LAHAINA - The fortunes for the Lahainaluna High School boys volleyball team have fallen off since the 2007 Maui Interscholastic League championship season for the Lunas, but the program soldiers on led by six-year coach Tommy Akima.
The team finished fourth in the MIL last season and have struggled thus far in 2013 in a rebuilding year for a young, inexperienced team.
According to assistant coach Ryan Ah Puck, the Lunas are an athletic bunch that simply lacks the experience in the game to compete with the seasoned squads across Maui County.
“These boys are very athletic and are good friends, so they enjoy playing with one another. We just lack experience,” said assistant coach Ryan Ah Puck. PHOTO BY ART FILLAZAR
"Yeah, this is really a rebuilding year for us with so many young players," he said from court-side at the Jimmie H. Greig Gymnasium on the Lahainaluna campus last week.
"We've hung tough in the matches, but we lack the consistency to play good volleyball and put the games away."
Leading the way for the Lunas are co-captains Erich Skrotzki, a senior, and sophomore Cyrus Kama. The player roster includes senior Macky Veniegas, junior Kiko "Shoyu" Fonohema, sophomores Sione Filikitonga, Ansen Cabanilla, Brandon Kaina, Ariel Domingo, and Tomas Driebelbis, and freshman Justin Valdez. The team managers are Lucy Reardon, Tricia Kama and Tita Akina.
Head Coach Tommy leads a staff that includes David Kalilikane, George Akima, Chris Pino, TJ Akima, Kapili Akima, Ah Puck and team mom Noe Akima.
On Thursday, April 25, the Lunas will celebrate "Senior Night" to honor the team and the players competing in their final home game.
The MIL Championship Tournament will be held the following week, followed by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association State Tournament in mid-May in Honolulu.
The Lahainaluna junior varsity team is coached by Kapili Akima and Ah Puck.
This year, the team is comprised of Kalalani Kaaikala Caban, Carl Yagyagan, Edmar Ragton, Eric Kalani Minihan, Augustus June Ehsa, Justin Quitoriano, Marion Sidon, Kia Kenolio and John Espelo. The team managers are Shelby Uwekoolani and Kalena Au.