Wade knows way around UOP
By Stephen Tsai
After serving as the head coach of Pacific's women's volleyball team the previous three years, Charlie Wade is familiar with Stockton, Calif.
"I know where to park," said Wade, whose Hawai'i men's volleyball team plays Pacific tonight and tomorrow in the Spanos Center. "I didn't need the GPS to go to the hotel."
Now Wade's primary concern is helping the Warriors (2-3) get back on track following consecutive three-set losses to third-ranked Stanford the past weekend.
The No. 9 Warriors had difficulty against the Cardinal's speedy offense,
"We were moving too much on defense," left-side hitter Joshua Walker recalled. "We couldn't really sideout as much. Stanford runs a really fast offense, and we couldn't adjust. We were a little bit slow."
Pacific, in contrast, runs a more deliberate high-ball attack. Still, the Warriors' plan remains to pick up the pace. That means tougher serves, better block recognition, more accurate passes.
"Stanford really exposes if you're undisciplined defensively," Wade said.
After a detailed video session yesterday, the Warriors believe their problems are correctable.
The Warriors, who have been on the Mainland since Wednesday, spent much of yesterday's practice focusing on ball-control and serving.
They insist Spanos' spacious floor area will be helpful.
"It's so spread out," Walker said. "It's a lot like the Stan Sheriff (Center). You can see the ball pretty good."
The Warriors are expected to stick with their same lineup of middles Steven Grgas and Matt Rawson, opposite attacker Jonas Umlauft, setter Nejc Zemljak, libero Ric Cervantes, and left-side hitters Gus Tuaniga and Walker.
"Unless there's a compelling reason to do things differently, we'll keep going," Wade said.
But Wade has been willing to go to his bench, summoning outside hitter Steven Hunter, middle blocker Brennan Dyer and setter Sam Morehouse.
"It's not 'depth' if you don't play them," Wade said.
Wade is familiar with the Tigers' schemes, having attending most of their matches the past three years. But the Tigers have some new wrinkles. Middle blocker Niokola Vukicevic of Serbia and opposite attacker Florian Gornik, an Austria resident, are in the starting lineup. Redshirt freshman Patrick Tunnell is the starting setter.
"Anytime you add two starters to a team in this league, that's pretty significant," Wade said of Vukicevic and Gornik.
Walker said: "They're going to be tough. And they're at home. Any road game, we have to be focused."
Both teams are 0-2 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches.