LAHAINA - First-year boys' volleyball coach Dan Schultz is a relative newcomer for the Lahainaluna High School program, but he is no stranger to the sport. A recent addition to the teaching staff as an art instructor at the historic campus, Schultz stepped into the coaching position this year with a long resume that includes a sterling playing career at Loyola of Chicago, where he earned All-American honors, was a three-time all-conference honoree and set the record for career kills.
With his degree in studio art from Loyola of Chicago, Schultz followed his love for the sport into a professional career in Greece and Holland, returned to the U.S. to join the Extreme Volleyball Professionals beach tour and played a stint on the national team.
He moved to Maui in 2008 and put energy into the beach volleyball action at Kaanapali. He also coached at Maui Preparatory Academy and continued his involvement with the sport as a referee and promoter.
Coach Dan Schultz said the team is working on its fundamentals, passing and setting. PHOTO BY ART FILLAZAR.
With the retirement of Touchdown Tommy Akima and ohana as the mentors of the boys' volleyball program at Lahainaluna, Schultz took the short walk from his classroom to the Jimmie H. Greig Gymnasium to take the head coaching position for the Lunas.
Coach Dan is assisted by Jonathan Schultz and Ikaika Vasquez on the Lunas' staff for the varsity and junior varsity teams, with volunteer help from Trixey Ganer and Alika Pali. The team managers for the 2014 season include Kawena Murray, Kauakea Williams, Mharicar Tan, Christian Mae Yagyagan, Patricia Nebrida and Keolani Hill.
"These kids have a great team personality," explained Coach Dan from his classroom last week. "So with this positive attitude, we will strive to build solid fundamentals - better ball control in passing, setting. All of the team needs to know their role and play within that role, which leads to less mistakes and errors. We need to learn to be more consistent within the framework of the team. We're starting to figure it out with goal setting and team building - we're getting better and becoming more efficient as a team."
Lone senior Nate Hapakuka is the Lunas' team captain leading this year's effort along with fellow returnees Ansen Cabanilla, Thomas Driebelbis and Cyrus Kama from the junior class; sophomore Justin Valdez; and floor captain Kia Kenolio, a talented sophomore up from last year's junior varsity. Rounding out the roster are juniors Edmar Ragonton and Isaiah Biga Rogers, and freshman Pono Murray.
The junior varsity team is made up of sophomores June Ehsa, Ericson Lago, Jakob Opunui, Justin Quitoriano, Fritz Ruiz and Marion Sidon, and freshmen Issac Dusenberry and Keanu Hussey.
The Maui Interscholastic League regular season runs through April 18, followed by the post-season tournament and then the state championship playoffs in Honolulu.
"Our thanks goes out to parents like Lucy and Kurt Driebelbis and Leimomi and Pono Murray for all of the support they've given the team, as well as to Trixey (Ganer) for running the concession stand at the home games and to Alika Pali for the terrific job he does as our scorekeeper," Schultz concluded.