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UCLA's Maiava fired up for USC


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POSTED: Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kai Maiava is the last man standing on the UCLA offensive line.

At one point in preseason, as many as four local players were in the running to start for the Bruins. Freshman Stan Hasiak (Kapolei '09), senior Micah Kia (Mililani '06) and junior college transfer Eddie Williams (Damien '06) were all competing for starting jobs.

But injuries to Kia (torn ACL) and Williams (fractured ankle) and off-the-field problems for Hasiak have left Maiava as the only starting lineman from Hawaii for the Bruins, who end the regular season with their rivalry game against Southern California on Saturday.

“;Our O-line took a couple of injuries this season, but the guys next on the list have shown up and done a good job filling in for them,”; Maiava said.

Maiava, a sophomore from Baldwin High on Maui, earned freshman All-America accolades at Colorado in 2007. But after a proposed position change to fullback in the offseason, the 6-foot-1, 310-pound center decided to transfer to UCLA, but had to sit out the 2008 season.

Back at his original position, Maiava has started all 11 games at center and helped the Bruins become bowl eligible with three straight wins heading into Saturday's showdown with crosstown-rival USC.

“;We had a good start, then a rough October, but our team has come back,”; Maiava said. “;We told ourselves we can't let ourselves crawl out the window and our boys did a good job of rallying up.”;

UCLA takes that three-game winning streak into the Coliseum, where it hasn't won since 1997. The Trojans have won nine of the last 10 games in the series, but are vulnerable to a loss this season as they find themselves out of the Rose Bowl hunt for the first time since Pete Carroll's first season as USC coach in 2001.

“;It's like the first days of practice again (this week),”; Maiava said. “;Everybody is fired up, flying around, enthusiastic.

“;There's a lot of pride in this game and I want to help our seniors go out with a bang.”;

National perception of the Pac-10 is down, with USC enduring its worst season in eight years. Still, the Pac-10 has four teams ranked in this week's Associated Press Top 25—the 24th-ranked Trojans, No. 10 Oregon, No. 16 Oregon State and No. 21 California.

Stanford, which has beaten both USC and Oregon this year, has the most votes of the nonranked teams and Arizona was in the top 20 of the BCS standings as recently as two weeks ago.

“;There's a lot of momentum swings in the Pac-10 because it's so tough, but that makes things more competitive and more fun,”; said Maiava, who has a year of play in the Big 12 to compare it to.

“;From my point of view, I say the Pac-10 is a little tougher. Everybody shows up to play every weekend in our league and it could go both ways every time you play.”;

Maiava said he plans to talk to older brother Kaluka, a rookie with the Cleveland Browns and USC alum, before Saturday's game.

“;Thanksgiving is (today), so I'll probably have to talk to him,”; Kai said. “;But don't worry, there will be plenty of trash talking.”;

 

'Iolani duo helps Bears win national title

'Iolani alums Marya Kaminski and Kelly Pang helped Washington (Mo.) University win its 10th NCAA Division III women's volleyball national championship on Saturday.

Kaminski, a 6-foot junior, had 12 kills and hit .588 in the championship game. She was on the team that last won a national title in 2007, but unlike that year, played a large role on the court in the win.

“;During the game, it was surreal,”; she said. “;Got to contribute on the court, which was exciting.”;

Pang, who graduated from 'Iolani just six months ago, wrapped up her first season with a game-high 30 digs in the final.

“;Definitely a step up from high school state championships,”; Pang said. “;It's been unbelievable.”;

Pang led the team with 702 digs this season and Kaminski started five matches and tallied 113 kills.

 

Notables

FOOTBALL

» Oregon junior quarterback Jeremiah Masoli (Saint Louis '06) was named the Pac-10 player of the week on Monday after a six-touchdown effort against Arizona on Saturday. Masoli rushed for 61 yards and three touchdowns and completed 26 of 47 passes for 284 yards and three more scores in a 44-41 double overtime win over the Wildcats.

