Saturday, May 23, 2015         

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Chris Acker was never one to turn away from a challenge. Back in 2004, Acker raised some eyebrows when he declared for the NBA Draft a season early as a reserve player for Division II Chaminade.

There has been little down time, little time to sprostite (relax) during the whirlwind of a tour for the Hawaii volleyball team.

While most conferences compete in their tournaments this weekend, Hawaii is left to play three nonconference games in Arizona.

On its historic tour of Europe, the Hawaii volleyball team got history lessons on both sides of the Italy-Slovenia border Thursday.

The European trip taken by Hawaii is one of growth, as a volleyball team and as individuals. The Rainbow Wahine saw that preoblikovanja, that transformation, personified when former all-conference player Maja Gustin greeted them inside the Slovenian national team’s HIT training center.

Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated the NFL’s intention to evaluate playing a Pro Bowl in Brazil. His remarks came in a news conference following league meetings Wednesday in San Francisco.

The day began and ended with a lesson on defense and of its importance. Seeing how the Castello Sforzesco defended the city of Milan beginning in the 14th century while on a morning sightseeing tour was like seeing how the Italian National Team defended the Pallazzetto.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser sports writer Cindy Luis has been named as this year's E. Douglas Boyden Media Recognition Award winner, USA Volleyball announced Wednesday.

Jun Hernandez doesn't always know what to expect in his tennis travels with Cindy Nguyen. But "for sure it's entertaining," the University of Hawaii coach said. The 64-player NCAA Women's Tennis Championships tournament opens Wednesday at Baylor's Hurd Tennis Center.

The only thing constant is change. And the key to surviving change is to embrace and adapt. Change with the change, so to speak. It's how the Hawaii volleyball team has approached the itinerary during the first week of its European training tour.

Endorsements are all part of being a professional athlete. Name recognition is closely tied to products and logos. When it came to beach volleyball, the connection was simple for Tri Bourne. Sand brand? Hawaii.

Mariel Galdiano planned to get some homework done after attending Sunday's Jennie K. Wilson Invitational banquet as the tournament champion for consecutive years.

The first day in Milan was a full day for the Hawaii volleyball team. So full in fact that the Rainbow Wahine twice partook in the Italian tradition of passeggiata before and after dinner Sunday evening near the Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral Square of Santa Maria Nascente.

Gib Arnold has been unfairly “cast as the villain” in the NCAA’s investigation of the University of Hawaii men’s basketball program and the school “laid down” in not contesting allegations, the fired coach’s Honolulu attorney charged Sunday.

Hawaii's final regular-season home series showed the gap that remains between the Rainbow Warriors and the top teams in the Big West.

Of the things Hawaii and Italy have in common, one in particular stands out. The importance of family. That both cultures so embrace it made Jay Anderson's journey to play professional volleyball in Italy for Olympia Pallavolo Bergamo a little easier.

For the first time in his coaching career, Norm Parrish gets to breathe at sea level. "Yeah, maybe I can actually run longer," Hawaii's new assistant basketball coach quipped on Saturday.

Cal State Fullerton withstood the Rainbow Warriors' best chance at a victory as pinch hitter Jake Jeffries broke a tie with a two-run single off Andrew Jones in the seventh inning to give the Titans a 4-2 win to clinch the series.

From start to finish, anything the Hana Dragons tried to do, the Hawaii Baptist Eagles simply did better. HBA stymied upset-minded Hana 25-10, 25-15, 25-11 on Saturday night in the final of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Boys Volleyball Division II State Championships at Blaisdell Arena.

For the third time in four years, Kamehameha-Hawaii came from the Big Island to play — and get beaten by — Punahou in the Division I final of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Boys Volleyball State Championships.

Statistics of players with Hawaii ties in professional baseball through Friday's games:

Kaiser got its elusive and eternal reward. The Cougars won their first girls team title at Saturday's Island Movers/HHSAA State Track and Field Championships at War Memorial Stadium.

Injured for part of the season, Dylan Kane didn't even need to run on the track team. But the senior sprinter was one of several injured athletes who stuck it out for their teammates.

The University of Hawaii said it will vacate 36 victories; reduce scholarships, practice time and tryouts; cut back the role of its operations director; pay a $10,000 fine; and place itself on one-year probation for violations of NCAA rules by its men's basketball program.

Walk in the graduation processional to seats in the Stan Sheriff Center or walk down a gangway to seats on a flight to Europe. Those were the choices for Kalei Adolpho and Ginger Long, who were scheduled to receive their diplomas at Saturday's commencement exercise.

