CUH Sports Teams Getting Ready for Spring Competition


Kent Yamaguchi

CUH softball team taking batting practice in preparation for the shortened spring season.

All Chaminade University student-athletes and teams — men’s golf, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, women’s volleyball, softball, tennis, and men’s and women’s soccer — will look to return starting in January to begin their preparation to compete during the spring semester.

Many of the team’s schedules will be shortened, and teams will look to travel inter-island to play other Hawaii-based schools in the PacWest Conference. As of right now, all Chaminade sports teams are only scheduled to play against the University of Hawaii-Hilo and Hawaii Pacific University. Schedules are based on the current travel restrictions that have been imposed  based on the number of positive cases of coronavirus both on the mainland and in Hawaii.

“I am so excited for our sports to kick off this spring, and I want to be able to support this program and its athletes as their seasons are right around the corner,” Chaminade University Athletic Director Tom Buning said in an interview on Monday. “Our number one priority is everyone’s health and safety, but I certainly would love to attend as many games as I can to support all of our sports teams competing this coming academic year.”

“Our first step, in returning to sports was to introduce virtual workouts with our strength and conditioning coach. These individual online workouts were started in preparation for progression to small group teams practices,” Buning said. “Our traditional fall sports teams, instead of being in their official season have been able to practice under the NCAA’s off-season rules, which limit the number of days and hours per week.”

The NCAA has recognized that this year’s competitive season has been greatly impacted and that some student-athletes may choose to opt out of competition due concerns over the pandemic.  As a result, those athletes on Fall and Winter sports teams will be granted another year of eligibility to compete in a full season in the next academic year.

Chaminade team sports have been able to hold limited small group team practices with their coaches for the past two months. However, all teams are unable to hold team practices during this week due to students taking final exams.

The women’s and men’s basketball teams at Chaminade University will be the first to start competing around January 21 or 22, said Buning, who is in his first season as the CUH athletic director, taking over for long-time AD Bill Villa. The Silverswords are looking to have six games against HPU and another six more against UH-Hilo, with half of those games at home in McCabe Gym.

“We don’t know exactly whom we will play to kick off our season, but we are hoping that one of these two days will mark the start of our sports season,” he said. “Since we are starting to ramp up to prepare for competition, we will need to conduct strict COVID-19 testing, which means we will need to test players on a regular basis whether it is for full team practice or as a requirement prior to team travel.”

The NCAA has committed to holding a college basketball postseason tournament this spring. Therefore the Basketball schedule is being finalized to allow teams to have the minimum number of contests (11) to be eligible for a playoff bid. The fall sports however, had their conference and NCAA opportunities for postseason cancelled. For both CUH men’s and women’s soccer teams their six-game season will start sometime during February.  As for the CUH women’s volleyball team, their season will start in March or April around the time that  basketball is done. They will compete in four weekend tournament style matches against HPU and UH-Hilo to round up the regular season. 

For the Chaminade softball team, the schedule is still yet to be finalized. Buning mentioned that the schedule should be finalized sometime in the middle of December. Softball will most likely be the only team to officially travel to the mainland, depending on lifted travel restrictions by the State of Hawaii and mainland COVID-19 cases.

Chaminade’s cross country team, will likely start in January or early February, will look forward to possibly two races in order to qualify for the conference championship.

CUH men’s golf team was the only sport to compete in the PacWest for the fall semester, and did so playing against inter-island rivals HPU in a dual match at Pearl Country Club. Though golf was the only team to compete their championship season will start sometime around March. There are no official set matches yet for men’s golf, but will be later announced sometime within December or the beginning of January.

The Chaminade tennis team will look to start at the same as cross country, though their matches are still yet to be announced officially. The PacWest Conference still anticipates hosting a championship in late spring in Arizona. However, teams will have to schedule accordingly to qualify for the postseason.

If the number of new COVID-19 cases decline and restrictions are further lifted, teams will potentially have the opportunity later in the spring season to travel to the mainland for competitions against some of the other PacWest schools in California. Some of the scheduling options being considered are building in the flexibility to make this opportunity possible.