» Weber State quarterback Cameron Higgins (Saint Louis '06) finished 23-for-33 for 364 yards and four touchdowns in a 47-14 victory over Cal Poly on Saturday. Freshmen Maiah Fa'atoafe (Aiea '09) and Adam Sagapolutele-White (Saint Louis '09) each had a sack for the Wildcats, who play at William & Mary on Saturday in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

» Colorado linebacker Michael Sipili (Damien '06) had three tackles and a forced fumble in a 31-28 loss to Oklahoma State last Thursday.

» Notre Dame freshman Manti Te'o (Punahou '09) had eight tackles in a 33-30 loss to Connecticut on Saturday.

» California defensive end Tyson Alualu (Saint Louis '05) had four tackles and Stanford defensive tackle Matt Masifilo (Campbell '07) had two in the Golden Bears' 34-28 victory on Saturday.

» Texas Tech sophomore linebacker Sam Fehoko (Farrington '07) had three tackles, including one for a loss, in a 41-13 win over Oklahoma on Saturday.

» Oregon State sophomore linebacker David Pa'aluhi (Waianae '07) had a team-high seven tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in a 42-10 win over Washington State on Saturday.

» Utah senior running back Ray Stowers ('Iolani '04) had three carries for 12 yards, Nai Fotu (Kahuku '07) had two tackles and Kepa Gaison (Kamehameha '05) was in on a stop for the Utes in a 38-7 win over San Diego State on Saturday. Sophomore J.J. Autele (Punahou '08) had two tackles for the Aztecs.

» Linfield (Ore.) freshman Maika Kunioka (Leilehua '09) made all five extra-point attempts and hit a 38-yard field goal in a 38-17 win over Cal Lutheran in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs on Saturday. Sophomore Kalae Parrish (Kapolei '08) added four tackles and Ian Estrada (Kamehameha '05) was in on three tackles for the Wildcats.

» St. Joseph's (Ind.) sophomore Kenneth Rossi (Damien '07) was named to the Great Lakes Conference all-academic first team last week. Rossi, an education major, holds a 3.8 GPA.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
» Idaho sophomore Shaena-Lyn Kuehu (Punahou '08) scored 13 points on 5-for-16 shooting and added five rebounds and two steals in a 70-58 loss to Montana State on Sunday. Freshman Kanisha Bello (Waiakea '09) started and scored three points in 18 minutes and Natasha Helsham (Aiea '09) had two assists and a rebound in nine minutes off the bench for the Vandals.
» Willamette (Ore.) junior Keilyn Fujioka ('Iolani '06) had five points, six rebounds and two blocks before fouling out in a 69-39 loss to Eastern Oregon on Saturday.
» Whitman (Wash.) senior Dawna Mello (Hilo '06) started and finished with six points and three assists in 19 minutes in a 74-64 loss to Lewis & Clark State on Saturday.
» Puget Sound senior Natasha Ludwig (Waiakea '06) had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds in a 78-42 win over Menlo (Calif.) on Saturday. Ludwig shot 5-for-9 from the field and was 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. Sophomore Bryanna Batts (St. Francis '08) had four points and two steals in 11 minutes for the Oaks. Sophomore Brittney Basilio (Waialua '08) played 3 minutes for the Loggers, but did not score.

MEN'S BASKETBALL
» Willamette (Ore.) sophomore Taylor Mounts ('Iolani '08) had 17 points, seven rebounds and five blocks in a 94-86 win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday. Mounts started and played 34 minutes and shot 5-for-9 from the field.

WOMEN'S SWIMMING
» Fairfield (Conn.) sophomore Michelle Yoshida (Punahou '08) was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference swimmer of the week on Tuesday. Yoshida won four events and set program records in the 100-meter backstroke (1:05.18), the 400 free (4:31.87) and swam the school's fastest-ever lead leg (31.43) in the 200 medley relay last weekend. She now owns 19 of 37 possible Fairfield women's records.

WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL
» George Mason (Va.) freshman Keola Matsuoka (Kamehameha '09) had 20 digs as the Patriots won their eighth Colonial Athletic Association championship with a five-set victory over Virginia Commonwealth on Tuesday.
» Nevada junior Kylie Harrington (St. Francis '07) had 18 kills and seven digs, Elissa Ji (Maryknoll '09) had six kills and two digs and Kelly Chang (Hawaii Baptist '09) had 10 digs in a five-set loss to Fresno State.