Wahine No. 6 in AVCA poll, Mitchem out



Hawaii 6
1 Nebraska 2 Texas 3 Minnesota 4 Wisconsin 5 Kansas 6 Hawaii

As for the picture, first time I had seen this ‘Turn and Run’ drill. Baxter held a bozu ball above the net, Hall hit into the ball so that it would carom off like a touch on the block. defenders had to turn and run to chase down the ball.
Even though it looks like Baxter took a facial, a new ball was being tossed to Hall on Hall’s side of the net.


  1. Maverick August 10, 2016 9:26 am

    Full poll:

    UH’s ranked opponents:
    Wisconsin 4, Washington 7, UCLA 12, Arizona 31, LBSU 33

    Interestingly, #11 Stanford has one first-place vote. Nebraska has 60, Texas the remaining 3. There is no poll ballot detail until the next poll on August 29, so I have no idea who thinks Stanford is the best team. Yes, a monster recruiting class, but still all freshmen.

    Other not-so-interesting items:

    NCAA tourney opponent Texas A&M is ranked 16, spring match opponent Iowa State is ranked 32, NCAA tourney opponent TCU is ranked 39.

    Six of the top 25 are not from the power football conferences: Hawaii at 6, BYU 13, Creighton 18, Loyola Marymount 21, Western Kentucky 22, and Colorado State 25.

    All teams in the top 10 of last year’s final poll also appear in the top ten of this poll, although reshuffled. Wisconsin rose the most, from 10 to 4.

  2. Maverick August 10, 2016 9:28 am

    Top 10: Nebraska is #1 followed by Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Hawaii, Washington, USC, Penn St., and Florida.

  3. Cubicle1126 August 10, 2016 9:53 am

    hawaii starts the season above all of the pac-12 … interesting …

  4. Ron August 10, 2016 10:19 am

    Thanks Maverick, The Wahine have more control over their own destiny this year based on the rankings. All they need to do is win. Very exciting. I wanted to add that I think that UCSB will be better than 4th.

  5. Maverick August 10, 2016 10:23 am

    Big 10 has 7 teams in top 25, Pac-10 4, SEC 3, ACC 3, Big-12 2, all others 6.

  6. Maverick August 10, 2016 10:38 am

    4. Well, RPI rankings are paramount. So even if UH runs the table, it still needs the other Big West teams to have really good preseasons, unlike last year, in order to get a seed. I hope the Big West cellar dwellers down scheduled so they win more than last year.

  7. Cindy Luis August 10, 2016 10:44 am

    Thanks again Maverick. as mentioned on previous thread I was at Mrs. Nash’s funeral and hard to do a lot on the iPhone.

    it was a good turnout at Star of the Sea. Lots of fans and UH personnel from the 70s and 80s. Hadn’t seen Bob, Bobby or Erika in quite a while. Mrs. Nash was a very sweet and loving person.

  8. Cindy Luis August 10, 2016 10:45 am

    If you haven’t checked out Stan Lee’s video from Tuesday’s practice, here’s the link


  9. Cindy Luis August 10, 2016 11:05 am

    had to do some digging but No. 6 is the highest UH has been ranked in the preseason poll since 2005 when Wahine opened at No. 4

  10. Maverick August 10, 2016 11:15 am

    That was following UH’s 30-1 season in 2004. UH went 27-7 in 2005. Jamie Houston and Nickie Thomas were freshmen. Cayley Thurlby, Tara Hittle, Mrs. Kevin Federkine, Kanoe Kamana’o and Jayme Lee were on the roster, among others.

  11. Cindy Luis August 10, 2016 1:45 pm

    That 2005 was on the road for a long time at the end of the season. Believe Prince caught a bad cold in Reno and wasn’t a 100 percent for the NCAA tourney.
    Three WAC matches in Reno, 2 matches in Austin (think both UH and Texas were ranked No. 7 at the time) then to Penn State where they lost to Missouri which had a very unorthodox offense in the regional semis.
    Team had Arnott, Blood, Boogaard, Gregory, Hittle, Houston, Kamana’o, Keefe, Mason, Ong, Prince, Sanders, Thomas, Thurlby, Watanabe and Woolford.
    Jayme Lee was a redshirt. She played 2006-09.

  12. Cindy Luis August 10, 2016 4:26 pm

    Annie Mitchem injured her left hand in practice and is out pending a doctor’s evaluation on Friday. She missed the last 12 matches last season after breaking her right pinkie against UC Irvine on Oct. 17.
    She wasn’t cleared to practice today.

  13. Kazu August 10, 2016 4:32 pm

    12 What’s going on between her and Burns. Looks like a repeat from last year, hope they both get back before to long.

  14. Maverick August 10, 2016 4:43 pm

    Injury is one of the biggest threats to UH’s goal of getting to the final four, if not winning it all. Annie is expected to be a key contributor and Burns adds depth. Hope they get well soon.

  15. Maverick August 10, 2016 8:05 pm

    11. I didn’t follow the team closely in 2005, so I am only familiar with the historical info on UH’s site. Difficult for me to know how good that team was. Lost six matches out of its first 12, but three were sweeps to the two NCAA finalists and two were to Penn State. So five losses to teams that finished in the top 5 of the final AVCA poll. Cindy, maybe you can provide some perspective on the quality of that year’s team. It was a top 10 squad, but perhaps there was a gulf between top 5 and second 5.

