Florida middle blocker to join Wahine in 2011
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
The University of Hawai'i women's volleyball team will add an athletic and adventurous player to its program following a verbal commitment by middle blocker Jade Vorster of Orlando, Fla.
The 6-foot-4 junior middle blocker had a .479 hitting percentage (273 kills in 570 attempts) and .521 blocks per game for Timber Creek High School in the 2009 season, according to c2cschools.com. She can also play outside hitter.
Vorster's commitment is for the 2011 season.
Vorster visited last week, already knowing Hawai'i would be a good fit, because it was "a good school and it was great volleyball and it was just a great place to be."
But she had to be absolutely sure, so she and her mother Julia flew out to Honolulu on an unofficial visit.
"Right when I got on the island, it was beautiful," said Vorster, who also played basketball before deciding to focus on volleyball. "It was really windy when I came, but I thought it was so beautiful and I thought it would be a cool place to be, almost an adventure because I'd be coming from so far."
Timber Creek coach Allan Rubenstein calls Vorster a "gifted athlete."
"She's tall and athletic, but what sets her apart is she's really smart and quick to pick things up," Rubenstein said.
Vorster is well-traveled and open to new experiences, something Rubenstein believes makes her a good fit for Hawai'i, which he said was at the top of her wish list for at least a year.
"She's been heavily recruited," Rubenstein said. "She's gotten letters from just about every high-ranking program in the country and I've been fielding phone calls from multiple D1 schools, so it was obvious she had a lot of opportunities.
"She kept saying Hawai'i was her top choice."
Rubenstein said Vorster is "great student," involved in activities such as the National Honor Society and community and volunteer work.
He believes Vorster chose Hawai'i partly because of its competitive program and because of a "change of scenery."
"She's not afraid to travel and go somewhere far," Rubenstein said. "I guess (there's) the lure of going somewhere different than what she's used to.
"Her family is from South Africa, so it's not like she's someone who has not gotten around and who doesn't have a taste of something exotic or international."
Vorster added: "I do really like to travel, I like the different cultural experiences, different people and different food, which was also a plus (for Hawai'i).
"I've already learned so much coming there for just three full days."
Five NCAA Tournament teams highlight the 2010-11 season for the Rainbow Wahine, in a schedule announced yesterday.
UH opens the season with three tournaments, playing teams such as UCLA, Southern California, Saint Mary's and New Mexico, and hosts Brigham Young in back-to-back matches in September.
The season-opener is against San Diego Aug. 27 in the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational. For the second straight year the WAC Tournament will be held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
UH went 32-3 and reached the NCAA final four in 2009.
2010 RAINBOW WAHINE SCHEDULE
Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational
Aug. 27—UCLA vs. Kansas State, 5 p.m. Hawai'i vs. San Diego 7 p.m. Aug. 28—UCLA vs. San Diego 5 p.m. Hawai'i vs. Kansas State 7 p.m. Aug. 29—Kansas State vs. San Diego 3 p.m. Hawai'i vs. UCLA 5 p.m.
Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic
Sept. 2—New Mexico vs. Michigan St. 2 p.m. Sept. 3—New Mexico vs. USC 5 p.m. Hawai'i vs. Michigan State 7 p.m. Sept. 4—Michigan State vs. USC 5 p.m. Hawai'i vs. New Mexico 7 p.m. Sept. 5—Hawai'i vs. USC 5 p.m.
Honolulu Advertiser Volleyball Challenge
Sept. 9—UC Irvine vs. Saint Mary's 5 p.m. Hawai'i vs. San Diego State 7 p.m. Sept. 10—San Diego St. vs. Saint Mary's 5 p.m. Hawai'i vs. UC Irvine 7 p.m. Sept. 11—San Diego St. vs. UC Irvine 5 p.m. Hawai'i vs. Saint Mary's 7 p.m. Sept. 17-18—BYU 7 p.m. Sept. 23-24— *Utah State 7 p.m. Oct. 1—*at New Mexico State 7 p.m. Oct. 3—*at Louisiana Tech 3 p.m. Oct. 15—*San Jose State 7 p.m. Oct. 17—*Fresno State 5 p.m. Oct. 21—*at Idaho 7 p.m. Oct. 23—*at Boise State 7 p.m. Oct. 25—*at Utah State 7 p.m. Oct. 29—*Boise State 7 p.m. Oct. 31—*New Mexico State 5 p.m. Nov. 1—*Louisiana Tech 7 p.m. Nov. 5—Alumnae Match 5 p.m. Hawai'i Pacific University 7 p.m. Nov. 11—*at Fresno State 7 p.m. Nov. 13—*at San Jose State 7 p.m. Nov. 14—*at Nevada 6 p.m. Nov. 18—*Idaho 7 p.m.
Nov. 22-24 WAC Tournament
At Orleans Arena TBD
Dec. 2-5—NCAA 1st & 2nd Round TBD
Dec. 10-11—NCAA Regional TBD
Dec. 16, 18—NCAA Final Four TBD
* Western Athletic Conference match
All times local to site