Star-Bulletin Sports

Ahuna always stood out

By Cindy Luis

Ignorance is bliss.

Reydan "Tita" Ahuna didn't know any better. She always thought it was acceptable for girls to play sports.

art Growing up in the Tantalus area in the 1970s, she was a standout in flag football, basketball and baseball on predominately male teams.

"We didn't have any girls' sports," Ahuna said. "The opportunities weren't there for girls. Now they have so many.

"I had two brothers and I played on the guys' teams. Being a girl didn't stop me, but I'm sure it opened a lot of eyes. I was blessed with more natural ability than some of them. The guys weren't saying things but their parents ... they gave the boys grief for not being as good, for not throwing or pitching harder, than 'that girl.' "

"That girl" has put together quite an impressive resume. One would be hard pressed to find someone else who has:

>> Won state high school volleyball championships as a player and a coach, as she did at Kamehameha Schools, playing on the Warriors' girls title teams of 1982 and 1983, and coaching the Warriors' boys to titles in 1991 and 1993;

>> Won a national collegiate volleyball championship as a player (Hawaii 1987) and coach (Hawaii Pacific women 1998 and 2000). In 2000, the Sea Warriors went 28-0, the first Division II women's volleyball team to finish a season undefeated.

But even more impressive than her 130-34 record at HPU and her All-American and Coach of the Year honors is her humility.

"I was lucky when I got to UH," said the 35-year-old Ahuna.

"The athletes before us laid the foundation. They went through all the hard times, they didn't have a much as we did. We're thankful for all their hard work and effort.

"I don't think about myself, that I've won all of these things. I've been very blessed to have talented athletes as teammates and talented athletes as players."

In six weeks, Ahuna will take another step for women's athletics. She will become the first senior women's administrator at HPU, becoming a full-time employee.

For the past 11 years, Ahuna has served as a special education instructor at Kalakaua Middle School. The past few years, she has also been a vice principal as well as worked on her master's degree in middle level education.

Ahuna was a four-sport athlete at Kamehameha (volleyball, basketball, softball and track). Her one regret is not playing another sport at UH.

"I wanted to play softball, but I hurt my shoulder," she said. "I used to be a quarterback and I was a pitcher. I think I enjoyed pitching in baseball the most. That sport took me a lot of places when I was young.

"I enjoyed setting in volleyball but I played mostly outside hitter at UH. I'm a team player. Wherever they want me, I'll play. That's what I try to get through to my players. It's not 'What can the program do for me?' It's 'What can I do to help this program?' "

Ahuna has never taken anything for granted. Success, she said, is something one earns.

"I don't think a lot of girls truly appreciate the type of athletes that came before them," Ahuna said.

"They don't truly understand the foundation and the hard work. It's a Catch-22. They don't know what it used to be like because the opportunities have always been there.

"They have chances that I didn't have, and many more than the women 30 years ago. I hope they take advantage because whatever they want to accomplish is right there."

E-mail to Sports Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin