UHH Volleyball Picked 11th in PWC Preseason Poll
If Tino Reyes’ expectations come to fruition, last year’s growing pains should lead to better results in the PacWest for his University of Hawai`i at Hilo women’s volleyball team.
Coaches around the conference aren’t completely on board with that idea, however. The Vulcans were picked to finish 11th in the conference, well behind projected favorite Point Loma Nazarene.
Reyes returns three dynamic players for their sophomore seasons, including the top two attackers from last season in Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, a Ka`u High graduate, and Kyndra Trevino-Scott. Equally as important, however, is setter Sienna Davis, who will be tasked with feeding her teammates with quality attack opportunities.
“Right now, it’s a work in progress, but they know they can do it,” said Reyes, who enters his fourth year at the helm of the volleyball program. “We’ve just gotta get to the point where it becomes natural and you don’t have to think about it.”
Another sophomore expected to produce this season is Allee Johnson, who sat out the first seven games of last season before averaging 1.91 kills per set in the final 18 matches of the season.
“I expect Allee Johnson to be a much better player than she was for us last year as a freshman,” Reyes predicted. “I think it took a little bit longer and her learning curve wasn’t as fast as the other three freshmen.”
Reyes does have five returning seniors on the team, including outside hitter Abbey Wade, who has been with the program for the past three years. Last year, she was described by Reyes as the “mama hen” of the group, making her an easy choice as a team captain.
Four other seniors are entering their second and final seasons with the Vulcans, Defensive specialists Kahealani Vento-Rowe and Tasha Meyer are tasked with solidifying the back row, while outside hitters Callie Aberle and Stacey Witt will need to be active in balancing out the attack.
“Our team is going to be as good as how they play, not how the sophomores play” said Reyes.
UH-Hilo opens its season at the Cannon Activities Center in Laie on Sept. 5 for a neutral site match against Deaman College.
2014 Preseason All-PacWest Volleyball Poll
(first place votes listed next to each school where applicable)
1. Point Loma Nazarene (5) – 160 points
2. BYU-Hawai`i (7) – 155
3. California Baptist – 138
4. Dixie State – 125
5-tie. Hawai`i Pacific – 109
5-tie. Fresno Pacific (1) – 109
7. Azusa Pacific – 107
8. Dominican – 69
9. Academy of Art – 63
10. Chaminade – 51
11. Hawai`i-Hilo – 48
12. Notre Dame de Namur – 28
13. Holy Names – 21
2014 Preseason All-PacWest Volleyball Team
Shin Ting (Stella) Chen (Sr.) – BYU-Hawai`i
Rupia Inck (Sr.) – Fresno Pacific
Heather Leavitt (Jr.) – Point Loma Nazarene
Alyssa Dwyer (Sr.) – Point Loma Nazarene
Erh Fang (Ariel) Hsu (Sr.) – BYU-Hawai`i
Savannah Wedemeyer (Jr.) – Point Loma Nazarene
Hannah Butler (Jr.) – Fresno Pacific
2014 Preseason All-PacWest Volleyball Awards
Player of the Year
Shih Ting (Stella) Chen – BYU-Hawai`i
Setter of the Year
Savannah Wedemeyer – Point Loma Nazarene
Libero of the Year
Hannah Butler – Fresno Pacific
Coach of the Year
Mona Ah-Hoy – BYU-Hawai`i