Saturday, March 22, 2008

High Hopes Crashing Down…

It’s been kinda crazy so I haven’t been paying close attention to the volleyball as I usually do. I’m just realizing this as I’m listening to the second match between the #14 UH Warriors and the #12 USC Trojans. The Trojans won the first match last night, 30-22, 24-30, 30-26, 30-24. Looking at the box scores from last night…not pretty.

So I’m listening to the match on the radio because they’re at USC again tonight. Game 1 went to Hawai‘i, 30-28. Then they got slaughtered in games 2 and 3, scoring just 16 and 17 respectively. They’re fighting back here in game 4, trying to take it to a fifth game. I looked up the USC roster and if I remember correctly, they only graduated one senior last year who wasn’t really a starter; just by that, they should be a really strong team. They’ve got strong seniors and juniors this year with lots of experience: the lefty Schellenberg, steady-setter Killian, the fiery Figueroa, the quirky Matt Anderson. Pavlovich, Current and Vernon have had game time experience. They picked up a couple of top Hawai‘i prospects in McKibbin (Punahou) and Tri Bourne (Academy of the Pacific). Plus 22 others on the roster of whom I am sure there is some surprise talent.

[Hawai‘i has just amazingly taken game 4, 32-30, and is going into game 5, still playing to win!]

Then I looked at the national rankings. Hawai‘i is currently 14th, USC is 12th. I was expecting USC to be a little higher with the fire power they brought back this year. In the MPSF, we’re battling them for 8th place. Next I see that Northridge (CSUN), who is usually at the bottom of the MPSF and the national rankings, are tied for first with Penn State! What?!! And Loyola-Chicago (LUC) just dropped off the national rankings, what?! A few weekly polls ago, UH had dropped off the national also. So, with Penn State and BYU generally dominating the polls this year, a general powerhouse like UH and the quickly-building LUC dropping in and out of the polls, and the low-ranking for the past several seasons CSUN at the top nationally, um, it’s a crazy year, a very volatile competitive year. I have no idea who’s going to win the MPSF or the Nationals, it’s anyone’s game at the moment.

AND, looking at the rest of UH’s schedule, it’s very possible that UH might not make the MPSF. I am saying this as a very optimistic loyal UH fan. The top 6 make it automatically while 7 and 8 plays to enter the tournament. Even if they win tonight, they’ll be in 8th for the MPSF. Next, UH remains on the road to visit current #1 CSUN, then home for BYU who had been battling Penn State for first for most of this season, and finishing off on the road at Pepperdine at #5.

So, we still have a chance however slim it may be. A couple years ago, UCLA struggled most of the season to win it all, so…. I don’t know, it’s a little hard to be optimistic this year.

HAWAI‘I WINS, HAWAI‘I WINS, HAWAI‘I WINS!!! 17-15 in extra play. Unbelievable, great.

So the full sentence is… high hopes crashing down to float on the surface towards the edge of a very high waterfall.

I hope we survive the drop!

And just a note: on the side, one of the link groups I've started to put up is for "Featured Entries." These are ones that I hope you would not miss reading so if it's there, please check out those entries. Well, it's my blog so I think every entry is meaningful, but, you know... Mahalo!

[Picture of Schkud by UH Athletics]