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Saturday, March 28, 2015         

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Grant Doi scattered seven hits and went the distance as No. 2-ranked Mid-Pacific rallied past No. 4 Kamehameha 2-1 at Les Murakami Stadium to seize the first-place lead in the ILH baseball standings.

UC Riverside's knack for pouncing on opportunities paired with Chelsea Ponce's pitching sent the Highlanders to a breakthrough win over the University of Hawaii softball team in the opening game of the Big West season Friday night.

Any coach will tell you, walks are a killer, and it held true in Campbell's 11-1 victory over Kapolei on Friday. The Sabers (5-1 OIA Red West) took advantage of eight bases on balls to finish off the Hurricanes by mercy rule in six innings at Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park.

The options are limited for a 5-foot-8 volleyball player going up against players with at least a 6-inch height advantage. Rather than getting blocked on his kill attempts, Hawaii Baptist's Nicolas Caballes tooled his shots off of Westview's blockers the entire match.

Not displaying the rust from last week's bye, the Rainbow Warrior volleyball team beat UC San Diego in three sets, earned its 11th victory in a row, and clinched a berth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation playoffs.

Most teams have had success against Hawaii in the Big West, but nobody has dominated the Rainbow Warriors like UC Irvine.

Four Campbell pitchers combined to hold Waipahu to three hits in a 7-0 shutout of the Marauders on Thursday night at Hans L'Orange Park. Lacking offensive punch of late, the Sabers erupted for five runs in the third inning to break a scoreless tie.

A popular pastime for media members and University of Hawaii staffers in moments surrounding David Matlin's overflow press conference Wednesday was playing count the athletic directors.

For a master of preparation like Punahou coach Rick Tune, it was not the ideal circumstance. His top-ranked Buffanblu, as usual, made the most of a five-minute warmup, then pulled ahead to outlast No. 5 Hawaii Baptist 25-20, 25-15 Wednesday night in pool play at the Hawaii Invitational.

The last time the University of Hawaii volleyball team played a league match the school had only one athletic director and the Warriors were ranked fourth nationally.

A down year by Big West baseball standards has made the conference wide open. Three teams started the year ranked in the top 25 but only UC Santa Barbara (17-6) remains.

Twenty-two years after he beseeched the University of Hawaii athletic department for an opportunity to get his foot in the door, David A.K. Matlin was handed the keys to the place as its new director on Wednesday.

Benjy Taylor still likes his chances. David Matlin's hiring as the new Hawaii athletic director on Wednesday did nothing to dampen Taylor's enthusiasm that he can be the long-term men's basketball coach in Manoa.

A month ago, Hawaii celebrated its remarkable U.S. Public Links legacy with a low-key day of golf and dinner. The intent was to say aloha to an event ending after 89 years, but in reality it was a day to enjoy old friends.

Keith Amemiya said he will "move forward" from the disappointment of not being named the University of Hawaii's athletic director.

Hawaii is out of chances to turn things around before the start of Big West Conference play. The Rainbow Warriors will carry a 9-16 overall record into Friday's opener at UC Irvine following a 9-3 nonconference loss to Loyola Marymount on Wednesday at Page Stadium in Los Angeles.

Heather Morales' initial exposure to Hawaii softball came about by introducing the Rainbow Wahine. A middle schooler in Indio, Calif., Morales frequented the nearby Cathedral City Classic — an annual early season college softball showcase — and took a turn behind the mic as the public address announcer for a matchup between Hawaii and UCLA in 2008.

Hawaii's shot put record changed hands over the weekend, but the mark remains under Canadian control.

Trevin Tengan's sacrifice fly RBI lifted No. 2 Mid-Pacific over No. 7 Saint Louis 3-2 in 10 innings on Wednesday night at Les Murakami Stadium. Mid-Pacific improved to 5-1 and remained tied with Kamehameha in the ILH standings. Saint Louis slipped to 2-5.

Punahou softball coach Bob Makahilahila was leery of a letdown in the wake of a shutout loss last Saturday.

For the second time this year, unranked Punahou took advantage of a Saint Louis team searching for a No. 2 pitcher.

Merilas Rivera wasn't having her best day, but she kept her chin up and her bat ready.

Ka'ai Tom's success in two years at Kentucky reached new heights this month.

When Hawaii lost its first dual match of the season last Wednesday to USC, it was a reality check for the then-No. 1 Rainbow Wahine sand volleyball team. The Women of Troy exploited some of Hawaii's weaknesses in taking the 5-0 victory and spoiling the opening of the new Ching Complex courts.

The second-ranked Warriors had moments of concentration lapses, but their athleticism and ability to get around a big block allowed Kamehameha to sweep 'Iolani 25-16, 25-18 in an ILH boys volleyball match on Tuesday.

