Maui Prep Pueo focused on learning volleyball fundamentals
NAPILI – Pizza and volleyball are big in the life of Daniel Schultz.
Homemade pizza night in the family home in Oak Park, Illinois, was a weekly tradition – and still is to this day here in Maui with his wife Melanie and their two young children – and Schultz, the first-year volleyball coach for the girls team at Maui Preparatory Academy, has spent most of his life as a player and coach on the hard court.
He played high school, college, national team, pro indoor and pro beach volleyball before coming to Maui seven years ago with a degree in education from Illinois State University.
Coach Dan taught at Sacred Hearts School for a couple of years and then took a full-time position at Lahainaluna High School. He is currently an art teacher there and coach of the boys volleyball team up the hill. Schultz also runs an off-season beach volleyball club.
The Maui Prep Pueo are the new kids on the block, and naturally do not have any early illusions about challenging the big guns of the Maui Interscholastic League Division II lineup like Seabury Hall, Hana or Molokai. Their focus will be to learn solid fundamentals.
But with the energetic roster that Schultz and assistant coach Jonathan Schultz – Dan’s brother – inherited, the volleyball programs at Lanai and Saint Anthony will be looking over their shoulders at the upward flying Pueo.
Senior Gina Marzo is unquestionably the leader of the team. A four-year player and current team captain, Marzo has played in Coach Dan’s beach volleyball program for six years and has been a stalwart for the Pueo all during her high school career at the Napili campus. She is joined by fellow seniors Molie Glass and Sarah Colbaugh as the leadership core for the team.
Chantal Charbonnier, Suniva Than-garaj and Alana Bird form the junior class contingent on the roster. They are joined by sophomores Emily Colbaugh (a starter on the team who dislocated her elbow early in the season and now helps as a manager), Tea Vannatta and Kamryn Perry. The lone freshman on the squad is Danielle Bergson who, according to Coach Dan, has taken on the toughest job on the court as the setter.
The Pueo junior varsity team is made up of captain Elizabeth James, Lorie Kim, Emma Scott and Emily Twig, along with freshmen Chanel Charbonnier and Sarah Golestani.
As would be expected, the team is inexperienced, but, said Coach Dan, “All of them are eager to learn and are hard workers. We’ll concentrate on the fundamental skills and try to get them comfortable in the position rotations. Bump, set, spike; rotations, positions, technique – that’s what we’re trying to get done towards a winning goal.
“We are blessed with supportive parents who really rally behind their girls,” Schultz continued. “Coaches say that parents can make or break the coaching experience, and the parents at Maui Prep have made the first year here easy to handle. Thank you for such a warm welcome. Keenan Reader, our athletic director, is a great advocate for the student athletes and is a pleasure to work with – he is a great communicator. Thanks also to my brother Jon and to volunteer assistant Tomas Driebelbis for the help. Last, but not least, thanks to the league officials for coming all the way over here to work our games.”