Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

W A H I N E _ V O L L E Y B A L L

Candy Kane, 1981

Kane was
Wahine’s first
international recruit

The Canadian ended up
playing on two national
championship teams

Wahine undefeated in WAC again

By Cindy Luis


This is the 13th in a series featuring the 1979 University of Hawaii women's volleyball team, the Wahine's first national championship.


It was love at first sight when Candy Kane landed at the Honolulu airport in 1979. It was also a prophetic date: the 4th of July.

By the time Kane finished her injury-plagued career, the Canadian national had celebrated being part of two "firsts" for the University of Hawaii women's volleyball program. In 1979, the Wahine won their first national title at the AIAW championships; in 1982, Hawaii added the first of its three NCAA banners.

"As soon as I landed in Hawaii I fell in love with it,"' said Kane, who lives in the Toronto suburb of Burlington.

Kane was Hawaii's first international recruit. She was a member of the Canadian national team but quit when the team failed to qualify for the 1980 Olympics.

"I still loved the game and wanted to continue playing," she said. "I knew that I wanted to go to the States to play and, hopefully, secure a scholarship."

So, off she went to the university in Guelph where her parents lived, opened their American university directory and wrote down schools that appealed to her.

"I took a list of 21 home and started writing. The last letter I dropped in the box was to Dave (Wahine coach Shoji)."

Kane received 10 responses, including a phone call from Shoji, asking for a video. Shoji also received some positive feedback from Diane Sebastian, a sophomore who had played against Kane when their respective junior national teams met in the PacRim Tournament in Hilo.

"To this day, I'm very grateful to Diane for what she did," said Kane. "I remember the day Dave called me to offer me the full scholarship and told me a letter of intent would arrive shortly and, if I were still interested to sign it and send it back. I think it took me maybe half a second to make my decision."

Kane did not play much her freshman year. Hawaii had eight seniors and her role would be one of support from the bench.

The night of the championship match against Utah State was pretty nerve-racking, having lost the first two, said Kane, "but I don't think that we ever gave up. We knew that we had come back many times before so this was no different.

"We also had the support of many parents who had traveled to support us. My parents drove down from Toronto to join us there, so we weren't alone in our quest to the championship. There was a lot of good karma and ti leaves on our side."

Kane bookended her career with another title as one of seven Wahine seniors in 1982. Her support was again mostly from the bench due to injuries.

"Candy wasn't physically able to contribute a lot on the court when she was here," said Shoji. "But I'm glad she stuck it out. She contributed to those two national championships teams."

Kane left Hawaii in 1984, right after completing the Honolulu Marathon. She has continued to run competitively and is hoping to finish another marathon soon.

Kane married John Folkins in 1994. Son Christopher was born in 1996 and his mom is already grooming him to be a middle blocker. The couple is expecting a second son in the next few days.

She has kept up on Wahine volleyball through teammate Diana McInerny McKibbin and the Internet. Kane said she was happy to hear that the team continues to break attendance records.

"I never doubted that the support for Dave and his team would never diminish over the years," she said. "The hardest part of my decision was not coming to Hawaii but leaving it after almost six years."

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