HG: Ahuna among 56 D-I volleyball players from Hawaii

UC Riverside's Ka'iulani Ahuna is the national player of the week in women's volleyball. Photo courtesy Dwain Linden.

Opening week of the collegiate volleyball season was the first opportunity for 56 Division I players from Hawaii to begin their seasons on the mainland.

UC Riverside’s Ka’iulani Ahuna, a 2015 Kamehameha-Hawaii alumna, was one of the standouts. She was named the AVCA national player of the week on Tuesday after winning Big West player of the week honors on Monday.

Ahuna, a 5-foot-10 senior outside hitter, totaled 80 kills over three matches to help the Highlanders finish 2-1 in the Riverside-Fullerton Classic. She is the first Highlander to win national player of the week honors.


Ahuna began the season setting the program record for kills in a match in the rally-scoring era, finishing with 30 in a four-set win over Montana.

That record lasted only two matches as Ahuna followed up a 17-kill performance in a sweep of UMASS Lowell with 33 kills in a five-set loss to Eastern Washington. She also had a career-high 23 digs against the Eagles.

Ahuna’s 6.67 kills per set average leads the nation after the first weekend.

Eastern Washington kept the Highlanders from going undefeated with a 15-13 victory in Set 5 after UC Riverside rallied from a 2-0 deficit. EWU sophomore Puaoolelagi Sa’o (Kahuku ’17) played in all five sets and had 12 digs and an assist while sophomore ShaRae Niu (Kahuku ’17) appeared in one set.

The Eagles are one of 12 mainland teams to have multiple players from Hawaii on the roster. Nevada, Portland, Temple and Utah lead the way with three each.

Here’s the list of 56 Division I collegiate volleyball players from Hawaii at mainland schools. (Note: Hawaii Grown does not include University of Hawaii sports.)

ARIZONA WILDCATS
Emi Pua‘a (Punahou ‘16), 5-6, Jr, L/DS

ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS
Nikki Lum (Punahou ‘16) 5-6, Jr, S
Ana Oglivie (‘Iolani ‘17) 5-6, So, S

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY COUGARS
Kiani Moea‘i (Punahou ‘15) (RS) 5-10, Jr, S

BUTLER BULLDOGS
Taylor Takeda (Kamehameha ‘14) 5-4, Sr, L

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE MATADORS
Kamalu Makekau-Whittaker (KS-Hawaii ‘16) 6-0, Jr, S

COLORADO BUFFALOES
Lillie Klemmer (Punahou ‘16) 5-11, Jr, MB

DARTMOUTH BIG GREEN
Zoe Leonard (KS-Hawaii ‘15) 5-10, Sr, L

EAST CAROLINA PIRATES
Brandee Markwith (Punahou ‘16) 5-8, Jr, DS/L

EASTERN MICHIGAN EAGLES
Julia Fisher (Le Jardin ‘18) 6-2, Fr, MB/RS

EASTERN WASHINGTON EAGLES
ShaRae Niu (Kahuku ‘17) 5-6, So, S
Puaoolelagi Sao (Kahuku ‘17) 5-6, So, DS

FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS
Pumehana Nedlic (Moanalua ‘15) 5-5, Sr, L/DS

GEORGE MASON PATRIOTS
Shali Niu (Kahuku ‘18) 6-0, Fr, OPP/S

GONZAGA BULLDOGS
Tiyana Hallums (Kamehameha ‘15) 5-10, Sr, DS/OH

HARVARD CRIMSON
Anna Uhr (‘Iolani ‘15) 5-8, Sr, L/DS
Sandra Zeng (Punahou ‘17) 5-9, So, OH/DS

JACKSON STATE TIGERS
Markayisha Masani (University ‘15) 5-9, Sr, OH
Kanilea Nomura (King Kekaulike ‘17) 5-11, So, MB

KANSAS STATE WILDCATS
Reilly Killeen (‘Iolani ‘15) 5-4, Sr, L/DS


LSU TIGERS
Paige Hilliard (Punahou ‘18) 5-10, Fr, OH

MONTANA GRIZZLIES
Silerolia Gaogao (Moanalua ‘15) 5-11, Sr, DS

NEVADA WOLFPACK
Shiloh Peleras (Kamehameha ’16) 5-9, Jr, MB
Kayla Afoa (Kamehameha ‘17) 5-9, So, OH
Kili Robins (Kamehameha ’18) 6-0, Fr, OH

OKLAHOMA SOONERS
Halia Hogan (‘Iolani ‘17) 5-11, So, MB
Kira Morikawa (Punahou ‘17) 5-7, So, DS

OREGON DUCKS
Kyra Hanawahine (Kamehameha ‘17) 5-2, So, L

OREGON STATE BEAVERS
Shekinah Clarke (Kapolei ‘15) 5-10, Sr, OH

PEPPERDINE WAVES
Hana Lishman (Punahou ‘16) 5-8, Jr, L
Savana Greene (Punahou ’18) 6-1, Fr, OH

PITTSBURGH PANTHERS
Kamalani Akeo (Kamehameha ‘15) 5-8, Sr, S

PORTLAND PILOTS
Kassidy Naone (Le Jardin ‘17) 5-11, So, OH
Carey Williams (Kahuku ‘17) 5-7, So, DS/L
Shayla Hoeft (Seabury Hall ’16) 6-2, Jr, MB

ST. JOHN’S RED STORM
Sheena Yoshioka (Punahou ’18) 5-3, Fr, L/DS

SAINT MARY’S (CALIF.) GAELS
Chandler Cowell (King Kekaulike ’18) 5-10, Fr, OH

SAN FRANCISCO DONS
Ally Wada (Hawaii Baptist ’18) 5-8, Fr, S

SEATTLE U. REDHAWKS
Aly Borje-Bonkowski (Maryknoll ’16) 5-4, Jr, L
Kailee Kurokawa (Hilo ’18) 5-9, Fr, S/DS

SIENA (N.Y.) SAINTS
Jojo Ishida (Mid-Pacific ‘17) 5-6, So, L/DS

TEMPLE OWLS
Mia Heirakuji (Kamehameha ‘15) 5-5, Sr, DS/L
Averi Salvador (Punahou ‘17) 5-5, So, DS/L
Xeryah Salanoa (Punahou ’18) 6-0, Fr, MB/RS

TENNESSEE STATE TIGERS
Laken Te’o (Kahuku ’16) 5-9, Jr, S
Jojo Kruize (Moanalua ’16) 5-11, Jr, OH

TEXAS LONGHORNS
Jhenna Gabriel (Maryknoll ’18) 5-8, Fr, L/DS

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS
Kiari Gier (Maryknoll ’18) 5-4, Fr, L/DS

UC RIVERSIDE HIGHLANDERS
Ka‘iulani Ahuna (KS-Hawaii ‘15) 5-10, Sr, OH

UTAH UTES
Bailey Choy (‘Iolani ’16) 5-9, Jr, S
Saige Ka‘aha‘aina-Torres (‘Iolani ’18) 6-0, Fr, S
Phoebe Grace (Kahuku ‘17) 6-2, Fr, MB

UTAH VALLEY WOLVERINES
Jasmine Niutupuivaha (Kahuku ’16) 5-11, Jr, MB

WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
Aria McComber (Punahou ’18) 5-6, Fr, DS/L


WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS
Rhyenne Filisi (Maryknoll ’18) 6-2, Fr, RS/OH

WINTHROP (S.C.) EAGLES
Siani Yamaguchi (Kalaheo ’16) 5-8, Jr, S

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