Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Rainbow Wahine now No. 1

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

The University of Hawai'i women's team returned to the No. 1 position in the USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches Association poll for the first time in six years yesterday.

"It is flattering but it is just someone's opinion," said UH coach Dave Shoji, one of the 49 coaches out of a panel of 65 who voted the Rainbow Wahine No. 1 in this week's poll.

The Rainbows (21-0), who had occupied the No. 2 position for the past seven weeks, replaced Southern California after the Trojans lost to Stanford Saturday.

The then-No. 6 Cardinal beat USC, 30-26, 16-30, 26-30, 30-28, 16-14, before 2,115 in Los Angeles. USC is 19-1 and Stanford, which has moved up to No. 4, is 21-3.

The Cardinal, the defending national champion, will play the Rainbows Sunday at 6 p.m. at Stan Sheriff Center. The match is sold out.

Shoji sought to play down the importance of being No. 1 at this point in the season.

"There are six or seven teams that have just as good a chance (at the national title); it just comes down to who is No. 1 at the end," he said.

UH has won four national championships, most recently in 1987.

The last time UH was No. 1 in the coaches' poll was Oct. 28, 1996. It was briefly No. 1 in the Volleyball Magazine poll two years ago.

In this week's coaches' poll, USC received 12 first-place votes, Stanford 3 and UC-Santa Barbara 1.

Shoji, whose team began the season at No. 4, said he was not surprised by the elevation to No. 1. "It was kind of natural; when No. 1 loses, everybody moves up," he said. "And that's pretty much what happened."