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Lady Luna volleyball team amid up and down season

By Staff | Sep 29, 2011

The volleyball squad includes (from left): front — Danielle Shaffer, Sachiko Soares, Mehana Chang and Lyla Talaroc-Kaniho; back row — Jessica Wallace, Leilani Miranda, Tricia Kama, Kulia Murray, Ceidi Nobriga and Kawena Murray. Photo by Walter Chihara.

LAHAINA — A core group of veteran players, including two four-year athletes, leads the way for the Lahainaluna High School girls volleyball team and head coach Hano Ganer for the 2011 season.

Tri-captains Kulia Murray (a senior and one of the four-year returnees to the squad) and juniors Jessica Wallace and Tricia Kama form that leadership group for the Lady Lunas.

They are joined by Leilani Miranda, the other senior veteran for Coach Hano, and juniors Sachi Soares and Lyla Talaroc-Kaniho vested with the task to set the tone throughout the Maui Interscholastic League campaign that began early in September and runs through October with three regular season rounds, followed by the championship tournament beginning on Oct. 20.

Filling out the roster for Coach Hano and his staff of Monique Blando, Trixy Ganer and Davelyn Ganer are juniors Mehana Chang, Danielle Shaffer and Leslie Mina; sophomores Dwayna Kalilikane and Kawena Murray; and freshman Ceidi Nobriga.

The Lady Lunas have struggled thus far in MIL play after a promising second place finish in the Kamehameha Maui Preseason Tournament earlier this fall. But the team remains optimistic, with their sites set on the league postseason playoffs.

“We’ve been up and down all season long,” commented Coach Mo Blando last week during a practice session at the Jimmie H. Greig Gymnasium on the Lahainaluna campus.

“When we’re clicking, things really work well for us. But sometimes the girls get a little emotional out there and lose communication with each other. The important thing is that they work hard and are strong spirited. We run a 6-2 set, using two setters, and it works well for us when we get it going.”

Coach Hano concurred in saying, “We’re trying to get over the hump of being too emotional out there on the court — we need to relax and play our game. Then we’ll be allright; we won’t be so sporadic when we settle down.

“These girls are all good sports and we appreciate that. Thanks to all of our coaches and to the parents and families for their continuing support of the team. Hopefully, we can get some of our girls to the next level like the two MIL players — Ginger Long from Kamehameha and Kalei Adolpho from Molokai — did in getting to U.H. That is inspirational for us.”

The Lady Luna junior varsity volleyball team, coached by Rochelle Lanoza, Tita Uwekoolani and Lehua Lanoza, will play a similar schedule as the varsity team.

The roster includes sophomores Lithe Pokipala-Waiohu, Wailena Kuamoo, Kamelani Twiggs, Jamie Rosenberry Hoalani Arriaga and Kimberly Yap, and freshmen Tobi Bonifacio, Kalei Steele, Kaihi Kalilikane, Kristina Jan and Kaili Stockham. The team managers are Kawehi Alo Kaonohi, Fomina Maitinnara and Shelby Uwekoolani.