Coach Dave Shoji is planning to take the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team to Europe. UH's women's team has been to Japan several times for offseason training, but this takes the Wahine even farther from home.


It was lightning in a bottle, captured for 15 consecutive games. A special team that had a rare chemistry and character, a unique blend of work ethic and ethos, a mix of passion and compassion.

The countdown is on for young Trey Johnson. With every start and every stride, the Kapolei freshman moves a step closer to the future. Johnson was one of the runners who captivated a sparse but gritty audience at Punahou's Alexander Field that endured morning rain and mid-day rays.

Chaminade's Stewart earns softball award • Comstock picks up All-America honor • Vulcans sweep Holy Names in softball • UH Hilo men 14 strokes off lead • Hawaii Pacific swept in double dip • Chaminade softball team drops pair

The team that gave Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso high expectations for this year finally made an appearance on Sunday. For the first time since the second game of the season, Hawaii had its full complement of players on the field at the same time, and it clearly made a difference.

A long week -- very long week -- came to a satisfying end. A Sunday topped by a promise of sundaes on the upcoming road trip. Not that the No. 1 Hawaii sand volleyball team needed incentive to win its second dual of the day, the fourth competition day in the past five.

It had all the makings of a lost season. Head coach fired just a handful of days before the first game. Star player departed amid a cloud of pending NCAA punishment. General weariness from intense scrutiny.

Things were supposed to get better for Hawaii when a two-win New Mexico State team visited Les Murakami Stadium for four games this week. Instead, it's gotten a whole lot worse.

Mid-Pacific scored in bunches in the Owls' first win over Punahou this season. Their second was dictated by pitching and defense. The Owls backed up a succession of MPI left-handers in the field and held off the Buffanblu in a 3-0 win on Saturday at Hans L'Orange Park.

The key to success, Nainoa Soto-Thompson says, is as basic as a balanced diet. Minutes after Soto-Thompson and his teammates helped Campbell break the boys 4x100 meter relay record at the Cal Track/Ruby Tuesday Hawaii Invitational track meet, he summed it up.

Tia Furuta's beaming smile belies her fierceness on the soccer field. Opposing defenders are not exactly thrilled when Furuta has the ball and is moving up field or is within striking distance of the goal.

More often than not, the player of the year in Hawaii high school sports comes from the state championship team.

The Hawaii Rainbow Wahine will have to wait until next season to flip the painful season-ending script they've followed three straight years.

Ace Aubree Kim went the distance as No. 2 Mililani outlasted Kapolei 11-4 in nine innings on a chilly Friday night at Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park.

A little success was all Quintin Torres-Costa needed to get going. The sophomore left-hander, who has fallen out of the rotation and struggled all season, recorded the final eight outs to pick up the win in Hawaii's 6-2 victory over New Mexico State on Friday night.

To keep Aloha Stadium operational for the next 30 years will cost $200 million just to address priority health and safety problems, a consultant told the Aloha Stadium Authority on Thursday.

The goal was to showcase, adjust, re-adjust and learn. And learn some more. That’s what both Hawaii and Texas took away from Thursday night’s exhibition volleyball match at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Andrew Jones had New Mexico State down to its last strike when the lights flickered on Thursday at Les Murakami Stadium.

After one year at the helm, Lee Leslie has left the Kahuku football program. Leslie submitted his resignation from Idaho on Thursday morning. He flew back home last Friday for spring break after handing out the program's practice calendar through the rest of the year.

Former University of Hawaii running back Joey Iosefa's search ended on Montezuma Mesa. "The code for me this week was redemption," said Iosefa, who reaffirmed his status as the Warriors' top football prospect during Thursday's pro day on the San Diego State campus.

Scott Harding ran 40 yards in 4.59 seconds at the University of Hawaii football team's pro day Thursday on the San Diego State campus.

Speculation abounded earlier this week that Keith Amemiya or David Matlin could be announced as the University of Hawaii's new athletic director at Thursday's meeting of the Board of Regents at Kapiolani Community College.

The cultural diversity that is Hawaii wears No. 3 for the Rainbow Wahine basketball team. It was part of the reason that junior guard Marissa Wimbley — raised in a very culturally diverse home — chose to play in a place where she felt she'd fit in, even an ocean away.

Losing a coach can be disruptive to a football-loving community such as Kahuku, but fans and observers in the small North Shore town aren't going to dwell on the sudden departure of coach Lee Leslie.

Golf is a game adults come to understand as complicated and frustrating, yet simultaneously pure and beyond addictive.

In 1998 Keith Amemiya had an office view of Honolulu harbor, a six-figure salary, was head of the Hawaii State Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division and on fast track to partner in a downtown law firm.

