Lady Luna volleyball team working on building a competitive attitude
LAHAINA – At Lahainaluna High School, volleyball is a family affair. For years, Touchdown Tommy Akima guided the boys team, and on the other side of the court, Hano Ganer mentored the Lady Lunas.
Both have since stepped down from the head coaching positions, but for the Lady Lunas, longtime assistant Trixy Ganer – Hano’s daughter – has taken the wheel.
“I give it all to my family – dad (Hano) and mom (Charmaine) are always there to support the team – and the families of the players also have been very supportive,” said Coach Trixy from the team’s practice site at the Jimmie H. Greig Gymnasium on the Lahainaluna campus.
“I couldn’t ask for a better or more supportive group of parents.”
The Lady Lunas have struggled in recent years competing in the Maui Interscholastic League Division I bracket that includes Kamehameha Schools Maui, Baldwin, Maui High and King Kekaulike, but Ganer believes that the growing interest in volleyball, particularly in the summer club programs, will help Lahainaluna climb up the standings ladder.
“It’s nice to see the volleyball programs growing in Lahaina. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m sure it will help us in the long run,” she said.
Coach Trixy will be assisted this year by Joe Keanini, Bula Mahiai and, of course, good old dad, Hano Ganer.
Standout returnees to the team are senior captains Faavae Galoia, Betty Koloi, junior August Guess and super sophomore Mina Criste.
Other returning players include seniors Angel Cuaresma, Mharicar Tan and Patricia Nebrida, and juniors Christina Malacas, Haylee Patch and Lea Mina. Rounding out the varsity roster are freshmen Zayla Jyawook and Taylor Helfort.
The Lady Luna junior varsity team includes sophomores Keolani Hill, Julia Bianco, Megan Patch and Lilikoi Carroll, along with freshmen Ashley Ganer, Kaitlin Hodgins, Shea Ruiz, Sierra Owsley, Melody Kaina Tianio and Chelsea Domingo.
The varsity and JV teams work out together, with the aforementioned coaching staff leading both squads.
“These girls have the skill and the technique and know how to put it together, but they also have the tendency to lose confidence,” said Coach Trixy.
“As their coaches, we want them to believe in themselves and build an aggressive and competitive attitude.”
The Lady Lunas will play a three-round MIL schedule into early November, followed by the league tournament and the state championships in Honolulu.