UH makes it official on Higgins, Taylor

November 15th, 2012

Missed putting this up yesterday. sorry. We already had reported this but here’s the official release.

University of Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine volleyball head coach Dave Shoji announced the signing of Hawai’i prep stars Tayler Higgins and Nikki Taylor for the 2013 season.

Higgins comes to UH as a true freshman from Punahou School. The 5-10 setter led the Buffanblu to 2 state titles.

“Tayler possesses the same athletic abilities as her brothers,” said Shoji, speaking of Jeremy who plays quarterback at UH and Cameron who played collegiately at Weber State. “She’s played at a high level in both club and high school and has been a winner at both. She can run a very sophisticated offense and will have no problems fitting into our system. She can also play defense, is a very good blocker, and has the leadership qualities needed in a setter.”

As a junior Higgins was named league player of the year and selected as the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year for Hawai’i. This past summer she earned Volleyball Magazine High School All-America honors and also ranks 19th on Prepvolleyball.com’s Senior Aces List. “Tayler will challenge for playing time next season and is going to be the Rainbow Wahine setter of the future,” added Shoji. “She will be the next in a long line of great local setters to play at UH.”

Taylor also is a true freshman. “Nikki has the potential to be a huge asset to our program and has the size and power of a terminal outside hitter,” Shoji said of his 6-3 outside hitter. “She has good all-around skills and could become a six-rotation player. She can play on the left or right side and we will try her at both positions.”

Taylor prepped at Kaiser High School in Honolulu and her brother, Josh, was the 2010 boys volleyball state player of the year at Punahou.  She did not play for the Cougars this year.

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  • Beauston November 15, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Uno1 shared this link on VT

    Good piece by Kirstin Olsen for Fox Sports West


    It’s great that Hartong and the Wahine is getting this kind of coverage on national media. Something tells me NPOY! Specially if the Wahine go deep in the tourney.

    • Cindy Luis November 15, 2012 at 9:52 am

      thank you.
      Hartong should be considered for NPOY but don’t know if she will. definitely first team AA this year.

    • rnr November 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Thanks for that link ! great recognition indeed for Hartong – for sure 1st team AA this year :)

  • dedicatedfan November 15, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Do not think she will get NPOY, only because she is a Junior. If she puts up these kinds of number, or better, next year, most definitely. I agree she will be 1st team AA.

  • dedicatedfan November 15, 2012 at 11:10 am

    At 5’10, Tayler will be one of Hawaii’s better blocking setters. Especially, after hitting the UH weight room and improving on her vertical.

    Nikki Taylor, will be one of the biggest and athletic RS hitters, Shoji has ever had. Do not think we will be hearing him say his RS hitters are a little undersized, at least for the next 4 years.

  • Checking Her Out November 15, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I just watched Hawai`i transfer Keani Passi in CSI’s first match at the NJCAA National Championships and she is a good little player but I still don’t know how well she will do in D1,she is kind of short.

    Digging na wahine has a nice set up with a link to the archived first match and an embedded video player for their second match of the day at 3:30.

  • Checking Her Out November 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Hartong doesn’t need to be concerned about how we remember her,she is a class act,great athlete and a great representative.

    As my mom would say,son why can’t you bring home a girl like that ?

    • Really?!? November 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      and your response would be, “mom, she’s 30 years younger than me but i promise, once i get out of your house, i will find me my first girlfriend.”

  • Checking Her Out November 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    So LBSU announces their recruiting class and that kid from Oregon isn’t listed. A walk on maybe ?

  • Checking Her Out November 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Stanford about to hurt our RPI,down 0-2 to USC.

    • vballfreak808 November 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      Stanford wins the 3rd set 29-27. Interesting that USC had 5 match points but couldn’t convert. I am really impressed with Natalie Hagglund. She has 39 digs and it has only been 3 sets so far. 15 in the first, 7 in the second, and 17 in the third.

      • Lanaiboy November 15, 2012 at 7:32 pm

        Hagglund wound up with 44 digs in four sets. Was impressed with the Stanford libero too; Gilbert had 32 digs, including some spectacular ones. Seemed like Gilbert came out of nowhere to nail the libero job. Stanford has three great backrow defensive players, two of them freshman, Howard and Burgess. Incredible number of digs for the two teams. Both teams had a hard time putting the ball on the floor at times.

