Isle touch has rebuilt UOP volleyball


POSTED: Thursday, November 05, 2009

While Charlie Wade prepares for his inaugural season as Hawaii men's volleyball coach, the team he left behind is doing quite well.

The University of the Pacific (Calif.) women's volleyball team knocked off then-No. 23 UC Irvine in four sets Saturday to improve to 16-7 overall and 6-5 in the Big West Conference.

With five regular-season matches left, the Tigers have a chance for their first 20-win season since 2001.

“;What we can do is win every game from this point and let whatever happens, happens,”; said senior Dancyne Kama, a 2006 Kamehameha-Hawaii graduate and one of four players with local ties on the team.

Kama and senior Carly Hiromoto (Punahou '06), who is redshirting this season, were the first two local girls Wade recruited to Pacific when he got the job as head women's volleyball coach.


Since then, he added sophomore outside hitter Rebekah Torres (Kamehameha '08) and freshman Pihanakealoha Kea (Punahou '09), who made her first start at setter against the Anteaters.

However, the decision to move his family back to Hawaii to coach the men's team has kept Wade from seeing the team he put together excel on the court.

“;I don't blame him (for leaving),”; Kama said. “;If I had that opportunity, it'd be hasta la vista for me, too.”;

Kama has made a nice home for herself at UOP, where she has played primarily as a defensive specialist since tearing two ligaments in her ankle during her freshman year. She finished with a team-high 22 digs against UC Irvine in support of Kea, who had a game-high 42 assists as the Tigers snapped a three-game losing streak.

“;It'll be like a turning point for us because there's no way to go but up,”; Kea said. “;We just needed a win and I played hard, hustled my butt off, and just knew we had to have everything.”;

The win was good news for Kea, who had to endure the friendly taunts of Torres and Kama after Kamehameha defeated Punahou for the state volleyball championship Friday night.

“;I have no clue what happened. I thought they had it in the bag,”; Kea said. “;Undefeated right to the very end.”;

The Tigers end the regular season with a two-match road trip tomorrow at Long Beach State and Saturday at Cal State Fullerton, followed by a three-match homestand that wraps up on Nov. 21 against UC Davis.

A 4-1 finish would guarantee the best season in eight years for Pacific women's volleyball and give Kama an ideal ending to a wonderful four years of college.

“;I've enjoyed every minute of it,”; she said. “;We've made progress every year I've been here and the six of us (seniors) have been here since (we were) freshmen and are still here.

“;So yeah, we'll see what happens.”;


UCLA's Kono places fourth at Turtle Bay

UCLA sophomore Stephanie Kono (Punahou '08) struggled to a final-round, 4-over 76 to finish in fourth place at the Turtle Bay Resort College Invitational yesterday.

Kono earned her third top-10 in four tournaments this season, finishing six shots behind USC's Lizette Salas.

Tulsa freshman Kristina Merkle (Moanalua '09) finished with her best round of the tournament, a 2-under 70, to leap into a tie for fifth place.

Santa Clara's Miki Ueoka (Kauai '07), finished in tie for 19th place (223) and Tamara Surtees (Hawaii Prep '08) finished in a tie for 47th (232).

Other finishers with local ties from mainland schools include UC Davis junior Katie Sisler (Punahou '07) in 51st place and Santa Clara's Jamie Nonaka (Punahou '06) in 92nd place.




» Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli (Saint Louis '06) rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown and completed 19 of 31 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown in the 10th-ranked Ducks' 47-20 upset of No. 5 USC.

» Oregon State linebacker David Pa'aluhi (Waianae '07) had six tackles, sophomore Brandon Hardin (Kamehameha '07) had four tackles and a quarterback hurry, and safety Suaesi Tuimaunei (Kahuku '06) had three tackles in a 26-19 win over UCLA on Saturday.

» Idaho linebacker Jojo Dickson (Baldwin '07) had 11 tackles, Robert Siavii (Leilehua '08) added seven tackles and Kama Bailey (Damien '08) had a 12-yard carry in the Vandals' 35-34 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

» California freshman Aaron Tipoti (Word of Life '08) had two tackles and Arizona State senior Brian Matsumoto (Punahou '05) had an 11-yard reception in the Bears' 23-21 victory over the Sun Devils on Saturday.

» New Mexico State defensive end Kawika Shook (Kamehameha '06) had three tackles and freshman B.J. Adolpho (Kahuku '05) assisted on a tackle in a 45-0 loss to Ohio State on Saturday.

» Brigham Young sophomore Spencer Hafoka (Kahuku '05) had three catches for 31 yards in the Cougars' 38-7 loss to TCU on Saturday.

» Notre Dame freshman Manti Te'o (Punahou '09) had three tackles and Roby Toma (Punahou '09) had an 8-yard reception in a 40-14 victory over Washington State on Saturday.

» Western Oregon junior linebacker Gerritt Vincent (Kamehameha '06) had five tackles and senior Shaun Kauleinamoku had four catches for 47 receiving yards and finished with 96 total yards in a 31-28 win over Humboldt State on Saturday.

» Weber State freshman Maiah Fa'atoafe (Aiea '09) had six tackles and Adam Sagapolutele-White (Saint Louis '09) had three tackles in a 31-10 loss to Montana on Saturday. Wildcats quarterback Cameron Higgins (Saint Louis '06) finished 16-for-34 for 243 yards and a touchdown, but threw four interceptions and was sacked three times.

» Pacific Lutheran (Wash.) junior Kyle Whitford (Punahou '07) had three carries for seven yards and four receptions for 28 yards in a 24-21 overtime loss to Whitworth (Wash.) on Saturday.

» Utah senior linebacker Kepa Gaison (Kamehameha '05) had five tackles and defensive end Nai Fotu (Kahuku '07) assisted on a tackle in the Utes' 22-10 win over Wyoming on Saturday.

» Montana Western quarterback Micah Mamiya (Saint Louis '08) completed 11 of 20 passes for 125 yards and rushed for 30 yards in a 26-10 loss to Carroll College on Saturday.

» Loyola Marymount junior Andrew Aki (Punahou '06) scored a team-high three goals in the Lions' 11-6 win over No. 11 UC San Diego on Saturday. No. 6 LMU has won four games in a row and is undefeated (9-0) in the Western Water Polo Association.
» California Lutheran freshman Trevor Owens (Le Jardin '09) scored a goal in a 15-13 win over Occidental (Calif.) on Saturday.
» Air Force senior Jason Fung (Waldorf '05) scored a goal in an 11-4 loss to Santa Clara on Oct. 25. It was Fung's fifth goal of the season.

» Pacific (Ore.) junior Ashley Kanda (Castle '07) achieved the 12th hat trick in Boxers history, accounting for all three goals in a 3-3 tie against Pacific Lutheran on Sunday. Twin sister Lauren Kanda (Castle '07) leads the team with 14 points this season.