When David A. K. Matlin showed up at the University of Hawaii in 1993 looking for a job, a lot of people weren't sure what to make of him.

A Hawaii offense in desperate need of help is close to getting it. Sophomore Marcus Doi and senior second baseman Stephen Ventimilia are close to returning from injuries as Hawaii prepares for its final nonconference series against New Mexico State before the start of Big West play.

Jasmine Alkhaldi was prepared to call it a career after helping lead the Hawaii women's swimming team to a conference championship last month. Turns out, the Rainbow Wahine senior had a few more laps left.

It's been a season of firsts for the Hawaii women's sand volleyball team. First win over two-time national champion Pepperdine in six meetings. First No. 1 ranking. First home match at the new T.C. Ching Complex courts.

By Hawaii water polo coach Maureen Cole's estimation, Rainbow Wahine sophomore Claire Nixon can deliver one of the hardest shots in the nation.

Speak softly and carry a big stick. President Theodore Roosevelt's foreign policy aptly applies to the only foreign player on the Hawaii volleyball roster.

Cassy Isagawa insists it had nothing to do with her college of choosing. As it turned out, the neon yellow ball she used over her final two years of high school was quite the indicator of things to come.

Two-tenths of a second is enough time to form a first impression of a Web site but not enough for a catch-and-shoot play in the NBA. For former University of Hawaii running back Joey Iosefa, two-tenths of a second is needed to erase a first impression and, perhaps, catch the attention of pro-football scouts.

The versatile 6-foot-4 athlete even took time off from club volleyball action during this senior year. The time away has turned out to be time well spent. Ma‘a soared for 15 kills as No. 1 Punahou swept No. 2 Kamehameha 25-21, 25-15 in a breathtaking performance by their top player.

It is a working vacation for the Texas women's volleyball team during this week's spring break. While coach Jerritt Elliott wants his players to enjoy the same things he did when on the Rainbow Warrior volleyball roster in 1989-90 he is treating Thursday's exhibition with Hawaii as all business.

Elisa Favela pitched a three-hitter and struck out 10 to lift the fourth-ranked Campbell Sabers to a 4-0 victory over the No. 8 Pearl City Chargers in an OIA West softball game on Tuesday.

UH pitcher Kanani Aina Cabrales powered the Rainbow Wahine in the circle and at the plate, striking out a season-high 13 and drilling the second of the team's three home runs in a 5-1 victory at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

In a way, Ian Kahaloa is like a lab rat. The ever-present scientists are watching his every move. The radar guns are clocking his game-time fastballs. They're watching him practice, looking for tendencies, comparing his pitching delivery to tried-and-true major league methods.

Chase Wago has been finding himself in that new orbit as a hitter, and now he's got closer on his resume, too. Wago socked a run-scoring double and finished the final three innings in relief of starter Grant Doi as No. 3 Mid-Pacific stifled No. 4 Saint Louis 4-1 on Monday at Damon Field.

The Rainbow Warrior volleyball team is now No. 1 with a bull's-eye. "Now everyone is looking at us," middle blocker Davis Holt said after the Warriors were ranked No. 1 in this week's AVCA Division I-II rankings. "We have a lot of expectations from everyone, including ourselves. We're definitely going to go harder."

When plans change, change the plan. Hawaii had anticipated that it would be watching the NCAA selection show before Monday's practice, preparing for an opponent as well as another road trip.

It was excitement all around Monday as the Hawaii women's volleyball team returned to the Stan Sheriff Center for the first official practice of spring. The Rainbow Wahine were back on the court together — most of the 2014 squad anyway — for the first time since losing in the NCAA second round.

Perhaps Pythagoras was wrong after all. The world is indeed flat. Or so it felt to the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine basketball team, its NCAA dream deflated like a punctured balloon.

It's official. The roller coaster of a season for the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors has come to a full stop. As expected, UH (22-13) will not play in a postseason tournament after the Rainbows lost in the Big West tournament championship game, 67-58, to NCAA Tournament-bound UC Irvine on Saturday at the Honda Center.

Nobody was happier that Jarrett Arakawa was on a pitch count than Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes. The Hawaii left-hander frustrated a physically imposing Sooners lineup for five innings, but could only throw 52 pitches as he works his way back from offseason shoulder surgery.

Moanalua junior Shawn Lu will give Pearl Country Club a break on Monday, or maybe it's the other way around. Lu shot a 72 to win the Hawaii State Amateur Stroke Play Championship on the rolling course, turning a four-stroke lead going into the final round into a six-stroke final margin.