Elisa Favela's arm has been humming all season. It was just a matter of time for her bat to catch up. The Campbell right-handed pitcher went the distance in the circle and swatted two home runs, including a grand slam to give the Sabers a 16-4 victory Friday

The Los Angeles Lakers found a like-minded playing partner to meet in paradise. The Utah Jazz are game for two NBA preseason contests at the Stan Sheriff Center, Oct. 4 and 6, as both teams launch campaigns that they hope result in a return to the playoffs.

Thomas Eshelman's shortest outing of his career came two years ago in a loss to Hawaii at Les Murakami Stadium. In two starts against the Rainbow Warriors since, the Cal State Fullerton right-hander hasn't given up a run.

Nothing seemed to be going right for the Kamehameha-Hawaii Warriors in the 24 hours entering a huge semifinal showdown at Moanalua.

Hana played well in spurts, then fell into concentration lapses. But the second-seeded Dragons recovered to sweep St. Francis 25-10, 25-23, 25-22 in Friday's Division II semifinals of the New City Nissan/HHSAA State Volleyball Championships at Farrington.

What is a state meet record worth? To one athlete, the chance at two gold medals and a team crown just about covers it. Kamehameha’s Kayson Smith-Bejgrowicz won the boys high jump at the Island Movers State Track and Field Championships at War Memorial Stadium on Friday.

Maui's Kendall Grove lost a one-sided affair to Brandon Halsey in the main event of Bellator 137 on Friday night.

With head coach Ricky Gusman making a surprise return to the Nanakuli dugout, the Golden Hawks treated him to a thrilling victory and a third consecutive state title.

It has become her signature celebration move. After a big kill, block or point, Rainbow Wahine outside hitter Nikki Taylor does a windmill fist pump accompanied by a “Let’s go!”

Campbell is back where it wants to be. The Sabers (16-2) dropped Kamehameha 7-1 Thursday to advance to Friday night’s Division I final of the DataHouse/HHSAA Softball State Championships at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

Two weeks ago, Hawaii departed for a six-game road trip that the eight seniors playing their final home games this weekend won't soon forget. Since joining the Big West Conference, it's been an ongoing struggle.

Ideally, Jordan Redo-Rost would be hitting the entire time for Hana. Instead, the senior does a bit of everything for the Dragons.

Sometimes it seems a very large rift exists between the academic and athletic worlds at the University of Hawaii. But the figurative wall on Dole Street separating upper and lower campus came down, at least for a couple of hours Thursday morning.

Powerful performances at the plate on Thursday set up the third meeting of the season between OIA rivals Aiea and Nanakuli, this time with a state championship at stake.

It was wild, a game with as many miscues as clutch plays, and in the end, the Mililani Trojans proved why they are defending state champions.

With three conference games remaining, Hawaii hasn't technically been eliminated from the Big West race.

After 65 years, the Jennie K. Wilson Women's Invitational remains a golf tournament cherished for its ability to identify Hawaii's finest female golfer while simultaneously putting on a uniquely Hawaiian party.

Former University of Hawaii receiver Greg Salas' football journey is heading to Motown. On Wednesday, Salas signed a one-year, free-agent contract with the Detroit Lions.

Mylee Enos picked a good time to hit her first home run of the season. The Maryknoll cleanup hitter blasted a grand slam to left center in the first inning to get the ball rolling in the Spartans' 13-0, five-inning, mercy-rule victory over BIIF champion Waiakea on Wednesday at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

Leisha Li‘ili‘i closed her University of Hawaii softball career as an All-Big West first-team selection for the second consecutive year. Li‘ili‘i, a senior first baseman/designated hitter, was UH's lone representative on the all-conference first team.

Five years after winning the Ultimate Fighter reality show, Kendall Grove was cut from the UFC. That was 2011, a time when Grove concedes he thought about giving up on his fighting career.

Honolulu's Jun Ho (Kenneth) Won and Kyohei (Kyle) Nomura, and Maui's Garrett Okamura and Sam Cyr moved a step closer to the U.S. Open after finishing 1-2 at local qualifiers the past week.

Former University of Hawaii running back Joey Iosefa said he has plans for his first National Football League paycheck. "It's going straight to my savings (account)," said Iosefa, who was selected in the seventh round, 231st overall, by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on May 2.

Opportunity has knock-knocked twice for former University of Hawaii quarterback Taylor Graham. After participating in the New York Giants' rookie minicamp last weekend, Graham is prepared to compete in the New Orleans Saints' workout this coming weekend.

