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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Arita's first impression proves lasting one for DePauw tennis

By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Janelle Arita

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It didn't take long for Janelle Arita to experience success on the tennis courts once she arrived at the DePauw campus in Newcastle, Ind.

The Tigers, a perennial Division III top-10 program, were coming off a banner season in 2007, but had to replace their top two singles players, including the national champion.

DePauw coach Scott Riggle slotted Arita, a 2007 Punahou alum from Mililani, into the No. 3 singles spot to start the season.

"I remember she was down 5-3 in the third set and it was her first collegiate match and she came back and won," Riggle said. "I thought at the time, 'This girl has potential and she could be pretty good.' By the end of the fall, she was our No. 1 singles player."

Arita went on to a 26-9 singles record and 26-6 mark in doubles and was named National Rookie of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Riggle said the award was a tremendous honor for Arita.

"Talking to others in coaching circles, we had talked about what a strong class came in nationwide as freshmen that year, so for her to win rookie of the year that year was amazing," said Riggle, who is in his 10th season at DePauw. "That was the hardest year to win it, I felt, since I began coaching."

Riggle said Arita far exceeded expectations that year.

"Judging by her (recruiting) video, and talking to coaches, I thought she could be one of the best players in the nation if she worked really hard, but I thought that would come maybe in her sophomore or junior year," Riggle said.

Arita picked up her sophomore season where she left off as a freshman. She piled up a 23-10 mark in singles and went 21-10 in doubles and picked up another national honor as the ITA selected Arita as Division III Player to Watch.

"I told her, 'There's no award for juniors, so you will just have to win the national championship ,'" Riggle said. "She's one of our hardest workers and top competitors. With her, you know she's never out of a match. She's just outstanding and I feel fortunate to have her."

Riggle said Arita's accuracy with her ground strokes are uncanny.

"She really moves well and she can place her ground strokes on a dime," Riggle said. "She's improved her net game and continued to make her serving better and as a result of that, she's become a better doubles player also."

Arita helped the Tigers place fifth at the ITA Women's Team Indoor Championships, which was held at the school's indoor facility last weekend. DePauw plays Luther Friday and will meet Elmhurst and Kalamazoo Saturday before a Monday match against Ball State.

"Janelle is playing outstanding as usual and she's always led by example, but now she's starting to become more of a vocal leader for the rest of her teammates," Riggle said. "Everyone really looks up to Janelle. She's a really happy person, cares a lot about others and is just delightful, so when she gives advice to a younger player, it's easy for them to listen to her."


• Cal State Northridge junior Brooke Doane (Kamehameha '07 of 'Ewa Beach) won at No. 1 singles, 6-4, 6-1, to help the Matadors beat Cal State Los Angeles, 7-0, Friday. She also teamed with Anna Yang to win, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles.


• Wyoming's Kekoa Chavez (Hilo '05) finished eighth in the men's 400-meter dash in 48.70 seconds and was on the fourth-place 4x400 relay team at the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships that ended Saturday.

• Trevor Mau (Saint Louis '08 of Kāne'ohe) of Northern State (S.D.) finished seventh in the men's long jump (22 feet, 5 1/4; inches) and triple jump (45-2 1/4;) and was 19th in the 60 dash in 7.16 at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Indoor Championships that ended on Saturday.

• Dartmouth's Joy Piotrowski (Punahou '09 of 'Aiea) placed 15th in the women's triple jump in 36-7 at the Ivy League Indoor Championships that ended on Saturday.

• USC's Abe Markowitz (Punahou '08 of Hawai'i Kai) placed sixth in the men's shot put with a throw of 47-5 at Saturday's outdoor Rossi Relays. Chris Wong (Punahou of Honolulu) of Occidental (Calif.) was 12th in the men's 400 hurdles (63.70) and 14th in the 100 dash (12.13).

