Smallish Buffanblu miss their ‘human erasers’
Jim Iams loves coaching and loves winning, too. He's a long way from the international stage and college arena now, but his passion remains intense. For the first time in several years, third-ranked Punahou is considered neither the best nor the second-best volleyball team in its own league.
"We're a small team that's accurate, and our passing is coming around. We have to play very well in all phases of the game to be competitive this year. That's always the case, but last year we had some human erasers. When you have great outside hitters, they can erase a lot of little problems," he said. "We don't have that margin this year."
Punahou sometimes struggled in preseason, but also pushed two-time defending state champion Kamehameha hard.
"That was probably our best match. On the other hand, we had matches where we struggled to win, so it's hard to know which team is ours," he said.
Iams points to outside hitter Anuhea Keanini as one of his most powerful and consistent players. Charlotte Fonua, a 5-foot-11 transfer from Kahuku, is showing good potential. Still, Iams wants more from everyone.
"It's never easy when you don't play as well as you think you should, or lose to teams you think you should've beat," he said. "The more you stay in coaching, the wins don't seem to stay with you as long, and the losses seem to stay with you longer."
"They're just kids, and a lot of the life lessons they're going through right now. Besides," Iams added, "Kamehameha can beat a lot of college teams."
Transfers drive Mililani
Mililani's emergence as a co-favorite in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West isn't a surprise.
Coaches around the island have already noted the arrival of two transfers to the girls volleyball program. One of them is Allie Elliazar, a former St. Andrew's Priory player whose mother, Lani, was an outstanding player in her own right.
Lani Elliazar found it quite amusing when a recent preseason preview got the names of mother and daughter mixed up.
Lani, who is a longtime coach at St. Andrew's Priory, gave Allie her blessing when she opted to transfer to their neighborhood school. Mililani is ranked eighth in the Star-Bulletin Top 10.
"As much as I wish I were back in high school playing, Allie wasn't too pleased, but (she) thought (the names mix-up) was funny," Lani wrote in an e-mail to the Star-Bulletin.
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Athletes of the week
Kama Bailey, Damien Monarchs
He rushed for 295 yards and three touchdowns against Radford
Kaleinani Kabalis Moanalua Na Menehune
She had 14 kills and two blocks against Kalani
H Christopher Lam, Saint Louis Crusaders
posted a score of 250 against Punahou
H Davin Lee, Punahou Buffanblu
scored 255 in a match against Saint Louis
H Andrew Nishihara, Leilehua Mules
tallied 254 points in a victory over Waianae
H Mai Osoto, Sacred Hearts Lancers
scored a team-high 265 points in a victory over Punahou
H Robinson Buccnea, Campbell Sabers
rolled a 243 high score against Mililani
H Holly Somera, Aiea Na Alii
posted a 229 high game against Waianae
H Bruce Andrews, Kalaheo Mustangs
caught five passes for 116 yards against Moanalua
H Samson Anguay, Campbell Sabers
rushed for 102 yards and scored three touchdowns vs. Kamehameha
H James Buchanan, Aiea Na Alii
caught 10 passes for 113 yards against Saint Louis
H Edieson Dumlao, Leilehua Mules
caught touchdown passes of 4, 10 and 26 yards against Punahou
H Lionel Fujioka, Iolani Raiders
caught nine passes for 120 yards against Waianae
H B.J. Jelf, Waianae Seariders
rushed for 130 yards on 10 carries in a victory over Iolani
H Micah Mamiya, Saint Louis Crusaders
passed for 192 yards to lead his team past Aiea for its third straight win
H Troy Matautia, Waipahu Marauders
rushed for 100 yards on 15 carries against West Lake (Calif.)
H Justin Paredes, Kaimuki Bulldogs
rushed for 152 yards and a touchdown against Pearl City
H Cayman Shutter, Punahou Buffanblu
threw for three touchdowns in a victory over Leilehua
H Dalaunte Stevenson, Mililani Trojans
caught three passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns vs. Pac-Five
H Ranson Tuitama, Roosevelt Rough Riders
rushed for 107 yards and scored twice against Waialua
H Cody vonAppen, Kalaheo Mustangs
passed for 191 yards and ran for three touchdowns vs. Moanalua
H Kaleo Wong, Kailua Surfriders
rushed for 107 yards and scored a touchdown against Farrington
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kailua's Howard Maka tried to avoid Farrington's Grant Hamilton during the first half of last weekend's game. The Govs beat the Surfriders 13-7.
To nominate ...
To nominate an athlete of the week, contact the Star-Bulletin Sports Department by 11 p.m. Sunday: