Rainbow Wahine volleyball team focuses on WAC conference

Kanani Herring
Kanani Herring
Dave Shoji
Dave Shoji
Aneli Cubi-Otineru
Aneli Cubi-Otineru

By Jason Tang - bio | email

MANOA (KHNL) - Only 15 days remain until the University of Hawaii football season opens up in Florida against the fifth ranked Gators.

The Warriors aren't the only team starting their season against a top ranked team though the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team is going after number one.

For the Warriors, it's all about the Gators. But for the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team, their focus is on the defending national champions.

"Much like the football team talks about Florida everyday, our team talks about Penn State just about everyday, I know it's on our mind," said Dave Shoji, Wahine volleyball head coach.

The Wahine open up their season at home against the Nittany Lions, and the team is looking forward to the challenge.

"Whether we win or lose it's a great opportunity to play the national champions, and especially in the beginning of the season it will tell us where we're at and if we meet up with them in the final four we'll know what to expect," said Aneli Cubi-Otineru, Wahine outside hitter.

The defending Western Athletic Conference champions are a favorite to win a 13th straight WAC title, but they've also got their sights set on what Penn State holds.

"I think we have the opportunity, we're playing a lot of great teams in the beginning, I think that will get us ready for the middle part of the season and the playoffs and I think we have a chance to get to that national championship."

They'll accomplish their goal with a proven set of veterans, and some very talented newcomers like Kamehameha's Kanani Herring, one of the top recruits in the country.

"I'm just super excited to be a part of this team, I'm not really thinking of what everybody is expecting from me, except what I'm expecting of myself," said Herring.

Kanani isn't the only fresh faces fans will see. Coach Shoji also says there's a lot of talent who didn't get playing time last year who will make a big impact this year.

The Wahine open the season on August 29th.