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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Warrior volleyball reinstates Thomas

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

One of the school's top men's volleyball players has rejoined the University of Hawai'i for the home stretch.

Delano Thomas adds depth at the middle block.

Advertiser library photo • Jan. 8, 2002

Delano Thomas, a 6-foot-7 freshman middle blocker from Sacramento, yesterday was activated after receiving a satisfactory report from the program's academic adviser.

"We're glad to have him back," UH coach Mike Wilton said.

Thomas, who leads the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in hitting percentage, did not accompany the Warriors for the past two road trips, spanning six matches, because he did not meet team-imposed academic standards. UH went 3-3 in those matches, including two losses to Pepperdine, the MPSF's leader.

After reviewing last week's progress report, Wilton cleared Thomas to play against UC Irvine Friday and Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Warriors' final six matches of the regular season are at home.

"We could have used him on the road trips," Wilton said. "But it was more important for him to take care of business. What he does in the classroom will mean more to him in life than what he does on the volleyball court."

Thomas will be reunited with middle blockers Dejan Miladinovic and Brian Nordberg. Wilton said this week's practices will determine which two players will start.

Wilton also will evaluate the outside hitters. Against Pepperdine, only Costas Theocharidis played well. The other left-side hitter, Eyal Zimet, and right-side hitter Jose Delgado struggled against Pepperdine's towering block. Tony Ching, who missed six matches because of suspensions and illness, still is trying to regain his early-season form.

Wilton said he is hopeful Thomas will make an easy re-entry into the lineup. Thomas has not missed a practice in Honolulu.

The Warriors are 15-6 overall and third in the MPSF at 12-4.