Tambini, Cariaga return to Rainbows
By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Brandon Masuoka
Two of three University of Hawai'i women basketball players suspended for violating team rules and sent back to Honolulu on last weekend's road trip were reinstated yesterday by head coach Jim Bolla.
Starting forward Pam Tambini and reserve guard Saundra Cariaga returned to practice after serving a one-game suspension.
Starting post player Alofa Toiaivao remained on indefinite suspension because her situation was not resolved with school administrators, Bolla said.
"Until it's finalized, I can't comment," he said.
Tambini and Cariaga were warmly greeted by teammates yesterday. They will be in uniform tonight when the Rainbow Wahine host Western Athletic Conference foe Utah State, Bolla said.
"I know that we violated the rules and that there's consequences," said Tambini, who declined to discuss what led to her suspension. "Now, it's time to move forward."
Bolla said Tambini and Cariaga will need to perform 10 hours of community service and will be on one-year probation. Bolla said both will have to earn their way back into the lineup.
Toiaivao missed the team's first road trip in December because she was "not playing hard" in practice, Bolla said at the time. She worked her way back, starting five of the last six games.
On Monday, Toiaivao said she and Cariaga violated the team's 11 p.m. curfew Saturday night at the team's Piccadilly Inn University Hotel following Hawai'i's 77-52 loss at Fresno State. Toiaivao said they were in Tambini's room until about 2 a.m.
Toiaivao did not attend practice yesterday, and chose not to comment.
"She's a great player, so when you lose someone like that, it's always going to hurt a little bit, but as long as other people step up," Hawai'i senior tri-captain Amy Sanders said.
After winning eight consecutive games, Hawai'i (10-6 overall, 1-4 WAC) has lost four in a row. Tonight's opponent, Utah State (1-14, 0-5), has lost nine in a row.
"The good news is, someone is going to win," Bolla said.
Taylor Richards and Ali Marchant lead the Aggies, averaging 10.1 points per game.
Hawai'i's probable starters are: guards Janevia Taylor (10.9 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game, 3.5 assists per game), Amy Kotani (1.4 ppg, 1.2 apg), forwards Amy Sanders (13.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.6 apg), Callie Spooner (2.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.3 apg) and center Brittany Grice (12.3 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.4 apg).
Reach Brandon Masuoka at email@example.com.