There was a feeling of relief after the University of Hawaii softball team finally ended its four-game losing skid. Hawaii wrapped up the Hawaii Pacific Health Rainbow Wahine Classic with a 4-3, eight-inning win over Columbia at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium on Sunday.

Welcome to Coaches Choice, the fundraising organization ‘Ahahui Koa Anuenue's solution to meeting the unfunded needs of all 21 University of Hawaii teams, in addition to the training room, equipment room and weight room.

The ride stopped tantalizingly, frustratingly short of where Hawaii wanted to go — the NCAA Tournament. But what a ride it was

Hawaii coach Laura Beeman held it together for most of her team's postgame press conference in the back chambers of the Honda Center.

On a boiling hot summer afternoon up mauka, there's a basketball phenom disguised as a normal, happy kid in South Kona.

The transformation of Kaleb Gilmore was not quite a butterfly breaking out of its cocoon. No, it was much more like a raw, explosive combatant who gradually, and with great timing, matured into a master martial artist.

For Hawaii to reach the NCAA Tournament, the Rainbow Warriors would have to surmount the largest human obstacle in Division I basketball.

Maryknoll finally finished the job. The Spartans had three tough losses to start the ILH boys volleyball season. But Maryknoll has focused on improving itself and finally got its first win of the year with a tough 29-27, 21-25, 25-22 victory over host ‘Iolani on Saturday.

In the midst of Hawaii's most disappointing loss of the season, a freshman from suburban Seattle staked her claim on the future.

A rough day for Hawaii sports ended with another tough one for the baseball team. Oklahoma's Sheldon Neuse hit the go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 12th inning and the Sooners, who gave up a three-run lead in the eighth, battled back to defeat Hawaii 8-5 on Saturday night.

In a nonconference volleyball match that sometimes was not aesthetically pleasing, Hawaii put away pesky Hope International 25-12, 21-25, 25-10, 25-17 in the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday night.

Mid-Pacific denied 'Iolani a chance to tighten the ILH baseball race Saturday with a 10-6 victory over the Raiders.

Aside from one pitch, Kanani Aina Cabrales was in command in the circle for the University of Hawaii softball team on Saturday. But that one pitch and one swing by Virginia Tech catcher Katey Smith proved to be the difference in the Hokies' 1-0 win at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

It's been all about the next step all season. At last, Hawaii is poised to take it. The 15th straight win for the top-seeded Rainbow Wahine, a 73-64 decision over Cal State Fullerton on Friday in the Big West tournament semifinals, has UH within 40 minutes of a championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.

"The Star-Spangled Banner" was played pregame in the Honda Center for Hawaii's semifinal matchup with UC Davis in the Big West tournament semifinals. "Hawaii Pono‘i" was not.

Hawaii’s Carissa Moore regained her spot as the World’s No. 1 surfer with a win at the season-opening Roxy Pro Gold Coast in Australia.

Damien’s experience with late-game drama paid off Friday. Right-hander Grayson Bueno threw a complete game and the Monarchs fought off a Hanalani rally attempt with a seventh-inning double play to secure a 7-4 victory in an ILH Division II baseball game at Hans L’Orange Park.

Tyler Brashears was headed for a quick night when Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso came out to talk to him in the second inning.

Judging by the hit total, the University of Hawaii softball team increased its production with the bats on Friday. Coming back around to the plate, however, remained an issue for the Rainbow Wahine.

No television coverage. No band. No problems. The University of Hawaii volleyball team set the tone early, then summoned the reserves to finish a 25-15, 25-14, 25-14 nonconference rout of Hope International on Friday night.

The Brigham Young-Hawaii men's basketball team's season came to an end Friday, falling to Seattle Pacific 81-69 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II West Regional in Azusa, Calif.

Hawaii was on the razor's edge as the minutes ticked down against Long Beach State. Another Big West tournament collapse at the Honda Center likely meant the Rainbow Warriors were cut for the season.

A 20-hour travel day on Wednesday did little to affect Oklahoma sophomore Jake Elliott. The right-hander got two defensive gems behind him to escape a third-inning jam and dialed it up the rest of the way, allowing three hits in the Sooners' 5-1 win over Hawaii on Thursday night.

Two vastly different Waianae boys volleyball teams appeared against Pearl City. There was the one squad that kept hitting the ball into the net in Set 1. There was also the one that minimized errors to dictate Set 2.

Indications are that the University of Hawaii search advisory committee is wrapping up its work and could shortly make a recommendation on a new athletic director.

Life in college volleyball's toughest league means every match is a white-knuckle event for the University of Hawaii. "You're always gearing up for the big game," UH coach Charlie Wade said.

Hawaii softball coach Bob Coolen nearly emptied the Rainbow Wahine bench in search of a spark against Virginia Tech right-hander Maggie Tyler.


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