New head coach Charlie Wade is stressing academics.
"We talked about it. We started to kind of change the culture and identify what was going to define us, what was going to be important to us, and what it is going to mean to be a part of University of Hawaii men's volleyball. And certainly the academic component is something we pointed to," Wade told Hawaii News Now.
The coaching staff meets with each player every week to discuss their studies. The coaches visit classrooms, and if a player is absent, everyone on the team is held accountable.
"Someone coined the term 6:30 at 6:30. That's a mile on the track at 6:30 in the morning in under 6 minutes and 30 seconds," Wade said.
"If no one goes to class or something the whole team is punished, which is absolutely a great thing because it pushes everyone to do their part," Senior Middle Blocker Steven Grgas told Hawaii News Now.
Players have bought into Wade's philosophy and as a result they say they are better teammates and better students.
"My grades are getting better every single day and its just been helping the entire culture. Especially with the team. You know our cumulative (GPA) wasn't very good and now it's above 3.1. It's ridicules how much it's changed in a matter of months," said senior libero Ric Cervantes.
"I want to go out with a bang in all aspects of what I came here for. For volleyball. For school. For Hawaii. And there's nothing more .. nothing more happy than getting all those grades," Grgas said.
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