    • dominq November 15, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      just hope that stanford will come back. theyre showing a lot of life now. i think if they win this match they’ll be garunteed a share of the pac-12 title. correct me if im wrong.

      • vballfreak808 November 15, 2012 at 7:21 pm

        Stanford loses 1-3

        • warriorfan November 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm

          Thought both teams looked very beatable, chance the wahine face one of them in the tourney, maybe both.

  • roofer68 November 15, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Cindy, Nikki Taylor is #26 in the Volleyball.com Senior Aces listing. There was no mention in the SA article, probably overlooked.

    • Cindy Luis November 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

      probably, info was from UH’s release.

  • dedicatedfan November 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I want to be the first to say it here, even tho she has not played a D1 match yet, Tayler Higgins will be the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Setter. On a side note, it will be fun next year, to see who tosses the ball higher on their serve, Jane Croson or Tayler Higgins. This girl can play all 6 positions, if Shoji wanted her to. I mean, she can be a decent OH, she has a whip of an arm.

    • warriorfan November 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      You are crazy, but I don’t disagree ( except about her playing all 6 positions that’s just ridiculous there is no way she could play middle) . I think she is the best setter to come out of Punahou, and better than Berg at the same age .

      • dedicatedfan November 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm

        You are right there, not middle. I have seen Kanoe play in high school, and Higgins is so much further along, there is no comparison. If Higgins stays healthy, she could quite possibly be the best setter the Wahine ever had. I mean, even better then her coach to be, Robyn Ah-Mow Santos.

    • hollycow November 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Don’t you mean all 6 rotations, not positions? Higgins better play all 6 rotations, haven’t seen any setter subbed out because she can’t play the back.

      • dedicatedfan November 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm

        Sorry folks, I am just getting a little to excited about this girl playing for the Wahine, and all the possibilities she will bring to the Wahine program.

  • dedicatedfan November 15, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    One thing Higgins will do is, force Uiato to step up her game. otherwise Uiato might find herself standing in the corner with the other substitute players. People have said, if you combine Uiato’s and Stauber’s strengths, you will come up with a great setter. Well that setter will arrive on UH’s Lower Campus in the form of Tayler Higgins, next fall.

    • omochaya November 16, 2012 at 12:44 am

      Stirring the pot again, ala Mafua and Uiato, now it’s Uiato and Higgins.

  • Grammy November 16, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Year after year as the best footballers leave our shores for greener pastures, Coach Dave picks off what turns into the ‘perfect fit’ for the Wahine program to continue to play Hawaii/Wahine ball. But his way, has infiltrated local high school play and even some national programs but more so smaller programs which benefit from ‘pearls’ from Hawaii that influence their gyms with high volleyball IQ and defense first attitudes which usually turn into winning records for them. Coach Dave’s program has set a standard for all local girls and some guys, too. Coach Dave is a bargain for all his upside and his continued success seems to be ‘assured’ as long as he wants and with the players who buy into his scheme. These two girls being the latest to committ to this wonderful volleyball tradition going on here in Hawaii.

  • Turfwar November 16, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Uiato is having a great year and her skills have improved every year she has been here. Even opposing coaches have commended her on her abilities to spread the ball around and her sets to the 3-meter attackers have been instrumental in the Wahine attack. I’ve also been able to watch Higgins play for a couple of years now as a family member is a teammate. She will someday be the “cornerstone” of the Wahine program but MIta has already proven herself at the collegiate level and as we all saw in the last game when Stauber was given the start in the third set against a middle of the pack Big West team she had to be replaced by Mita to avoid a loss. Higgins will be another in a long line of great Wahine setters but to already claiming her to surpass others including Robin Ah Mow before she has graduated from high school is simply not fair to her or others who have already accomplished so much.

    • dedicatedfan November 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      In no way am I putting Uiato down, she is an excellent setter. Was just trying to say, by Higgins there next fall, hoping Higgins can push Uiato to that Exceptional Status.

      As for Higgins, she is taller then Kanoe, Robyn, and Mita. Her skill set is so much further along then any one of those 3, coming out of high school. With Robyn being her coach, the sky is the limit for her. By the time she is done at UH, is can see her surpassing all 3 of them.

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