• Agnes Faaleaoga (Kailua '08 of Waimānalo) placed second in the women's shot put (35-5 1/4;) and third in the discus (104-8) and hammer throw (102-8) to help Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) win an outdoor dual meet over Fresno Pacific on Feb. 20. Teammate Bailey Massenburg (King Kekakulike '09 of Kula) was fourth in the women's 600 run in 1:43.57. Mark Miller (St. Anthony '07 of Kahului) helped the Point Loma men beat Fresno Pacific by placing third in the javelin (149-6), fifth in the discus (122-5) and eighth in the hammer throw (96-9). Point Loma announced on Monday it would drop its men's team next year.

• Chelsea Machida (Maui '07 of Kahului) of Linfield (Ore.) won the women's high jump in 1.57 meters at Saturday's outdoor dual meet at George Fox (Ore.).


• UCLA sophomore Stephanie Kono (Punahou '08 of Honolulu) holds a one-stroke leading going into today's final day of the Bruin Wave Invitational at the par-72 Robinson Ranch Golf Course in Santa Clarita, Calif. Kono, who is 6-under par, shot 70 Sunday and 68 yesterday to lead Pepperdine's Danielle Kang by one stroke. New Mexico senior Britney Choy (Leilehua '06 of Wahiawā) is tied for 17th at 3-over while Oregon State sophomore Elyse Okada (Maui '08 of Kahului) is 14-over and in a tie for 69th.

• Santa Clara junior Miki Ueoka (Kaua'i '07 of Līhu'e) tied for sixth with a 3-over 219 at the Fresno State Lexus Classic, which ended yesterday at the Copper River Country Club in Fresno, Calif. Portland State freshman Britney Yada (Waiākea '09 of Hilo) finished 4-over 220 to tie for ninth while Boise State senior Iris Ocariza (Moanalua '06 of Honolulu) tied for 18th with a 10-over 226. Santa Clara sophomore Tammy Surtees (Hawai'i Prep '08 of Waikoloa) tied for 23rd at 13-over 229 and Broncos senior Jamie Nonaka (Punahou '06 of Halē'iwa) shot 26-over 242 to tie for 61st.

• Furman (S.C.) junior Jackie Hilea (Moanalua '07 of Kāne'ohe) tied for 15th at the UCF Challenge, which ended yesterday at the Red Tail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla. Hilea shot rounds of 74, 72 and 79 to help her team to a sixth-place finish.

• San Diego sophomore Alex Ching (Punahou '08 of Honolulu) finished in third at 7-under 206 in the USC Collegiate Invitational, which ended yesterday at the par-71 North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, Calif. Ching fired rounds of 74, 68 and 64 to help the Torreros tie for fourth place. Oregon junior Sean Maekawa (Honoka'a '07 of Pa'auilo) tied for 43rd with a 5-over 218.


• UNLV sophomore forward Jamie Smith ('Iolani '08 of Kailua) scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a 69-55 win over Air Force Saturday. Smith shot 5 of 11 from the field, including 2 of 3 on 3-point attempts, and made 5 of 6 from the free-throw line. She also had two steals and a block in her 38 minutes of action.

• Idaho sophomore guard Shaena-Lyn Kuehu (Punahou '08 of Honolulu) scored 16 points with five rebounds, six assists and four steals in a 74-59 win over San Jose State last Wednesday. Freshman guard Natasha Helsham ('Aiea '09) added 11 points and two rebounds for the Vandals.

• Cal State Northridge freshman guard Janelle Nomura (Punahou '09 of Honolulu) scored 15 points in 20 minutes in a 82-65 loss to UC Irvine Saturday. Freshman forward Violet Alama (Kalani '09 of Honolulu) had seven points with 10 rebounds and junior forward Analee Viena-Lota (Kamehameha '07 of Honolulu) added four points and eight rebounds.

• Concordia (Calif.) junior guard Nicole Fu (Maryknoll '07 of Honolulu) scored 13 points with two rebounds, three assists and a block in an 87-80 win over San Diego Christian Monday.

• Yavapai (Ariz.) sophomore Kira DeMorales (Waiākea '08 of Hilo) was named to the All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Second Team and All-National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Region First Team last week. DeMorales, a 6-foot-1 forward, averaged 13.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.


