A dozen volleyball players were among nearly three dozen student-athletes who signed their letters of intent early Wednesday morning at the Elks Lodge in Waikiki.
The event, hosted each signing season by Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance (PIAA), featured a multitude of sports for the fall signing period. The 12 volleyball players include UH signee McKenna Granato, who sparked Punahou to the state championship last week. Ten of the 12 spikers are heading to the mainland, including Kamehameha teammates Tiyana Hallums (Gonzaga), Kamalani Akeo (Pitt), Mia Heirakuji (Temple), Reyn Akiu (Texas Tech) and Leila Holt (Western Oregon). Kiani Tuileta, setter for the state champion Buffanblu of Punahou, signed with BYU. Anna Uhr of ‘Iolani signed with her dream school, Harvard. Kennedy Poligratis signed with Hawaii Pacific.
Six softball players also signed at the ceremony, including UH-bound Nicole Lopez. Kamehameha’s Kamalani Dung signed with Fresno State, where she’ll pitch and possibly play second base. Maryknoll ace/slugger Shearyna Labasan signed with Western Washington.
Four baseball players inked their letters, including UH-bound Pono Anderson of Saint Louis. Kamehameha’s Codie Paiva signed with Loyola Marymount.
Though there were just two girls basketball signees, both are heading to Division I programs. Farrington center Jeneva Toilolo signed with New Mexico State, and Radford’s Jasmine Moody put her obligation to BYU in writing.
BYU made an impact, as well, with signees in three sports: Moody (basketball), Spencer Dunaway of Kamehameha and Rose Huang of ‘Iolani (golf), and Tuileta.
Harvard also left its imprint with signees Uhr and Nicole Nishizawa (Punahou softball).
The group that signed at the PIAA ceremony was heavy with female student-athletes, which was a perfect speaking point for guest speaker Sabrina Shizue McKenna. The Hawaii Supreme Court Justice recalled her scholarship opportunity four decades ago when she tried out for the University of Hawaii’s first women’s basketball team. She made the cut and called her mother, a single parent, grateful that her education would be paid for.
McKenna paid tribute to one of the trailblazers of women’s athletics, former hoopster-turned-legislator Patsy Mink, who helped author Title IX.
Former Saint Louis pitcher Jordan Yamamoto, now in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, was also a guest speaker.
PIAA Letter of Intent signing ceremony
Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014
Elks Lodge, Waikiki
Pono Anderson, Saint Louis, University of Hawaii
Keola Himan, Campbell, Hawaii Pacific
Casey Nakakura, ‘Iolani, Northern Colorado
Codie Paiva, Kamehameha, Loyola Marymount
Jasmine Moody, Radford, BYU
Jeneva Toilolo, Farrington, New Mexico State
Katherine Clouse, Radford, Maryland-Eastern Shore
Spencer Dunaway, Kamehameha, BYU
Rose Huang, ‘Iolani, BYU
Keilyn Ing, ‘Iolani, Portland State
Caitlin Green, Punahou, Marist
Malia Mizuno, Punahou, UC San Diego
Taylor Ah Mook Sang, Castle, Academy of Art University
Kamalani Dung, Kamehameha, Fresno State
Shearyna Labasan, Maryknoll, Western Washington
Nicole Lopez, Mid-Pacific, University of Hawaii
Nicole Nishizawa, Punahou, Harvard
Raven Sapala, Sacred Hearts, Utah Valley
Kanoa Kaleoaloha, Kamehameha, Florida State
Skyla Alcon, Mid-Pacific, Cal State Northridge
Ashley Ishimura, Punahou, Creighton
Reyn Akiu, Kamehameha, Texas Tech
Kamalani Akeo, Kamehameha, Pitt
McKenna Granato, Punahou, University of Hawaii
Tiyana Hallums, Kamehameha, Gonzaga
Mia Heirakuji, Kamehameha, Temple
Leila Holt, Kamehameha, Western Oregon
Rielly Killeen, ‘Iolani, Arizona
Malia Luis-Mateo, St. Francis, Menlo College
Kennedy Poligratis, Kamehameha, Hawaii Pacific
Kiani Tuileta, Punahou, BYU
Anna Uhr, ‘Iolani, Harvard