Rainbow Wahine fail to make WNIT field
The University of Hawai'i women's basketball team was not selected to participate in the 40-team Women's National Invitation Tournament, officially ending its 2005-06 season yesterday.
"We had considerable consideration, but we didn't get in," said Hawai'i second-year coach Jim Bolla, who learned of the news after WNIT officials spoke with UH athletic director Herman Frazier.
Hawai'i (18-10) started its season winning 10 of its first 12 games, but went 8-8 the rest of the way, including a 91-52 loss at Louisiana Tech in its final regular-season Western Athletic Conference game.
Third-seeded Hawai'i was then upset in the WAC Tournament quarterfinals by sixth-seeded Boise State, 72-63, on Wednesday in Reno, Nev.
Bolla said those losses hurt Hawai'i's postseason chances.
"I thought it was iffy at best, to be honest with you," said Bolla, who believed Hawai'i needed to reach the WAC Tournament semifinals for postseason consideration.
Bolla said he was not given any specific reasons on why Hawai'i was not selected for the WNIT.
"They didn't pick us," Bolla said. "I don't know if they gave any justification."
Hawai'i's 18 wins and its third-place finish in the WAC regular season was the team's best since the 2001-02 season when it won 23 games and finished tied for second in the WAC.
The Rainbow Wahine were picked to finish fifth in both the coaches' and media preseason polls this season.
"We still had a good season," Bolla said. "Eighteen wins is a good season.
"We're making progress," Bolla continued. "We need to sign a couple of players, and get some offseason work with the returning players. Everybody starts next year 0-0."
Hawai'i made its last WNIT appearance in 2003, losing at Arizona State, 57-44, in the opening round.