PacWest Coaches Give UH-Hilo VB Low Ranking
The University of Hawai’i at Hilo women’s volleyball team was picked by coaches around the PacWest Conference to finish outside of the top ten this season, according to today’s release of the PacWest preseason coaches’ poll.
This year’s version of the Vulcans, led by veteran coach Tino Reyes, looks to rebound off of a 9-14 campaign last year. UH-Hilo was 8-12 in PacWest play just one year ago.
A reversal of fortunes this season will have to come from a roster that, outside of its core of Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, Kyndra Trevino-Scott, and Shelby Harguess, will look very different than the previous year.
UH-Hilo graduated five seniors last year, including attackers Stacey Witt and Callie Aberle, libero Kahealani Vento-Rowe, captain Abbey Wade, and defensive standout Tasha Meyer. Additionally, outside hitter Allee Johnson has transferred to St. Cloud State in Minnesota.
Along with Harguess, the lone senior on this year’s squad, and junior hitters Strand-Nicolaisen and Trevino-Scott, setter Sienna Davis returns for her junior season. So does outside hitter Morgan Lees. Outside of that, a large group of newcomers will be battling for playing time.
Four PacWest teams received first-place votes. BYU-Hawai’i and Dixie State each received four first place votes, but were picked to finish third and fourth, respectively. California Baptist and Point Loma Nazarene received three first place votes and were voted to end the year in first and second place, respectively.
UH-Hilo opens its season at home on Sept. 10 against Cal State Los Angeles.
2015 PacWest Volleyball Preseason Poll (first place votes in parenthesis)
1. California Baptist (3) – 176
2. Point Loma Nazarene (3) – 172
3. BYU-Hawai’i (4) – 169
4. Dixie State (4) – 152
5. Concordia – 136
6. Hawai’i Pacific – 123
7. Azusa Pacific – 115
8. Fresno Pacific – 104
9. Chaminade – 82
10. Academy of Art – 78
11. Hawai’i-Hilo – 59
12. Dominican – 54
13. Holy Names – 30
14. Notre Dame de Namur – 20
2015 Preseason All-PacWest Volleyball Team
Outside Hitters – Melissa Brum (Academy of Art), Lauren Hackett (California Baptist), Heather Leavitt (Point Loma Nazarene), Pomai Recca (Hawai’i Pacific)
Right Side Hitter – Mattie Shelford (Azusa Pacific)
Setters – Michelle Chen (BYU-Hawai’i), Savannah Wedemeyer (Point Loma Nazarene)
Libero – Hannah Butler (Fresno Pacific)
Player of the Year – Savannah Wedemeyer (Point Loma Nazarene)
Setter of the Year – Michelle Chen (BYU-Hawai’i)
Libero of the Year – Hannah Butler (Fresno Pacific)