HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rainbow Wahine are set to face their toughest challenge of the season, as they head to the mainland for a two-game series against Big West leader UC Irvine this weekend.
The lady ‘Bows are coming off one of their best performance of the season, a two-game sweep of Cal State Fullerton, looking to build off of the momentum and getting acclimated to the physicality of the game, according to head coach Laura Beeman.
“Just as the season goes I think that we’ll hit more shots at times, it’ll clear up some of the thinking that goes on the floor as you get in better shape, but the young ladies have done a great job of pushing themselves through while not being in game-shape.” Coach Beeman told reporters. “Now its more of getting used to the repetitive banging more than it is the cardiovascular, I think cardiovascular were close very close, its the banging and that’s something people don’t take into consideration, the amount of times you get hit on a screen or setting a screen or diving on the floor, you know just the contact that happens, that’s something that the body is going to continue to acclimate to.”
Throughout the season, UH has relied on several underclassmen that got unexpected minutes due to opt-outs and injuries, including freshman Kelsie Imai, who is taking any of the extra time for granted as she develops as a Wahine.
“Every game is important because you never know when were not going to play or when they’re just going to throw us back into quarantine, so you’ve just got to go out there and play.” Imai said.
On that point, no one on the team is taking a game for granted, especially in the age of COVID-19 where a game can be taken away in the blink of an eye.
“I think every weekend, whether its home or away, is important because of the uncertainty of COVID, you want as many games as you possibly can get, obviously you want to win those games, the magic recipe is to win at home and split on the road, obviously we go into road trips wanting to win two.” Coach Beeman said.
Looking ahead to UH’s battle with the Anteaters, the two-game series will help shape the standings in the Big West Conference, with Hawaii looking to separate themselves from the pack.
“So Irvine is looking at protecting their own home court, they need to cause separation, they know that were chomping at the bit to split on the road if not better, so that we can kind of get ourselves also out of that pack, but one game at a time, were going after Friday night,” Coach Beeman said. “We’ll see what happens and make our adjustments and then we’ll play again on Saturday.”
The Wahine and the Anteaters take the floor Friday and Saturday from California — both games tip off at 2:00 p.m. Hawaii time, streaming on ESPN 3.