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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Isle volleyball talent in abundance

By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer

When the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship Tournament starts Friday, local fans will have their eyes on more than just Hawai'i's first-round match against Tennessee State. The 64-team bracket features nine teams other than the Rainbow Wahine with homegrown talent, including their opponent.

Tennessee State (20-13) has a pair of local freshmen in outside hitter Precious Salazar (Kamehameha-Hawai'i '07 of Pahoa) and middle blocker/outside hitter Makena Naho'oikaika (Kamehameha-Hawai'i '07 of Hilo).

In other first-round matches that feature players from Hawai'i:

Santa Clara junior outside hitter/defensive specialist Michelle Luxton (Punahou '05 of Honolulu) and the Broncos (19-11) face top-seeded Stanford.

Pepperdine (18-10) senior middle blocker Lecca Roberts (Seabury Hall '04 of Kula) and freshman setter Kealohilani Kea (Kamehameha '07 of Honolulu) meet fifth-seeded Southern California.

UNLV (24-5), which has freshmen Kela Lau Hee (Kamehameha-Maui '07 of Pukalani) and Saulie-Ann Wong (Waimea '07 of Hanapepe), meets Long Beach State.

Princeton (22-3) and junior outside hitter Kelli Grobe ('Iolani '05 of Kane'ohe) face Delware.

Junior libero Lena Yee (Moanalua '05 of Honolulu), the two-time Big East Conference libero of the year, and freshman defensive specialist Kayla Motoyama (Roosevelt '07 of Honolulu) lead 12th-seeded St. John's (31-3) against Long Island.

Siena College (24-7) and junior libero Kathi Kobayashi (Punahou '05 of 'Aiea) and sophomore defensive specialist Kau'i Robello (Punahou '06 of Honolulu) play No. 3 seed Penn State.

Sixth-seeded Washington (26-3), which features first-team All-Pac 10 sophomore libero Tamari Miyashiro (Kalani '05 of Kane'ohe) and senior defensive specialist Ashley Aratani ('Iolani '04 of Honolulu), meets Missouri.

South Dakota State (25-10) and freshman setter Melia Iwamoto (Kalani '07 of Honolulu) face second-seeded Nebraska.


  • Fairfield (Conn.) senior outside hitter Jazmin Pa'akaula (St. Joseph '04 of Hilo) had 18 digs in a three-game loss at Cal State Fullerton Saturday. The match was the last for Pa'akaula, Lindsey Lee (St. Joseph '04 of Hilo) and Ashley Hanohano (St. Joseph '04 of Hilo). Pa'akaula is third in school history in digs (1,594) and ninth in kills (1,035). She is also fifth in games appeared in (443). Lee concludes her prolific career as the Stags' leader in digs (1,674) and third in kills (1,387).

  • North Idaho College (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) sophomore outside hitter/middle hitter Amanda Misa (Waipahu '06 of Waipahu) was selected to the National Junior College Athletic Association All-Region Team.


  • Washington junior defensive tackle Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (Hawai'i Prep '04 of Waikoloa) had nine tackles, four for losses, including two sacks, in a 42-35 loss to rival Washington State Saturday in the 100th Apple Cup. Senior defensive tackle Wilson Afoa (Saint Louis '03 of Honolulu) had two tackles. Washington (4-8) plays its season finale Saturday against Hawai'i.

  • Colorado freshman offensive lineman Kai Maiava (Baldwin '07 of Wailuku) was named to the Scout.com Freshman All-American Team. Maiava started the Buffaloes' final seven games, registering 68 pancake blocks in eight games. UNLV defensive tackle Malo Taumua ('Aiea '05 of Honolulu) received Honorable Mention.

  • Southern California junior Kaluka Maiava (Baldwin '04 of Wailuku) started at weakside linebacker in Thursday's 44-24 win at Arizona State and collected a team-high 10 tackles. He started in place of Keith Rivers, the Trojans' leading tackler, who is nursing a sprained ankle.

  • Sophomore left defensive end Ian Dulan (Kamehameha-Hawai'i '06 of Hilo) started for Brigham Young in a 17-10 win over rival Utah Saturday and had two tackles.

    Utes' senior linebacker Loma Olevao (Kahuku '00 of Kahuku) and sophomore linebacker Kepa Gaison (Kamehameha '05 of Kane'ohe) each had three tackles.

  • Linfield senior wide receiver Josh Vierra (Kamehameha '04 of Kahalu'u) was named to the All-Northwest Conference First Team for the second consecutive year. Also on the first team is Whitworth senior running back Chris Ahsing (Campbell '03 of 'Ewa Beach) and Linfield senior defensive back Keone Tawata (Radford '04 of Honolulu). Menlo senior linebacker Asti Merino (Kamehameha '04 of Honolulu) was named to the second team. Menlo senior linebacker Travis Correa (Kamehameha '04 of Kealakekua) and Linfield punter Stan Fisher (Punahou '03 of Kailua) received honorable mention recognition.


  • New Mexico senior midfielder David Gualdarama (Kamehameha '04 of Wai'anae) started and registered one shot in a 1-0 loss to UCLA Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Championship Tournament.

  • Southern Methodist advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 win over Gonzaga Saturday. The Mustangs (14-4-2) feature freshmen Keoki Haole (Kapolei '07 of Kapolei), Kekoa Osorio (Kamehameha '07 of Honolulu) and Cameron Holm (Hawai'i Baptist '06 of Kailua). SMU plays Creighton (11-2-5) today in Omada, Neb. Freshman midfielder Jeremy Wittig (Lutheran '06 of Kane'ohe) plays for the Blue Jays.