Jordan Sanches went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and Cherie Malacas and winning pitcher Claire Vila each had two hits and three runs batted in as the Lanai Pinelasses rallied to beat the Waialua Bulldogs 14-8 in the DataHouse/HHSAA State Softball Championships on Tuesday.

Ace Elisa Favela scattered six hits and Darien Robinson walloped a three-run homer in the third inning as Campbell defeated Leilehua 6-1 on Tuesday afternoon in the Division I opening round of the DataHouse/HHSAA Softball State Championships.

Sabrina Hollins is adept at throwing masses into the periphery. Powered by athleticism, strength and love for what she does, the Waipahu senior is on the verge of a rare double state title feat.

The only question surrounding Jim Schwitters' induction into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame Wednesday is, well, what took so long? "I'm just surprised that he's not already in there," said Rosie (Vera Cruz) Bareis, who starred for Schwitters at the University of Hawaii (1981-84).

Hawaii has its first player commitment of the Eran Ganot era. Bryce Canda, a 6-foot-4 point guard at Central Wyoming College, visited the Manoa campus over the weekend. On Monday, the sophomore offered an oral commitment to play for UH and Ganot starting in the 2015-16 season.

Pallavolo. Volejbal. Volleyball. Odbojka. Whatever the sport is called around the world, there is one thing that needs no translation: Playing the game at the highest level requires hard work and commitment.

Tryzen Patricio's opposite-field single dropped into the right-field grass at Les Murakami Stadium and into state baseball lore. Like the true leader he has become, Patricio didn't jog to first base and admire his handiwork. No, he made an all-out sprint to the bag.

After a slow start, the University of Hawaii water polo team surged to a 13-8 win over UC San Diego in the seventh-place match in the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship on Sunday in Stanford, Calif.

Don't bother giving the Mililani softball team directions to Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium — the program knows the route all too well. The OIA champion Trojans were awarded the top seed for the Datahouse/HHSAA Softball State Championships beginning Tuesday on the UH campus in Manoa.

Marcus Mariota need not bother to look in a mirror to glimpse himself in Nashville, Tenn., this week.

As the streak grows, the pressure for excellence mounts on Punahou. The Buffanblu found the proper release valve yet again Saturday at the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex as they outlasted Kamehameha 4-2 for their eighth straight crown in the Stanford Carr Development/HHSAA Girls Water Polo State Championships.

Joshua Muneno sealed his mark in Hawaii state baseball history on Saturday at Les Murakami Stadium.

A Campbell team with nine seniors in its starting lineup had been through two excruciating semifinal losses in the last two state tournaments. With only one chance left, these experienced Sabers finally broke through.

There's a certain pride when the judoka of Kapolei High School talk about their town. That's especially true after the Hurricane boys captured their second consecutive title at the HHSAA Judo State Championships on Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The afternoon started with tears and ended with a few more. In between, the University of Hawaii softball team celebrated senior day with a 7-1 win over UC Davis to close the regular season on Saturday.

Princeton's Jessie Holechek scored with four seconds left to lift the Tigers to a 7-6 win over Hawaii in a consolation round match in the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship on Saturday in Stanford, Calif.

The match was nearly over when Punahou's Micah Ma'a leapt over his teammates on the bench to chase down a ball. The Buffanblu's top hitter was simply following the team's instructions for the New City Nissan/HHSAA State Volleyball Championships.

For the first time in six games, Hawaii used a different reliever than Andrew Jones or Quintin Torres-Costa. Junior Kyle Von Ruden followed the lead the two left-handers have set over the past month, closing out a 9-2 win over UC Riverside with 51⁄3 shutout innings.

Never underestimate the power of making adjustments. Football teams do it at halftime. Mid-Pacific tennis player Skyla Alcon did it after a loss in singles.

Compared to its first meeting with USC this season, the Hawaii water polo team improved its execution in Friday's rematch in Stanford, Calif.

On the eve of senior day, Hawaii's upperclassmen opened their final series at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium by powering a 10-5 comeback win over UC Davis on Friday in the first game of a Big West doubleheader.

Mama Rivera socked a three-run homer and ace Aubree Kim made an early four-run lead hold up as Mililani edged Campbell 4-3 to win the OIA Red softball crown at Tiger Stadium.

Taira Shibata's two-run double in the top of the eighth inning lifted Aiea over two-time defending champion Nanakuli 10-8 for the OIA White softball championship.

Victorious cheers of "Imua!" rang out across the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex on Friday night. It'll take something special for that to happen again on Saturday.

After 50 years, Kamehameha finally has its medalist in the David S. Ishii Foundation/HHSAA Boys State High School Golf Championship. Spencer Dunaway's game and grace made it worth the wait Friday.

