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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Outrigger reduced to two-day event

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Mike Wilton

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After 12 years, the Outrigger Invitational for NCAA men's volleyball will change to a two-night format.

Next year's UH-hosted tournament again will feature top visiting teams from volleyball's three Division I-II conferences Penn State, Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne and Brigham Young. Penn State and IPFW competed in last week's NCAA final four.

But instead of a three-night, round robin, the tournament will be played on two nights (Friday, Jan. 26 and Saturday, Jan. 27), and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation members UH and BYU will not meet.

"I guess there won't be a champion," UH coach Mike Wilton said in announcing the format.

Wilton said he abandoned the previous format because of the difficulty in reserving the Stan Sheriff Center for three consecutive nights in January.

"We could have played on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but that would be a nightmare for attendance," he said.

With the tournament reduced to two nights, Wilton said, it was decided the MPSF teams would not meet. "We're going to be playing BYU in the conference, anyway," he said.

Wilton said he considered inviting 2006 national champion UCLA, but that would have forced the Bruins to rework their tentative schedule.

Wilton said the Warriors will play two exhibition matches in British Columbia in October, two exhibitions against Long Beach State in November, and two against the University of British Columbia in January.

In 2007, the Warriors play conference road matches against UCLA, UC Irvine, Long Beach State, BYU and UC San Diego. The home matches are against Pepperdine, Pacific, Cal State Northridge, Southern California, UC Santa Barbara and Stanford.

Wilton said Carl McGown, former coach of the BYU and U.S. Olympic teams, will return as a consultant for fall training. During McGown's three-month stay, Jason Salmeri will resign as full-time assistant coach and serve as a volunteer. Salmeri will return to full-time coach in January.

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.