Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Low seed adds to Hawaii's motivation to make NCAA women's volleyball Final Four

TAMPA — Hawaii has come a long way to get to the national semifinals.

We're not talking just distance, either. (The trip from Honolulu is about 4,700 miles.) No, we're talking perception. Despite being ranked No. 3 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, Hawaii was one of the last of the 16 teams to be seeded.

"It was pretty upsetting that we were seeded 12th," senior outside hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru said during Wednesday's news conference at the St. Pete Times Forum. "But we've proved to everyone that we could be in the Final Four."

Her team is the lowest-seeded team to make it this far.

"I think initially everybody was disappointed in our seed, but once we got back to work in the practice gym, it didn't really matter where we got seeded," coach Dave Shoji said. "Of course, I had strong comments about it, but the players knew we had to go out and play.

"The one thing the seed did do for us was keep us away from Penn State or Texas in a regional. So that was a blessing that we had that opportunity maybe to get here and then play them, so in the long run, it was okay we got seeded where we did."

Did you know? Texas senior outside hitter Destinee Hooker, a first team coaches association All-American for the second straight year, is a four-time NCAA champion in the high jump. She teamed with her sister Marshevet Hooker, a 2008 Olympian, to lead the Longhorns to the 2006 indoor track and field championship.

Said Destinee: "Track and field is a very individual sport. With volleyball, I love building a bond with my teammates, giving energy and receiving energy from them."

Single-session tickets available: Instead of buying a tournament pass for $60, fans now can buy tickets for tonight's games or Saturday's final for $30 at the Times Forum box office or through Ticketmaster.

National acclaim: Penn State predictably dominated the coaches association Division I first-team All-America list with four picks: senior OH Megan Hodge, a four-time first-team pick; senior S Alisha Glass, junior OH Blair Brown, and junior MB Arielle Wilson.

Texas had two players on the first team, Hooker and senior S Ashley Engle, who were joined by fellow national semifinalists in sophomore OH Kanani Danielson (Hawaii) and junior MB Lauren Gibbemeyer (Minnesota).

Florida State senior MB Brianna Barry and Florida sophomore S Kelly Murphy were second-team selections. FSU senior MB Jordana Price, Florida senior libero Elyse Cusack and Duke sophomore S Kellie Catanach (Plant High and the daughter of longtime University of Tampa coach Chris Catanach) were honorable mention All-Americans.

Low seed adds to Hawaii's motivation to make NCAA women's volleyball Final Four 12/16/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 10:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-Louisville


    1. One of the many hard-to-believe stats about FSU's underperforming defense: DE Brian Burns led all freshmen nationally with 9 ½ sacks last year; his first one this season came midway through the second quarter Saturday.

    TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 21: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals runs the ball into the endzone for a touchdown during their game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) 775042617
  2. Late fumble, field goal send Florida State to another loss


    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher didn't have an explanation for the turning point in Saturday's 31-28 last-second loss to Louisville.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson gets past Florida State's Matthew Thomas to score in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102
  3. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind


    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  4. Nicked-up Lightning vs. Penguins tonight



  5. What we've learned from the Bucs' and Bills' playoff droughts


    Is it possible for the Buccaneers and Bills to be any farther off the NFL's radar? You get the feeling schedule-makers didn't think twice about putting this one down for 1 p.m. Sunday — the let's-hope-no-one-notices time slot.

    [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]