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Dave Shoji: Kalei Adolpho can be an All-American

December 2, 2012 - Robert Collias
Their season ended in a five-set heartbreaker — a sleepless night in Seattle, no doubt — when the University of Hawaii Wahine volleyball team fell to 13th-seeded Washington on Saturday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Next season, the Wahine return their entire roster, minus senior libero Emily Maeda, to a team that finished 27-3.

Hall of Fame coach Dave Shoji tol me on Tuesday night as they waited for their red-eye flight from Honolulu International that Molokai High School graduate Kalei Adolpho can be an All-American by the time she is a senior in two seasons.

If y'all don't want to read the link above — and believe me, you should — here is the pertinent quote from Shoji on Adolpho, who hit .349 with 100 blocks in 27 regular-season starts this season, only her sixth playing the sport:

"Every once in a while she looks like an All-American-type player," Shoji said. "She is a little up and down, she has some really great games and then some games where she has struggled. She has the ability, she just needs to refine all of her skills. By the time she is a senior she'll be an All-American, I think."

Saturday night, she played like it with seven kills, three blocks, two digs, a .417 hitting percentage, and a nifty, athletic, no-look assist to Jane Croson in the third set. Kamehameha Maui graduate Ginger Long had an assist and a dig one nights after having three digs, an assist and an ace in a sweep of Santa Clara.

Speculation is that the 65-year-old Shoji deeply desires one more national title before retiring — he has four — and that may coincide with the career arcs of Adolpho and Long, who just finished their sophomore and redshirt freshman seasons, respectively.

 
 

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