  16. Ki August 10, 2016 10:04 pm

    I think 2005 is the year Tara Hittle got injured in the first match and Houston was thrown into the mix. They struggled at the beginning but eventually jelled in the end.

  17. Hot August 11, 2016 5:12 am

    15. That squad was coming off a 30-1 season that finished in the NCAA Regional Semifinal in a 5-set loss to Wisconsin. They lost just 3 players from the 2004 season, seniors Melody Eckmier and Teisa Fotu and walk-on DS Kahea Silva.

    2005 featured a pair of All-America returnees – Kanoe Kamana’o and Victoria Prince, along with 2004 all-WAC honorees Alicia Arnott, Susie Boogaard, Ashley Watanabe, Tara Hittle and Juliana Sanders. They added lone recruit Jamie Houston and activated 2004 redshirts Jessica Keefe and Nickie Thomas.

    Although they returned all seven starters, Shoji made changes in the lineup, switching OPP Hittle to the OH position, and moving Boogaard from OH to OPP. Unfortunately, Hittle was injured in pre-season practice, and newcomer Sarah Mason – a transfer from Oregon – started the opener. Mason also went down in that match, which opened the door for Houston.

    Arnott, their topscoring OH from 2004 and an All-Region HM, missed a few matches due to illness and ended up losing her starting job permanently.

    The trio of Houston, Mason and Hittle ended up taking turns at the two OH spots for most of the season. Prince and Sanders were in the middle, Kamana’o was the setter, with Boogaard opposite, and Watanabe was libero.

    Hawaii fell to Missouri in the round of 16 after defeating Texas 3-1 in the second round. Houston had 20 kills and hit over .500 in the Texas match.

    Kamana’o and Prince repeated as All-America selections. Watanabe was named to the All-Region HM list, the highest honor achieved by any UH libero. Sanders and Mason made first team All-WAC, while Boogaard, Houston and Hittle earned second team honors. Kamana’o was WAC POY for 2nd consecutive season.

  18. Big Island VB fan August 11, 2016 7:23 am

    How can Hawaii be ranked higher than Stanford and Penn State? Hawaii had only one great outside hitter. Can someone explain why Hawaii is ranked so high? Is it because of reaching the Elite 8 last year? Hope that Hawaii is not over-ranked only to suffer a free fall.

  19. Maverick August 11, 2016 8:49 am

    16, 17. Thx much.

    18. UH lost a great middle and an inconsistent OH, but returns everyone else and is a veteran team with lots of experience. Assuming her injury is not serious, Annie Mitchem should fill in nicely for the departed Olivia Magill. Biggest question mark is replacing Olevao at the OH position. Assuming a suitable replacement is found, and the setting and passing improves, then this squad is a legitimate final four team. UH ended up ranked 7 last year so 6 is very reasonable. Also remember that in addition to Taylor, UH had a great middle attack and was one of the top blocking team in the nation last year. It’s not just about the OHs.

    After losing to UH in the sweet 16 last year, Penn State graduated two big outsides in Whitney and Courtney, both 2nd team all-Americans. They still have a couple of very good players including first team all-American Washington, but my sense is that this team is trending down from years past. Even Russ Rose lamented about something missing in last year’s team. PSU ended last year at nine and remain there in the preseason poll. PSU is good but no longer otherworldly.

    Stanford ended last year at 14 after being swept on its home court by Loyola Marymount in the second round of the tournament. Big upset. The team lost Howard, Bugg, and Burgess from its last monster recruiting class, return AVCA freshman of the year Hodson, and redshirt senior Ajanaku from injury. They also return 6’8″ MB Lutz. They have another monster recruiting class that includes top setter Gray, 6’6″ OH Plummer, and 6’6″ MB Fitzmorris. Their top-ranked recruiting class has senior aces #2, 3, 14, 22, and 31. Amazing group but they are still freshmen. Ranked 11, they have the potential to rise.

    Final thought…this preseason poll is at best a guess. Take it with a grain of salt. Voters use last year’s final poll as a starting point and then make adjustments based on returnees, graduations and recruits–at least they should. Some make little effort at all. Personally, I think it makes sense to hold a poll after the non-conference is over, then the rankings will better reflect current year teams’ quality.

    But make no mistake: UH is the real deal this year and is Shoji’s best squad since the 2009 final four team.

  20. Cindy Luis August 11, 2016 9:28 am

    Thanks for all the insights.
    18. Hawaii is ranked so high … Agree with Maverick.
    Sometimes coaches look at last year’s final poll and do a little research but it’s pretty much round up the usual suspects.
    Following that logic, no surprise that Stanford finishing at 14 gets ranked at 11, helped by the points from the first-place vote.
    It’s 60 coaches making guesses and the points fall where they fall.

    As for this being the best since 2009, i think the 2011 team was very good, final four quality, but got jobbed by the bracket and the overloaded regional at the SSC

  21. Cubicle1126 August 11, 2016 9:29 am

    Big Island VB fan — in addition to Maverick’s solid input above … the AVCA preseason poll usually ends up just mirroring where teams finished in the final poll last year. that’s just the way these polls end up working out. the poll will sort itself out as the season progresses…

  22. Cindy Luis August 11, 2016 9:56 am


    new thread up for Thursday.

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