It will be an interesting final four

December 8th, 2012

Penn State def. Minnesota 3-1

Oregon def. Nebraska 3-1

Texas def. USC 3-0

Michigan def. Stanford 3-1

On Thursday

Penn State vs. Oregon

Michigan vs .Texas

I do agree with a previous comment that Hawaii was capable of beating these teams. Told my son before the Oregon-Nebraska match that I thought Oregon would win.

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  • GO BOWS!

    dang these michigan teams knocking out def. champs ucla AND no.2 pac-12 champs stanford.

    2 final four newbies vs 2 final 4 vets.
    i am rooting for oregon to win it all !!

  • Jesse

    anyone but Penn State, please.

    • gabs

      oh lord penn state with another cake walk to the final four. i hope Oregon gives them a taste of how it is to face a truly deserved ranked team in the ncaa tournament. honestly, oregon deserved the 4th overal seed.

      • I agree completely- go Oregon !!! I hope they do beat the Lions – what a cake walk they sure did have!!!! I’m shocked that Michigan is in beating the PAC 12 teams – they have a great shot in going all the way…. Hope UH schedules more of those teams in the coming seasons!

  • vballfreak808

    I would really love if Michigan can challenge Texas. Michigan is one of those teams I hope would come to play Hawaii. They are a good quality team.

    But I predict Texas winning it all right now. Even though Penn State swept them, Texas has changed their line-up. They are now running a 5-1 and has Kat Brooks (Punahou) playing 3 rotations in the back.

    • rayson

      Jerritt is a good recruiting coach (though how hard is it to recruit top players to Texas) but I’m not convinced of his game coaching skills. Going by their history, I think Texas falls short of the title yet again.

      I’m hoping for a Michigan-Oregon final.

  • Orbitalripz

    2013 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP conference winners and losers

    1. Thus far, the biggest winner is the 12-team Big Ten, which had 7 teams selected, of which #1-seed PSU and unseeded Michigan are in the Final Four. Unlikely but possible we could be seeing an all Big Ten Final. Aside: Unseeded Purdue boiled its way out of the Florida State subregional to make the West Lafayette regionals [home of the Boilermakers].

    2. The biggest loser? Tie between the 9-team ACC, which had 4 teams in the Big Dance but none could make it out of Round 2′s floors. And the 9-team WCC, which had an eye-popping 6 berths but only 1 made it as far as Round 3.

    3. Still in the running for the biggest winner are two conferences. The 9-team Big 12 had 5 teams, and subregional/regional host Texas can still bring lone-state glory to the Big 12 by taking the Final.

    And the 12-team Pac-12, which had 7 selected to dance in the Big Dance, one of the most unlikeliest dancers remain: Oregon, which is playing in only its third NCAA tournament in program history! Led by senior outside hitter Alaina Bergsma (named the Pac-12 Conference Volleyball Player of the Year) and junior Lauren Plum (tabbed the Pac-12 Conference Setter of the Year), who I have admired all season long, the Ducks are legit. Win it all and the “Conference of Champions” will have proven the NCAA committee right in seeding 5 of its teams.

    [While the NCAA committee is patting itself on its back, let's look at why as we look at the road to the Final Four of top-seed Penn State: Round 1 vs Binghamton (13-18) --> Round 2 vs Bowling Green (22-11) --> Round 3 vs #16-seed Kentucky (22-11) --> Round 4 vs #8-seed Minnesota (27-8). Great job NCAA committee!]

    • domm

      i am rooting for michigan vs. oregon.

      i will be so discontent if its texas vs. penn state.

    • THE great sleep over...

      They may not be sleeping in the same bed (together), but the B1G and the NCAA are definitely having one awesome pajama party as of late.

      R. Rose takes the lead on this one. The man is a statistician (has been, always will be…though it makes you wonder if he’s ever been able to simply give it the eye-test when it comes to recognizing true talent).