  • Washington freshman goalkeeper Daniel Fung made two saves in a 1-0 win over Portland Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies (9-7-4) advance to meet 12th-seeded UC Santa Barbara (12-3-4). Sophomore midfielder C.J. Cintas (Hawai'i Prep '06 of Kailua, Kona) is on the Gauchos' roster.

  • Boston College senior midfielder Satoshi Mitsuda (Punahou '03 of Honolulu) and the top-seeded Golden Eagles (15-4-1) meet Massachusetts (14-7-1) today in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Boston College received a first-round bye in the 48-team tournament.


  • Duke senior goalkeeper Allison Lipsher (Punahou '04 of Hawai'i Kai) made two saves in a 2-0 victory over Indiana Sunday to help the Blue Devils advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division I Women's Championship Tournament. Duke (10-5-7) faces Notre Dame (18-4-2), which beat regional top seed North Carolina, 3-2, in the Sweet 16 round, Friday at South Bend, Ind. The Fighting Irish are riding a 16-match winning streak.

  • Pepperdine (Malibu, Calif.) junior defender Kelsey Baker (Punahou '05 of Honolulu) was named Honorable Mention All-West Coast Conference.

  • Westmont (Santa Barbara, Calif.) junior forward Amy Lawson ('Iolani '04 of Honolulu) was named to the All-Golden State Athletic Conference Team. It is the third consecutive year she received all-conference honors.


  • Washington State senior guard Derrick Low ('Iolani '04 of Honolulu) had 14 points in a 66-55 win over Montana Friday in the first round of the Cougar Hispanic College Fund Challenge in Spokane, Wash. He followed with eight points in just 17 minutes in a 71-26 rout of Mississippi Valley State Saturday and 19 points in Sunday's 71-62 championship game win over Air Force. The Cougars (6-0) are ranked sixth in this week's Associated Press Top 25.

  • Colorado School of Mines (Golden, Colo.) junior guard Kyle Pape ('Iolani '05 of Honolulu) scored 17 points in a 77-60 win over Eastern New Mexico Friday and led all scorers with 24 points Saturday in a 77-72 win over Hawai'i-Hilo.


  • Gonzaga (Spokane, Wash.) senior guard Rachel Kane (Punahou '03 of Kane'ohe) had 10 points, seven assists, three steals and two rebounds in a 77-64 win over Marquette Friday. Kane had three points, five assists and two steals in a 75-72 non-conference loss at Portland State Sunday.

  • Whitworth (Spokane, Wash.) freshman forward Courtney Gaddis (Kalani '07 of Honolulu) had 14 points, four rebounds and four assists coming off the bench in a 85-61 win over Great Falls (Mont.) Saturday.

  • Menlo (Atherton, Calif.) senior guard/forward Kepua Lee (Moanalua '04 of Honolulu) was named to the Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament Team last weekend. Lee scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 99-84 loss to Berea (Ky.) Saturday and had 15 points with seven rebounds in Sunday's 70-42 loss to Lewis & Clark State (Lewiston, Idaho). Junior guard Kelci Fushikoshi (Lahainaluna '05 of Lahaina) had 25 points against Berea and nine against Lewis & Clark State. Lee was named California Pacific Conference Player of the Week for Nov. 12-18.

  • The starting backcourt at Holy Names (Oakland, Calif.) is made up of three former Hawai'i prep stars. Junior Chelsie Kadota (Roosevelt '05 of Honolulu), sophomore Larisa Nakasone (Roosevelt '06 of Honolulu) and freshman C'ani Kealoha (Farrington '07 of Honolulu) make up the trio of guards. Kadota scored 11 points, Kealoha 10 and Nakasone added three with six rebounds in a 103-75 loss to Vanguard (Costa Mesa, Calif.) Friday. The following night, Nakasone had 11 assists and three rebounds, Kealoha scored 14 points with three boards and Kadota added 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals in a 81-78 win over Southern Oregon (Ashland, Ore).


  • Florida State sophomore diver Aleia Monden (St. Andrew's '06 of Mililani) was fourth in the 3-meter diving (269.03 points) and seventh in the 1-meter diving (229.95) in a meet against No. 7 Florida last week. The Gators won, 169-74.

  • Lindenwood (St. Charles, Mo.) senior Jon Lau ('Iolani '04 of Honolulu) won both the 100-yard (51.74 seconds) and 200-yard (1:57.51) butterfly events at the Thanksgiving Invitational in St. Louis, Mo. last week. He also finished second (1:59.78) in the 200-yard individual medley. Senior Chris Ricketts (Mid-Pacific '04 of Honolulu) was third (22.10) in the 50-yard freestyle. Freshman Devon Palermo (Saint Louis '07 of Honolulu) finished third (56.16) in the 100-yard backstroke and fourth (1:59.80) in the 200-yard backstroke. Lau and Ricketts were on the second-place (3:15.09) 400-yard freestyle relay and on the runner-up (1:39.19) 200-yard medley relay. Senior Amanda Chun ('Iolani '04 of Honolulu) finished third (2:30.16) in the 200-yard butterfly. Lindenwood won both men's and women's titles.


  • East Carolina sophomores Cristen Aona (Punahou '06 of Kapolei), Charina Sumner (Kamehameha '06 of Kailua) and Kaui Tom (Kamehameha '06 of Kailua) were named National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America Scholar Athletes. Each maintained at least a 3.5 GPA last year.


  • A quartet of seniors are headed across the nation on gymnastics scholarships. Becca Cardenas (Hawai'i Mission Academy) will compete at Arizona, Kara Mun (Roosevelt) and Emiko Ono (Roosevelt) are headed for Brigham Young and Becca Pang (Punahou) to Maryland. All are Level 10 (elite) gymnasts and compete for the Hawaiian Island Twisters Gymnastics Club.

    Reach Kalani Takase at ktakase@honoluluadvertiser.com.