween came too soon for the Na Wahine. That No. 3 RPI turned from a treat into a trick. Batchi came from somewhere, and I think it came from too much talk about hosting Rounds 1-2 when we are just into Week 3 of the conference season.

    As far as learning from this loss, the same was said from the 5th-set loss to San Diego. “We’ll learn from this loss.” What else can you expect them to say.

    We’re in Week 3 of the Conference Season. Lots more conference teams to play and replay. Any talk of hosting subregionals should be banned from this blog. (Yeah, right.)

    Go Bows!

  34. mauna October 12, 2013 2:50 pm

    Help, Northwestern 3 #20 Purdue 2.

  35. LC October 12, 2013 3:40 pm


    Wichita State

    A Wash
    San Diego beat Santa Clara

    No Help
    Portland State

    UCLA vs Oregon State

    Creighton – Marquette
    UTEP – Southern Miss

  36. LC October 12, 2013 5:44 pm

    Pink Night !

  37. Volleyball fan October 12, 2013 5:53 pm

    Matadors just beat the Anteaters so now Northridge is in solid #1 position.

  38. Kazu October 12, 2013 6:00 pm

    Northridge on the roll. Hope UCSB can beat them next week.

  39. LC October 12, 2013 6:12 pm

    Finally, help from UCLA

  40. Msrpantoja1@Huh.'A'loha October 12, 2013 6:39 pm

    I’m a UH / VB fan..
    Any one else??

    Na Wahine w/ five AAs on this school yr’s squad (1 NPOY, 1 Sand, 1 that’s still to come in 2013); I’ll watch this match tonight and bypass the one against the SLO Mustangs thnk u. Poly isn’t the team that it used to be yet some COULD agrue the same about UH, meh!

    This is the part of the year when 1) Some–including myself–could go into hibernation,
    2) UH will miss Croson SORELY, 3) Dave needs to dig deep from within to keep everybody motivated.

    Those who’ve played the game at higher levels can relate to what I’m saying; Mita just needs to climb onboard and become a member of the frat-sorority that I’m confident she’s able. Even when taken out to rest/be subbed at times, Rainette has already captured the national spotlight.

    T-E-A-M has nothing to do with ‘I’ and there’s a full team waiting on the Wahine bench & wanting to play. Some of the starters are henceforth also going into sleep mode.

  41. Cindy Luis October 12, 2013 7:07 pm

    The point I was making about playing back-to-back is Hawaii has to prepare for two consecutive matches. All the Big West teams play just one match the week they travel to Hawaii, and that is against UH. Cal Poly did not play last night while UH did.

  42. Cindy Luis October 12, 2013 8:16 pm

    28. Holy Cow, it was Shoji’s decision to play Friday-Sat. in part because it was better for fans with families to attend then on Thursday.

  43. Haolebob October 12, 2013 8:20 pm

    No. 41. I had the pleasure of watching Croson this week on TV and the way she played, UH should be thanking their lucky stars she is in Arizona. I did not get to see the UH – UCSB game but I have been able to see almost every other top 20 team so far, because I live in the Bay Area and PAC 12 games and East coast games are on all the time. Penn. looks good and Texas is starting to look better. In the next month I will get to see UH exact the pound of flesh from UCSB and Poly as well as the game against Davis. Also USC and Stanford both look tough! I still think the speed of UH can beat the size of all of these teams as long as UH looks to tool off the blocks rather than trying to break their opponents arms . UH has one other aspect of their game they must improve and that is putting the serve into play. i remember when Coach Dave stressed that point continually during practices. As always ” GO BOWS “.

  44. jake October 13, 2013 8:04 pm

    43. croson played a key role in arizona’s defeat for WSU at WSU. i thought she, if not for her problems,
    would have really helped na wahine with their second OH position.

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