• East Carolina freshman catcher Kai Clark (Kapolei '09) batted 2 for 3 with two RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base in a 15-1 win over Delaware Thursday at the Pirate Classic in Greenville, N.C. Senior second baseman Charina Sumner (Kamehameha '06 of Kailua) went 2 for 3 with a double, RBI and two runs scored while senior third baseman Cristen Aona (Punahou '06 of Kapolei) was 0 for 1 with three walks and four runs scored. Senior shortstop Kaui Tom (Kamehameha '06 of Kailua) scored a run for the Pirates, who will play in the Bank of Hawai'i Invitational, which runs Friday through Sunday at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

• Mississippi State sophomore left fielder Kaili Smith (Kapolei '08) batted 1 for 4 with three RBIs and a run scored in a 9-3 win over Illinois Sunday at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga.


• UCLA junior Brittany Beauchan (Punahou '07 of Kailua) finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:00.84 at the Pac-10 Conference Championships last weekend in Long Beach, Calif. She also placed fourth in the 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:10.53. Beauchan earned all-conference honors and qualified for the NCAA Championships, March 18-20 in West Lafayette, Ind.

• USC freshman Christel Simms (Punahou '09 of Honolulu) placed seventh in the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 54.17 seconds at the Pac-10 Conference Championships. She also finished first in the B-final of the 100 freestyle in 49.81 seconds and was sixth in the B-final of the 50 freestyle in 23.20.

• Boise State freshman Jennifer Cahill (Baldwin '09 of Wailuku) finished second in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:55.22 at the Western Athletic Conference Championships last weekend. She also was on the winning 800 freestyle relay team, which finished in 7:20.87. The Broncos won their first WAC title.


• Stanford sophomore outside hitter Brad Lawson ('Iolani '08 of Honolulu) had 11 kills, six digs and four aces in a sweep of UC Santa Cruz last Wednesday. Junior libero Jordan Inafuku (Kamehameha '07 of Honolulu) notched a match-high 13 digs and senior setter Kawika Shoji ('Iolani '06 of Honolulu) had 30 assists, five digs and three aces for the Cardinal.

• USC junior setter Riley McKibbin (Punahou '07 of Honolulu) had 49 assists and 11 digs in a four-set loss to Cal State Northridge last Wednesday. Freshman outside hitter Maddison McKibbin (Punahou '09 of Honolulu) recorded seven digs, five kills with an ace and was in on four blocks.


• Northwestern sophomore designated hitter Paul Snieder (Punahou '08 of Honolulu) batted 2 for 4 with two runs scored in a 6-5, 10-inning win over Connecticut Friday. Sophomore pitcher Michael Jahns (St. Anthony '08 of Kīhei) pitched one scoreless inning, allowing one hit, to pick up the win.

• Puget Sound (Wash.) senior Jarvis Nohara ('Iolani '06 of Honolulu) pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings, while allowing one hit with one strikeout in a 5-3 win over Whitman (Wash.) Sunday.


• Linfield (Ore.) senior Cody Tesoro (Baldwin '05 of Kahului) scored 15 points with four assists and two rebounds in a 76-66 loss to George Fox (Ore.) last Thursday in a Northwest Conference semifinal game. Tesoro, a 6-foot, 175-pound point guard, was named to the All-NWC Second Team.


• UC Davis junior Brandon Low (Saint Louis '06 of Honolulu) finished second in the 133-pound division at Saturday's Pac-10 Conference Championships. Low, who was the top seed, lost to Cal Poly's Boris Novachkov, 4-3, in the final. Low tied it late in the final period on a takedown, but Novachkov earned the winning point by accumulating over two minutes of riding time. Low earned an automatic qualifying spot in the NCAA Championships, March 18-20 in Omaha, Neb.


• Loyola Marymount junior Ikaika Aki (Punahou '06 of Honolulu) received honorable mention from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches last week. Aki, a driver, led the team in steals (70), assists (27) and field blocks (50).

Advertiser Staff Writer Stanley Lee contributed to this report.