      ALL of these statistical tools, and tools are exactly what they are for manufactured excuses that could be used in ‘deflection’, da “tools” [ R(K)PI, Pablo, NCAA's headquartered computer analyses ] all originate in the east/B1G.

      Things just seem a bit too progressive (IF you ask me)!

  • I love underdogs, and Michigan the unseeded one to represent all the unseeded teams that the NCAA underestimated and are blind to. But I see a Oregon, Texas final with Texas with too many guns on top in 4.

  • Kauaiboy

    Hawaii could not compete with Texas or Penn St. I could see Hawaii staying with Oregon and eating Michigan but both Texas and Penn St areway to physical and tall . It’s scarey how athletic Texas is, if only Hawaii could land such talent…

    • Nikki Taylor and Tayler Higgins is a good start for next year and on. Hopefully a player for 2014 Taylor Agost who was on the bench on senior nite with Nikki and Hannah Rooks will commit to the Wahine. Senior nite was an ultimate exposure to Wahine volley, unique and the ultimate setting for D1 women volleyball.

      • Warriofan

        Saw a photo of Agost touching a basketball rim while smiling, very impressive leaping ability.

        • Warriofan

          She will be a star in college. Seems like Oregon will be tough to beat, hope she liked Senior night as much as I did.

          • Warriofan

            Wanna add, if she wants to become the best player she can be, she should choose hawaii. She seems like a very raw player but extremely athletic, those are the kind Dave Shoji transforms into superstars.
            She reminds me of a much taller Amber Kaufman

          • Kazu

            Great if she choose to come to UH. Maybe she can join Adolfo as a two sport athlete.

          • rnr

            thanks for that link/article… she will certainly be highly touted, but her coming to Senior night @ the SSC shows she must be interested in being here!! Hope she does go for it and become a Wahine!!!!

        • Not only can Agost touch the rim, but with two hands in the blocking jump. Single armswing hitting she registered 10’4″ and that was when she was a soph. She said her hops just comes naturally, never did exercise or train for it.

          • Warriofan

            I think if she gets stronger and gets proper training she could easily add 4-5 inches to her vertical and that would put her in Foluke/Hooker territory.

    • I completely agree on your comments, I think that Texas will take it all. One for the two locals.

      • Warriofan

        I don’t see how PSU won’t win it, they could sweep their way to another one.

        Oregon first time there, they will be wide eyed, Texas will choke when it gets to crunch time, and Michigan same as oregon.

  • OrbitalripZ

    The AVCA will anounce the All-America teams this week (First Team, Second Team, Third Team, HM). What it will not reveal is the POY, which will be announced after the Semifinals but before the Final.

    Here are the POY candidates.

    Penn State: Ariel Scott (OH, junior) & Micha Hancock (Setter, sophmore) & possibly another … Except for a pre-conference match, haven’t watched PSU so am agnostic here.

    Michigan: Jennifer Cross (MB, junior) & Lexi Erwin (OH, junior) … Go Blue!

    Texas: Haley Eckerman (OH, sophmore, 2011′s AVCA Freshmen of the Year) … When it comes to the Big 12 All-Conference POY, Texas has a near monopoly: Destinee Hooker (2009), Juliann Faucete (2010), Bailey Webster (2011), and now Haley Eckerman (2012). Aside: If you’re watching the Final Four, look for libero Sarah Palmer, who’s from Kailua.

    Oregon: Alaina Bergsma (6’3″ OH, senior) and Lauren Plum (Setter, junior)

    So who do I think is going to win? That’s why we have the Final Four — to watch all the All-Americans in live action. Prior to the Final Four, I like Oregon’s Lauren Plum, whom I have mentioned on Cindy’s blog several times over the course of the season . She reminds me — not a lot but somewhat — of Misty May-Treanor. I have also taken a liking to Oregon’s Alaina Bergsma.

