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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 10:13 a.m., Monday, March 22, 2004

Volleyball coach reinstates suspended players

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

University of Hawai‘i men’s volleyball coach Mike Wilton today reinstated the four players who were suspended for last week’s matches against top-ranked Brigham Young.

Opposite hitter Pedro Azenha, left-side hitter Delano Thomas, outside hitter/primary passer José José Delgado and backup middle blocker Dionisio Dante were suspended from competition for violating an unspecified team rule during a recent road trip.

The four refused to disclose the infraction before yesterday’s practice. Thomas declined to comment on his situation, but Delgado said, "I'm happy to be back."

Azenha said: "All four of us are sorry. We have to forget about it and practice hard."

Dante added: "I realized I made a mistake and I want to make up for it."

Wilton said the players who started against BYU will remain as the No. 1 unit for now.

"They’re back," Wilton said of the four, "and they need to understand there’s a new order going on, something special that we like a lot.

"What you see on the court — the enthusiasm — that’s not going to change. That’s how it is. ... (The four are) going to start from scratch. The guys who started (against BYU) are going to start."

Wilton said he will consider changes "if we see somebody, through his play or demeanor, who can elevate the play of the players around them."

After losing both matches to BYU, Wilton recalled, "Some people have said to me, 'You know, we don’t think you put a player on the floor who would have started for BYU.' Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know. The important thing to notice out of this is, whoever the guys were that we put out on the floor, they played at a level greater than the sum of the parts. That’s synergy. That’s a wonderful thing. It’s magic. That’s what we’re looking for."

Wilton said senior Kimo Tuyay, who started in place of ailing Brian Beckwith against BYU, also will remain in the starting lineup. Tuyay started the previous three seasons before suffering an ankle injury in fall training camp and ceding the job to Beckwith.