Big Isle's Okada leads Pacific's youth movement


POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2009

Pacific (Ore.) has gone young and younger to turn around its men's tennis program.

The Boxers hadn't had two team wins in a season since 2000, and went from 2004 to 2008 without a victory.

Second-year coach Brian Jackson has revamped a roster without a junior or senior—he has four sophomores and five freshmen.

Michael Okada, a 2007 Waiakea graduate, is one of those four sophomores, and earned the Northwest Conference's honor as men's tennis student-athlete of the week after leading the Boxers to a stunning 2-0 record on the opening weekend of the season.

Okada won both of his singles matches in the No. 1 position and teamed with a freshman to win two doubles matches at the No. 2 spot. Pacific (Ore.) opened with a 5-4 win over Puget Sound last Friday, and then it blasted George Fox 8-1 on Saturday.

Okada routed Puget Sound's Jamie Hosmer 6-3, 6-1 on Friday, which was the big eye-opener for Jackson. Hosmer beat Okada twice last year.

“;Michael played very well this past weekend,”; Jackson said in a release. “;He had a great game plan for each of his matches and executed them at a high level.

“;His win against Jamie Hosmer, who beat Michael twice last year, was a validation of the work that Michael put in during the offseason.”;

Pacific has three matches this weekend. The Boxers play two tomorrow against Whitworth and one Sunday vs. Whitman.



» Cal State Northridge sophomore Brooke Doane (Kamehameha '07) won her No. 3 singles match against Herzyl Legaspi to give the Matadors a 4-3 victory over UC Davis last Sunday. Doane dropped the first set 6-4 before coming back to win the next two, 6-3 and 6-1. She also won her doubles match in the No. 1 position and is 4-1 in doubles this year.

» DePauw (Ind.) sophomore Janelle Arita (Punahou '07) won her No. 1 singles match in straight sets, but lost in doubles as the 12th-ranked Tigers fell to No. 16 Washington (Mo.) University 5-4.



» Fairfield (Conn.) women's swimmer Michelle Yoshida (Punahou '08) won league titles in the 50- and 200-yard freestyle events at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships last weekend in Baltimore. Yoshida set a league record in the 200 free in 1:51.56, a day after doing the same in the 50 free. She became the second Stag to win two different league titles in the same season.



» Dana College (Neb.) junior Ryan “;Bulla”; Tuzon (Baldwin '05) was named the Great Plains Athletic Conference wrestler of the year after finishing the conference dual-meet season 6-0. He also won the 165-pound championship in the GPAC championship last weekend in Blair, Neb., and is 19-6 for the season. He's rated fourth in the latest NAIA national rankings.



» Cal State Northridge sophomore Analee Viena-Lota (Kamehameha '07) shot 4-for-9 from the field and finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, three steals and an assist in a 57-53 loss to UC Irvine. Viena-Lota is averaging 5.8 points and 4.5 rebounds this year.

» Idaho freshman Shaena-Lyn Kuehu (Punahou '08) shot 5-for-11 from the field and had 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals in a 64-41 victory over San Jose State on Sunday. Kuehu is now averaging 9.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

» Western Washington senior India Soo (Kamehameha '04) had five points, six rebounds and four assists in a 67-62 loss to Montana State-Billings, dropping the Vikings to 7-4 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

» Menlo (Calif.) College senior Kelci Fushikoshi (Lahainaluna '05) made two 3-pointers and finished with 13 points and three assists in a 58-48 victory over Bethany University.

» Washington (Mo.) University backup point guard Shanna-Lei Dacanay (Punahou '05) had six assists as the Bears defeated Case Western Reserve 70-40 for their seventh straight win. Washington is 18-4 overall and 10-1 in league play with three regular-season games left. Dacanay leads the team with 88 assists and is averaging 19 minutes per game.