    • Orbitalripz

      Error. Michigan’s Lexi Erwin made All-Region HM, and is therefore not eligible for All-American, if I understand the rules right. Jennifer Cross was never considered a National POY, but I list her only because she is Michigan’s only player on the All-Region selections.

    • Oracle

      IF Oregon gets past PSU (and that’s a BIG ‘if’), then a) Bergsma gets POY honors outta the not-so-mighty PAC, as the way things have panned out this postseason & b) Texas takes the title “who(m) I have mentioned on Cindy’s blog several times over the course of the season”. < JOKE! ;)

      Along those same lines…
      COY then goes to Shawn Olmstead (from a Mormon, 'volleyball rich' family with lots of history in the sport. a) he's resurrected/resurrection a defunct program…as the AVCA would otherwise ensure. b) they were competitive against OR in the round of 16. c) they'll finish the season ranked in the AVCA Top 10.

      Which means…
      Either UH or UW *I'm positive* takes a hit–making things a bit more urgent come the start of 2013–being ranked in the AVCA 10-15 range.

      The NCAA/AVCA knows what they are doing. ;-)
      Congrats to Shoji, but the award is nothing–through and true…somebody ask him if it's mere consolation. :o

    • Orbitalripz

      All correct except Michigan.

      Oregon: Bergsma and Plum AA First Team

      PSU: Scott and Hancock AA First Team

      Texas: Eckerman and Webster AA First Team ,,, I did include Bailey Webster as my choice for Big 12 POY over Eckerman (which I posted on VT) but when I added my comment on looking for the player from Hawai’i, somehow that sentence got cut out.

      Michigan:Scott AA Third Team (expected) but Erwin AA HM … If you are on the All-Region HM, you can only be selected AA HM — as pointed out by volleyballfreak808.

  • vballfreak808

    As much as I want Cross and Erwin for Michigan to get it, they won’t. It’s sad that Erwin can only get AVCA Honorable Mention. But the most I can see Cross getting is 3rd Team but most likely will be Honorable Mention. But I think after this weekends matches, they both deserve to be All-Americans.

    Michigan will be just as tough next year. They lose only their Opposite/Middle who has been really good this year. But they bring in #3 Senior Ace Abby Cole (6’5 Middle) and #91 Senior Ace Cindy Zhou (6’0 Setter). Reloading year for the Wolverines. I hope Rosen accepts an invitation to the islands if he is given one.

  • vballfreak808

    Wait is Hannah Rooks playing sand for Hawaii? Not sure thought I read it in a previous post a while ago.

  • jmy

    Who’s Coach of the Year? I think it should be Jim Moore of Oregon…

    • Warriofan

      Nah, has to be the michigan coach. his team has been the hottest team lately.

      • domm

        michigans been “hot” in the NCAA tournament.
        oregon’s been hot all season; best pac-12 finish as well as producing their first pac-12 player of the year. i would go with jim moore.

        • Warriofan

          Oregon returned everyone and was expected to be a top 8 team, Michigan was not, Rosen has totally coached them up.

  • No Guts No Glory

    I do believe neither are eligible for COY.The Regional coaches of the year are the only ones considered.

    • Warriofan

      Nope, final four coaches are in the running for coach of the year as well.

    • Orbitalripz

      True that.

      There’s something about the AVCA and Russ Rose, so wasn’t the least bit surprised that the Mideast Region COY went his way. Again. (I would have chosen Michigan’s Mark Rosen, but that’s silly me.)

      And there’s something about Kentucky and the AVCA, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Travis Hudson of Western Kentucky University is chosen National COY.

    • Warrior-15

      Slight clarification — the elite 8 coaches are eligible for “Coach of the Year” consideration (not just the Final Four coaches) …. as well as each of the already-selected region coaches.

      It’s on the AVCA web site.