Campbell coach Rory Pico put his trust in the top high school draft prospect in the state.

Boosted by the support of nearly the entire Maryknoll student body, the Spartans pulled out a 4-3 win over Kauai on Friday morning to advance to the Division II championship in the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA State Baseball Championship.

In Mike Trapasso's 14 years as Hawaii baseball coach, he's never gone undefeated on a road trip lasting more than a week.The Rainbow Warriors are one win away from doing just that.

Isaiah Agiga wasn't sure his Waianae volleyball team would make it to the state tournament since the squad is a mix of players from various sports.

After four rounds, the top two seeds in all four divisions of the Carlsmith Ball/ HHSAA State Tennis Championships advanced to Saturday's finals.

Hawaii volleyball coach Charlie Wade has 2016 vision. Even during this season's journey that ended in an NCAA play-in loss on Tuesday, Wade already had a sequel in production.

Kapolei overcame a slow start to gain another shot at taking down a dynasty. The Hurricanes gave up two goals to Kamehameha-Hawaii in a handful of seconds, then settled down and defeated Hawaii island's Warriors 8-5 in the quarterfinals of the Stanford Carr Development/HHSAA Girls Water Polo State Championships on Thursday.

Going into their final series together, a few firsts are magnified in the memories of the Hawaii softball team's seniors.

Mililani has relied on its top two pitchers to advance to the semifinals of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA State Baseball Championships.

Entrusted with the start in Campbell's state tournament opener, Zachary Kapihe rewarded coach Rory Pico's confidence in helping send the Sabers to the semifinal round for the third straight year.

Campbell continued its torrid pace through the OIA softball tournament Thursday night with an 11-0, mercy-rule pounding of Pearl City at McKinley's new stadium.

Four players are tied for the lead after the first day of the David Ishii Boys Golf Championships at Waikoloa on Thursday.

A change in venue produced a similar result for the suddenly streaking Hawaii baseball team. Kaeo Aliviado drove in two of Hawaii's four fifth-inning runs with a double and relievers Andrew Jones and Quintin Torres-Costa continued to shut down opposing teams in the Rainbow Warriors' 6-3 win over UC Riverside on Thursday.

Neal Nakasone hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to cap a three-run rally and enable the ILH champion Maryknoll Spartans to beat Kapolei 6-5 in a quarterfinal of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Division II tournament at Hans L'Orange Park on Thursday.

Kealakehe's Michelle Uyeda provided one of the few surprises in the first two rounds of the singles bracket of the Carlsmith Ball / HHSAA State Tennis Championships at Central Oahu Regional Park on Thursday.

University of Hawaii basketball coach Eran Ganot will apparently not immediately get a fourth year added to his contract to cover possible NCAA sanctions.

It has already been a weird and wonderful week, even by golf's goofy standards. Ultimately, and oddly fittingly for a trio of Menehune, all roads lead to a bunch of beavers.

Cal State Northridge entered last week's series with Hawaii with just one loss in Big West play powered by an offense averaging 5.3 runs per game.

The time will come for Hawaii's seniors to reflect on all they'll take away from their years in the Rainbow Wahine water polo program. For now, they're focused on what they have left to give.

Sierra Mariano did just about everything a batter can do Wednesday except tear the cover off the ball. Mariano hit a three-run homer and added three doubles to push No. 2 Campbell to a 12-0, five-inning, mercy-rule victory over Leilehua in the quarterfinals of the OIA softball tournament in Ewa Beach.

Leilani Herrera and Annika Slattery each scored two goals and the Kapolei Hurricanes beat the Leilehua Mules 10-1 in the first round of the Stanford Carr Development / HHSAA Girls Water Polo State championships at the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex on Wednesday.

Kamehameha coach Tommy Perkins had a strategy to keep starter Codie Paiva fresh for the next three days of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA State Baseball Championships.

Ryder Oshiro's two-out triple in the bottom of the seventh inning scored pinch runner Guy Yokoe from first base to lift Waiakea over Kailua 4-3 in the opening round of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA State Baseball Championships at Les Murakami Stadium.

Coming off a rare series sweep at Long Beach State last weekend, the Hawaii baseball team wasn't given the kind of reward it was looking for. "The kids have been on lockdown," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said.

Four days before terminating basketball coach Gib Arnold and an assistant, the University of Hawaii agreed to pay for Arnold's legal representation and that of two assistant coaches in an NCAA matter, according to an email made available to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii pro Parker McLachlin shot a course-record 62 in the first round of the Pepsi Tour event last week and went on to win at Stonecreek Golf Club in Phoenix.


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