Lady Luna volleyball team off to a great start
LAHAINA – With a three-win takeoff to start the Maui Interscholastic League 2017 season, the Lahainaluna High School girls volleyball team is off to one of the best starts in program history. And third-year head coach Trixy Ganer is quick to credit the newly formed Lahaina Volleyball Club summer program as a big reason for the turnaround.
“We had 11 girls who played on the club team that played during the summer and won the gold medal of the 16 and Under Division at the Arizona Festival in June. Eight of those players are on the high school team now,” said Coach Trixy from the floor of the Jimmie H. Greig Gymnasium on the Lahainaluna campus last week.
The Lady Lunas finished last season at 3-9, leaving them in fourth place in the final MIL standings. If the quick start is any indication, Lahainaluna should improve and move up the ladder this season.
“We’re small but very scrappy, and our passing and defense are much improved over last year,” she said.
“These girls will sacrifice their bodies to make plays – that’s how scrappy they are.”
Leading the way for the 2017 Lady Lunas are co-captains Ashley Ganer, a senior four-year player, and junior three-year starter Nicole Turno. They are joined by junior returnee Destiny Ah Puck and sophomore returnees Taylor Ganer, Aulani Casco DeLeon, Willa Varquez, Sherlin Ravida, Jaylani Fujita, Mahea Criste and Alana Koa to form a roster that has played together since the sixth grade.
“This team has really gelled on and off the court – they realize what they have together as a team. This unity has been missing in the past, but not this year,” commented Coach Trixy.
“It really helps to have the strong community support that we have here, along with the student athletes themselves, their families, the school staff, the administration – it’s all coming together this season in a positive way. Especially to my family, my mom Charmaine and dad Hano, and coaches Janice Phillips and Raymond Tadeo, and my youngest Kuumomi, thank you so very much. It’s all coming together and, if anything, it feels good to be teaching the girls to be good people.”
The MIL regular season runs through Oct. 10, with playoffs to follow leading to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) state tournament to be played in Honolulu on Oct. 25-28. Perhaps we will see the Lady Lunas there – stay tuned.