      • Orbitalripz

        Mahalo for that info. Didn’t know that. That gives the AVCA a lot of “wiggle” room. So of the 8 Region COYs, only 1 (Rose) took his team to the Elite8. That means the AVCA has added a whopping 7 coaches (whom it did not select as Regon COY) to its list of National COY candidates.

        A pool of 15. By adding the additional coaches with the Region COYs, that move protects the AVCA from any criticism that the coaches of the Final were not among those considered for National COY.

        Like I said, that’s giving yourself “wiggle” room. Smart.

  • Kauaiboy

    A. Scott will win POY… Omg Stanford , Texas and Penn st will be nearly impossible to beat next year…. They return everyone and add awesome freshmen…

    • im just a fan.

      you obviously haven’t heard of Alaina Bergsma.

      • Kauaiboy

        I have and Scott is a bigger force…

        • kevin

          alainas attacking stats are much better than scotts.
          #5 in the country in kills(4.92) and hits .338%
          scott avgs like, 3 1/2 kills a set and hits barely above .300.
          i still prefer emily hartong over all though lol.
          it will most likely go to bergsma. john cook even stated that “she has his vote right now”.

  • Kauaiboy

    How does Nikki Taylor compare to Lily K. Coming out of high school. I think for a lot of us Hawaii residents we really have been exposed to seeing Nikki play… She’s a big question mark…

  • Kauaiboy


  • kidlv

    Is UH still interested in Kalei Greeley?

    • Warriofan

      I don’t see why not, she had a breakout junior year took her team to the CIF final, and first year as an outside hitter.
      6′ 3 with a big arm.

      • kidlv

        you can never know…. since schools show interest to a number of student athletes… but in this case she sounds like a solid player. Still getting used to the outside, has the height and the big arm you mentioned. Vertical could use some work, also some back court defense.. but nothing like a little weight training and coaching from Shoji can’t fix.

  • Beauston

    Looking forward to the Wahine’s incoming frosh next season, however not able to find any vids on Nikki Taylor. Her last full season I know was in 2010, injured in 2011 and sat out her senior year. Anyone?

  • vballfreak808

    According to, the Warriors received two local recruits. Kupono Fey (6’5 Outside/Opposite) from Punahou and plays for Kuikahi, and Nainoa Frank (6’5 Opposite/Middle) from Kalaheo and plays for Outrigger. Both made All-Tournament Team in the State Tournament. Good get for Hawaii

  • Hot

    Emily Hartong was named to the AVCA All-America first team. Mita Uiato garnered honorable mention honors. Penn State has four on the AA teams: Micha Hancock and Ariel Scott on the first team, Katie Slay on the second team and Deja McClendon on the third team. To be honest, I’m surprised that Hancock made the first team and that McClendon made any of the three teams. Stanford’s Ajanaku and USC’s Bricio were on the honorable mention list.

    • menehune

      Big congrats to Emily Hartong. Had a big time breakout first year as an OH and deservedly voted in as an AVCA first team AA. And we still have another year to watch her, hopefuly guiding the Wahine to the Final Four.

    • Beauston

      Congratulations to Hartong and Uiato.
      Surprised how little there are from Pac 12 including schools from UCLA, Stanford and Washington. I guess with Stanford, withthat many firepower, no real standout except Wopat.
      Did not see Gil from UW, Kidder only Hon Mention? Fuller only third?
      I expect Vorster and Croson to join the list next year. I wish Longo was in the mix as well. She shared a great deal of stabilizing back row’s defense this year. Oh well she should look at this as a challenge next year.
      Wish all the forementioned makes it to all regional next year to make the cut.

    • uhfan

      Congrats to Hartong and Uiato. Hartong now a All American at two different positions. Only other player who has done that is Teee right?

  • Beauston

    Btw, Cook, Werth, and Mancuso are all seniors this year. Would love to have Nebraska back here next year wether Spring or on one o the tourney and see how they play against UH who will be returning everyone.

  • rnr

    Big Congrats Hartong !!!

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