Satele primed


POSTED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It may only be an exhibition, but for Chanteal Satele, tomorrow's spring volleyball match against Arizona is so much more.

It's a dream realized.

Even after she puts on a Hawaii uniform and is introduced for the first time at the Stan Sheriff Center, the incoming junior hitter likely will still be pinching herself to make sure it's true.

“;I'm on such a high,”; said Satele, who transferred in this semester from Saint Mary's. “;I'm excited. My whole family is excited.

“;I've always dreamed of playing for Hawaii in the Stan Sheriff Center. I'm excited to get on the court.”;

Satele has been in the Sheriff Center on numerous occasions, from watching her mother, Lee Ann Pestana Satele, play in the Rainbow Wahine alumnae matches; to attending UH summer volleyball camps; to leading Word of Life to a second-place finish in the Division II state tournament as a junior. The two-time D-II player of the year also was in a Saint Mary's uniform as a freshman when the Gaels participated in the 2008 Chevron Invitational.

This however, will be different. A chicken-skin moment for the Satele family.

“;It feels like she's come home,”; said her mother, who helped the Wahine to consecutive NCAA titles in 1982 and '83. “;She's been around the university all of her life. She's always wanted to come here and now she has the opportunity.






        » WHAT: Women's volleyball spring exhibition

        » WHO: Arizona at Hawaii

        » WHEN: Tomorrow, 7 p.m.

        » WHERE: Stan Sheriff Center

        » RADIO/TV: None

“;I did want my daughter to have the same experience I had of being a Wahine. But it was her choice to transfer. We've told her she'll have to work hard to prove herself.”;

The Satele ohana has strong ties to UH athletics. Chanteal's father Alvis played football for the Warriors, as did cousins Samson and Hercules Satele, and Amani and Melila Purcell. Younger brother Liko is an incoming junior lineman for UH, while older brother Brashton is waiting on a medical hardship decision that would allow the lineman to play as a sixth-year senior.

“;If all three of them were playing this fall, we would be so proud,”; Lee Ann said. “;It's so nice for us as a family. They ride in to school together, go to class together, come home together.

“;A lot of prayer went into the decision for her to come home. She was doing well at Saint Mary's. But she gave up that $50,000 full ride because it just wasn't home. We told her you only have one chance to walk this way and this is the path she chose.”;

Rainbow Wahine coach Dave Shoji had wanted Chanteal Satele out of high school, but didn't have a scholarship available. There still wasn't one when Satele got her release from Saint Mary's and notified Shoji that she was transferring to UH for the spring semester.

The unexpected transfer of Stephanie Ferrell earlier in the semester freed up a scholarship as well as a spot at right-side hitter for the 5-foot-10 Satele.

“;She's a very viable right-side option,”; Shoji said. “;She hits high and hard, can block.

“;We did want her (out of high school) and it's worked out.”;

“;She came back physically in top shape when she started training with us,”; Wahine libero Elizabeth Ka'aihue said. “;I played club with her and it's very nice to have her back. It's where she always wanted to be and now she has the opportunity. She's been awesome.”;