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For Satele, there's no place like home

By Ann Miller

LAST UPDATED: 1:49 a.m. HST, Aug 25, 2010

Chanteal Satele definitely looks like her mother, and her volleyball game is so similar to Lee Ann (Pestana) Satele's that Dave Shoji does a double take.

So even if the soft-spoken Chanteal doesn't sound like her jovial and always-joking mother from the 1982 and '83 NCAA championship teams, there is no question about her Rainbow Wahine pedigree.

For the second time in Shoji's 35-year career at the University of Hawaii, he is coaching the daughter of a former player. A decade ago it was Tehani Miyashiro, whose mother (Joey Akeo) played on the first four Rainbow Wahine teams in the mid-1970s.

"I have come to grips with the age thing," Shoji said. "It's nice to have second-generation kids that grow up in a volleyball family. They are pretty savvy and know what it's like to play here."

It is what Chanteal has wanted since she was small. Her father, Alvis, played football for the 'Bows, as did her brothers and cousins. The family attended volleyball games and her mother is often the focal point of alumnae get-togethers. Deitre Collins, Sista Palakiko, Tita Ahuna, Diane Sebastian and Nahaku Brown were "aunties" since before Chanteal learned how to spike.

She played on the same club with "new" teammates Kanani Danielson, Dani Mafua and Elizabeth Ka'aihue in high school. She would have come to Manoa in a heartbeat if Shoji had a scholarship when she finished a decorated career at Word of Life.


Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational

» When: Friday through Sunday
» Where: Stan Sheriff Center
» Friday: Kansas State vs. No. 16 UCLA, 5 p.m.; No. 5 Hawaii vs. No. 22. San Diego, 7 p.m..
» Saturday: San Diego vs. UCLA, 5 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Kansas State, 7 p.m.
» Sunday: Kansas State vs. San Diego, 3 p.m.; Hawaii vs. UCLA, 5 p.m..
» TV: All matches live on KFVE
» Radio: KKEA 1420-AM will broadcast Hawaii matches live

He did not in 2008 and St. Mary's did, so she set out for Moraga, Calif., and helped the Gaels get to the last two NCAA tournaments. She learned a new coaching style, made some wonderful friends and grew more confident and independent. And, she was third on the team in kills last season.

Still, Hawaii had that pull.

"UH is so powerful and athletic," Chanteal said. "It's always home and the No. 1 program in my heart. ... I love playing Hawaii-style volleyball. You can't be anywhere like it is here. There's nothing like it."

Family members prayed about her decision to come home last winter. When the warm Moraga hills were covered with a rare snow -- Chanteal's first "winter" -- they took it as a sign.

She has been back since the Christmas holidays, enrolled at UH since January and trained with the Rainbow Wahine in the spring as a walk-on. When Stephanie Ferrell transferred, Chanteal was put on scholarship. Shoji expects her to start on the right in Friday's season opener against 22nd-ranked San Diego.

Chanteal looks so much like her mother that Shoji blurted out "Lee Ann" at a practice. Sebastian, who hadn't seen Chanteal since she was small, still recognized her at a tournament in Las Vegas a few years back.

"She is a lot like Lee Ann, which is really hard to believe," Shoji said. "I wouldn't think volleyball would have anything to do with genetics, but they play so much alike it's a little scary. Their mannerisms and the way Chanteal moves on the court is almost identical."

Bown, USA in Grand Prix finals

Team USA, with former Hawaii All-American Heather Bown, takes a six-match win streak into the 18th FIVB World Grand Prix final round, which starts today in Ningbo, China.

The team started the tournament two weeks ago by losing two of its first three, but rallied with the addition of Logan Tom of Stanford to pull from eighth place to second and qualify for the final week.

Bown has 60 kills and 30 blocks in the tournament.

Star-Advertiser staff

They will be the first to tell you that their personalities are not so similar. Chanteal calls her mom "much more confident and out there -- outgoing. More outgoing than me."

According to Lee Ann, those who really know them "say we are not alike because she's nice."

"To be honest," Lee Ann grinned, "I'd like to see her be meaner. But that's just me."

Shoji offered this diplomatic response: "Chanteal is much mellower than Lee Ann. I think she's a lot like Lee Ann now, but Lee Ann back then was not like Lee Ann now."

Mom had her moments with Shoji when she came out of Leilehua in 1981. She was nice, in her own "more ... aggressive" way. She was loud on the court, where her daughter is quiet. She started in the game late. Chanteal was throwing volleyballs with her as a small kid while they waited for her brothers' practices to end.

Thirty years ago Lee Ann saw something in Shoji that she wanted her daughter to share. He, too, has mellowed, Lee Ann said. But he still knows "exactly how to manage" a game and a practice, and a career that has now spanned a pair of Sateles.

"He knows what it takes to win a championship, so I see in his eyes when he coaches these girls that that is what he expects and he's trying to get them there," Lee Ann said. "I see it in his face and I feel it. ... If something is not there he knows. He recognizes it just like that.

"He recognizes how the game has changed. He knows what it takes now versus what it took to win back when we played."

The past is about to be revisited.

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