Three ranked foes await 'Bows in Classic
By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer
|Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic
WHERE: Stan Sheriff Center
5 p.m., No. 22 Louisville (0-0) vs. No. 13 UCLA (0-0)
7 p.m. (approximately), No. 6 Minnesota (0-0) vs. No. 2 HAWAI'I (1-1)
1 p.m., Minnesota vs. Louisville.
3 p.m., UCLA vs. Minnesota
5 p.m. (approximately), Louisville vs. HAWAI'I
Monday 4 p.m., UCLA vs. HAWAI'I
TV/RADIO: K5 (Channel 5) will broadcast all matches live and 1420 AM will broadcast UH matches live
TICKETS: $16 lower level, $13 upper level, $9 senior citizens (65-older), $6 students 4-18 and $3 UH System students. Saturday's match free.
The 16th annual Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic opens tomorrow with No. 13 UCLA taking on No. 22 Louisville at 5 p.m., followed by UH and Minnesota.
The Rainbows (1-1) were swept by defending NCAA champion USC Saturday and have thought of little else since.
"Obviously I didn't have the best game Saturday," UH libero Melissa Villaroman said, "but I'm glad it happened because now I know what I need to work on. The first few hours after the match I was pretty down, but from the next morning until right now I've figured why things went wrong."
Villaroman's answers are all very basic moving her feet, relaxing along the lines of what Coach Dave Shoji has been saying since Saturday. He believes Hawai'i lost because it couldn't convert routine plays, a problem that can be fixed.
He is more worried about his players' inability to play their best against the best.
"We've got to get over that hump," Shoji says. "We were in the same position last year against Stanford and we didn't come through. We've got to make a breakthrough in that sense. I'm sure a lot of people look at our team now and think ... we haven't won the last six games we wanted to win."
A look at the Classic's field:
No. 6 Minnesota (32-6 last year): A year ago the Golden Gophers were reeling from a sixth-place Big Ten finish and the loss of record-setting setter and Punahou graduate Lindsey Berg. Lindsey Taatjes (5-11 Jr. S) erased all worries with an all-region season, setting UM to its first conference championship and into the Sweet 16. Now, it has its highest preseason ranking and every starter back but one. That includes second-team All-America Cassie Busse (6-2 Sr. OH) and Mideast Region Freshman of the Year Paula Gentil (5-9 So. L).
No. 13 UCLA (20-14): The biggest name for the Bruins is their smallest player, all-region libero Chrissie Zartman (5-5 Jr.). She is one of five returning starters from a team that tied the UCLA record for most losses in a season. Brittany Ringel (6-1 Jr. OH) and Cira Wright (6-0 Sr. MB) were Pac-10 honorable mention selections.
No. 22 Louisville (28-6): Leonid Yelin, a former player and coach for Uzbekistan's national teams, has six foreign players in his eighth year at Louisville. Beijing's Bing Sun (6-1 Jr. OH) is one of four returning starters and Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year. Sonja Percan (6-2 Sr. OH), a member of Croatia's national team, is back after missing last year with an injury.
Reach Ann Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-8043.