UH-Hilo calls off sports road trips, expects PacWest conference to cancel spring sports later today

The University of Hawaii at Hilo is cancelling mainland road trips for its sports teams due to concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“We’ve made the decision to cancel our mainland trips in all of our spring sports right now,” Guillen said this morning.

The Vulcan women’s golf team is in Palm Desert, Calif. competing in the Spring Fling Invitational tournament hosted by Augustana University of Sioux Falls, S.D.

“They’re competing right now. If that tournament is cancelled, they will come back home,” Guillen said.

The baseball and women’s softball teams were both scheduled to play doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday against Academy of Arts at Brisbane, Calif., and next Wednesday and Thursday against Holy Names University at Hayward, Calif.

Both teams were at Hilo International Airport awaiting flights to take them to Northern California when the decision to cancel the trips were made, Guillen said.

“We made the decision to pull them back from the airport,” Guillen said. “Our (men’s and women’s) tennis teams are over in Honolulu right now, and matches at (University of Hawaii) Manoa have already been cancelled.”

UH-Manoa announced the cancellation of all spring sports today. Guillen said he expects the Pacific West Conference, the Division II conference in which the Vulcans compete, to make that decision for all its member schools in a conference call later today.

”All the schools in our conference, right now, are currently in meetings talking about this,” Guillen said. “We’ve got an emergency conference call later on this afternoon with all the athletic directors. The Big West and the Pac-12 (and) have announced the cancellation of all their spring sports. So I expect the PacWest conference to also make that announcement later on today.”

The Vuls men’s golf team has three tournaments on its official schedule this month, all after spring break.

And the NCAA has cancelled the “March Madness” men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in announcements made this morning, as well. On Wednesday, the NCAA announced the games would be played in largely empty arenas.

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Effective Monday, March 23, after spring break, UH-Hilo will be moving its classes online, the university announced this morning.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.