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Maui Prep volleyball team led by accomplished coach

By Staff | Sep 24, 2009

The team includes (from left): front — Jasmine Phillips, Abby Sauers, Cali Minami, Tiana Lenta, Haley Robb and Carmela Lenta; back row — Allie Johnson, Chloe Schaeffer, Kiana Schaeffer, Coach Dan Schultz, Makena Powers, Serafina Huck and Aja Toscano. Samantha Castillo and Amanda Cuevas are also on the team.

NAPILI — With the arrival of Dan Schultz as the volleyball coach at Maui Preparatory Academy, look for a steep rise in the level of play here on the West Side in the near future.         

Schultz arrived on Maui a year ago after stints in European professional volleyball and with the United States Olympic team.

He takes the Maui Prep coach’s whistle for the school’s first varsity season in the Maui Interscholastic League with impressive credentials.

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from Loyola of Chicago, as well as a teaching credential from the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a collegiate volleyball player, Schultz was a four-time all-conference selection and earned All-American honors as a senior for the highly touted NCAA Division I Loyola program.

After visiting Maui several times, Schultz became enamored with the island lifestyle and relocated here in 2008.

He took a job as the middle school art teacher at Sacred Hearts School in Lahaina, but budget cuts this year included his position, so Schultz was back on the employment search trail.    

He found his way to the MPA Napili campus, where Athletic Director Ryan Kirkham hired him as the volleyball coach and as a substitute teacher with emphasis on the art programs at the independent school.

“We knew that Dan Schultz was the real deal as far as volleyball is concerned, and we knew he would be an asset to the school as an art teacher and a coach. We are very excited about having him on staff,” said Kirkham.

As would be expected, the Maui Prep volleyball team is green and raw. But also to be expected from an independent school such as this, the team is highly motivated and, according to Coach Dan, on an upward improvement curve.

“Most of the girls had never played organized volleyball before this,” he said last week from the team’s practice site at Lahaina Civic Center. “But now they are all showing improvement in the basic elements of the game of ball control, serving, defense and team dynamics. It is encouraging to see the upward curve they’re on, and we have constant testing so that they can gauge and see the progression on their own learning curve.”

The 2009 Maui Prep girls volleyball roster includes senior captain Carmela Lenta and Amanda Cuevas; junior captain Serafina Huck and classmates Allie Johnson, Kiana Schaefer and Jasmine Phillips; sophomore captain Cali Minami and classmates Makena Powers and Abby Sauers; and freshmen Tiana Lenta, Haley Robb, Aja Toscano and Chloe Schaeffer.

Maui Prep will play a 12-game schedule in the MIL D-II bracket with St. Anthony, Lanai, Molokai, Seabury, Kaahumanu Hou, Hana and Kihei Charter School through Oct. 15.