HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rainbow Warrior volleyball team is just one win away from its first NCAA title game appearance since 2002.
But while the stakes are high, the team is still dealing with an off-court distraction involving its head coach Charlie Wade.
Nearly a week after denying allegations of sexual misconduct, Wade made his first appearance before the national media on Wednesday and was pressed by members of the media to address the allegations.
"On the 25th the University of Hawaii said you hadn't been contacted by Safesport since the initial inquiry started have you requested a 72 hour hearing or have you contacted them in the last week?” asked one reporter.
Wade replied “Yeah, we're just going to talk about volleyball this week. We kind of operate with a lot of distractions during the year so we're just focused on volleyball right now."
When asked again moments later, the NCAA mediator for the press conference said, “Next question.”
With a final four matchup with Lewis looming Thursday night, Wade chose to keep his attention on the game instead of the allegations.
His players also aren’t letting outside distractions hinder their quest for a national title, either.
Joe Worsley/Senior Setter
“This team is so motivated that I guarantee you anything could happen and we are going to be ready for Thursday night, that’s for sure,” said setter Joe Worsley.
Thursday’s game will be their first time back in the Pyramid since having their 25-match win streak snapped last month.
Long Beach State will host Pepperdine in the other semifinal match with the winner … advancing to the National Title game on Saturday.