2015 Wahine starters versus Idaho, 8/28/2015:
Outside: Kalei Greeley 6-2 So/Tai Manu-Olevau 6-0 Sr
Opposite: Nikki Taylor 6-4 Jr
Middle: Olivia Maquil 6-1 Sr/Annie Mitchem 6-3 Jr
Setter: Tayler Higgins 5-9 Jr
Libero: Savanah Kahakai 5-8 So
Kalei Greeley was last season best OH primary passer at .960%, only Kahakai had a better passing % at .973. Last year’s starting Libero Mendoza passed at .959%. Started the year a little shaky, passing and serving; but, improved as the season progressed. Ankle injury set her back towards the end of the season. Made the 2014 BWC All-Freshmen Team. With a year under her belt, I can only see significant improvement in her all-around game. Making 1st Team BWC is clearly within her reach.
Tai Manu-Olevau had 2 subpar season hitting at <.200%. Hopefully, the off-season, i.e. European Tour, and the Spring Match versus Texas has awaken this Athletic Wahine. Coach Shoji will stick with Tai no matter what stats she put on the board. Being this is Tai’s last hurrah she’ll go out with a bang. Tai will need to hit a least .250%. If she hits for >.280% for the season, and the dominos falls the Wahine way, Final Four Baby!
Nikki Taylor had no fall training camp to get ready for the season. Hampered nearly all-season long with her elbow injury, Nicky still managed to be the best BWC pin blocker at .99 Blk/Set. If she can improve on freshmen year stats, and continue her dominant pin blocking, All-American honors will follow.
Olivia Maquil, the only returning BWC All-American (Honorable Mention), IMHO, should have been at least a 2nd Team AA. Even with up and down passing from the get-go, she still was among the leaders with a .403 hitting %. With a year under their belts, Higgins to Maquil can only be better. Hopefully, coach will add just bit more than Maquil hitting in front of the setter…LOL, maybe a few quick sets in back of the setter, and a step-out move too!
Annie Mitchem will she be the next all-rotation MB? (Angelica Ljungquist 4-time AA, and 1996 AVCA and Volleyball Mag POY); or will she be a 4-rotation player? i.e. 1st Team AA Taylor Averill; Or will she be a Heather Bown (1998-99 AA, USA Olympic Team 2000, ’04, ’08) type of player? Bottom line, hopefully coach Shoji keeps her as a MB. If the passing is much improved over last season, Maquil/Mitchem will be among the best MB tandem in the Nation-hitting% and blocking/set.
Tayler Higgins took a lot of unwarranted criticism from a lot of fans. Bottom line, poor passing plagued the Wahine throughout the season. LOL…even with a good set, and faced with a lone blocker, the hitters have hit many a good set long or wide. Many have criticized Higgins sets to Maguil, but that missed connections weren’t always Tayler’s fault…sometimes Maquil was to eager and already was in the air, and had to adjust before striking the ball. Maquil hitting for >.400 and Adolpho for >.330…LOL…Higgins had a lot to do with those numbers. What separates Higgins from those AAs: 1) poor passing; 2) a lot of good sets to the outsides that went awry-hit long, wide or the hitters not making adjustments to the block, i.e. tooling the block, roll-shots, etc. Another KEY, Tayler must continue to jump-serve heat, but be successful a greater % over last-years numbers.
Savanah Kahakai was the best passer for the 2014 season at .973%. An injury during the middle of BWC season slowed her down quite a bit. Barring no setbacks, Savanah and Kalei will be the best primary passers on the team. So goes the passing, so goes the Wahine attack.
Outside: Makenna Granato 6-0 Fr/Casey Castillo 6-3 Fr
Opposite: Megan Huff 6-3 So
Middle: Emily Maglio 6-3 So/*Natasha Burns 6-5 Fr
Setter: Kendra Koelsch 6-1 So
Libero: Ponce 5-3 RsJr/Anderson 5-7 So/Guinasso 5-9 So
*Out 6 to 8 weeks due to a FX hand.
We will be seeing a lot of 3-0 wins for the Wahine, so IMHO Maglio, Granato and Huff will be seeing a lot of PT. Granato, if needed, can spell Savanah at Libero. And be a back-row sub for any of the Outsides and Middles.
Possible redshirts, to get stronger/quicker, and learn the Wahine’ system: Burns and Castillo.
Green and White Scrimmage
http://hawaiiathletics.com/news/2015/8/ ... ath=wvball
The above link pasted from the UH Athletic Website.
http://www.staradvertiser.com/sportspre ... =322616201
You will need to be a StarAdvertiser digital/print replica subscriber to open the above link:
White Team: OHs-Greeley/Manu-Olevao, opposite Taylor, middles Magill/Maglio, setter Higgins and Kahakai at Libero.
Green: OHs Granato/Castillo, opposite Huff, Middle Mitchem, DS Ponce, Anderson, Guinasso
Stats taken from the above StarAdvertiser link:
White team – Tayler at opposite had 12 kills, 2 errors, .400%; Greeley 10 kills, 2 errors, .320%; Magill 10 kills, 1E, 18 attempts, .500%; Maglio (switched with Mitchem for the 3rd set) had a total of 7 kills, 0 errors, on 12 attempts, 5 block assists. Higgins had 39 assists with the White hitting for .305. Manu-Olevao had 16 digs, but had a poor scrimmage attacking the ball. Kahakai had 14 digs.
Green team – with limited practice Mitchem had 6 kills. Switched sides with Maglio for the 3rd set. Had a total of 8 kills, 5 block assists, including 1 solo. Huff had 12 kills playing mostly opposite. Kendra Koelsch had 30 assists with her Green team hitting for .171%.
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