LAHAINA - The Lahainaluna High School boys volleyball team has moved into the top tiers of the Maui Interscholastic League standings over the last two seasons under head coach Dan Schultz and continue that upward climb in the current campaign.
Coach Dan, now into his fourth year at the helm of the Lunas and assisted by Marc Watasaki, who also guides the junior varsity program, noted that the team is off to a slow start and is now fighting for second place in the MIL and a ticket to the state tournament.
"We're just past the halfway point of the season, and we need to work our way into the number two slot and catch King Kekaulike," said Schultz.
The Lunas will need to improve down the stretch and into the MIL Tournament that will be hosted by Lahainaluna at the Jimmie H. Greig Gymnasium on campus on April 26-28, with the state playoffs scheduled for May 2-5 in Honolulu.
According to Coach Dan, the Lunas are big and athletic, but they have yet to gel as a cohesive team on the court.
"As most of our players come from other sports, they don't play (volleyball) regularly, and it takes a little more time to get the passing and team chemistry right. We've seen a big improvement during the season," he said.
Senior co-captains Pono Murray and Jesselee Eugene, juniors Nick Gayagoy and Carter Stockham, sophomore Lee Yomes and senior Una Pahulu are all experienced returnees on the Luna roster.
They are backed up by juniors Leovigildo Amby, Rowel Ansagay, CJ Palma, Aliksa Jun Jun Pihda and Jarren Mark Rosqueta, and freshman Libero M.J. Domingo.
Schultz had high praise for the backup players that push the starters to higher levels, and to volunteer assistant coaches Ikaika Vasquez, Marion Sidon, Justin Qutorriano and Fritz Ruiz for their input.
He also thanked team managers Melody Kaina Tianio, Sheila Aina Manrique and Grace Takemoto for their work, and also to the Murray family for their support.