Shoji ready for 40th season in Manoa

Dave Shoji / Hawai'i Athletics
Dave Shoji / Hawai'i Athletics

HONOLULU – It wasn’t the surf that was up on Sunday morning, it was the serves.

The first practice of fall camp for the NCAA’s all-time winningest women’s volleyball coach commenced, as Dave Shoji geared up for his fourth decade at the helm in Manoa.

Season number 40 will start in reloading mode, as the Rainbow Wahine will be tasked with replacing four All-Big West caliber starters in Emily Hartong, Ali Longo, Mita Uiato, and Jade Vorster.

Despite those losses, the Lady Bows are still picked to win the conference for the third straight season, which would be their 20th straight overall.

The new wave taking over this year will be returning All-Big West outside hitter Nikki Taylor, who will miss time to start the season with a lingering elbow injury. Joining her will be returning starters in outside hitter Tai Manu-Olevao, and middle hitter Kalei Adolpho. Bolstering the defense will be University of Arizona transfer Olivia Magill, a middle blocker.

As for “uncle” Dave, the ageless one says the girls are what’s keeping him young, and day one never gets old.

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