One step beyond: Allie Capello, Ailana Agbayani among ‘Iolani’s NLI signees

Five ‘Iolani seniors signed their national letters of intent on Wednesday morning. The signees are (from left): Kawai‘apo Acopan, Ellie Asada, Carianne Takeuchi, Allie Capello and Ailana Agbayani. Paul Honda/

Life won’t be the same when these five ‘Iolani student-athletes depart.

For now, this is a day to remember for Ailana Agbayani, Allie Capello, Carianne Takeuchi, Kawai‘apo Alcoran and Ellie Asada. The five Raiders signed their national letters of intent early Wednesday morning, officially opening the next chapter of their lives — after graduation.

Agbayani and Capello are mainstays for ‘Iolani’s powerhouse softball program. Agbayani signed with BYU. Capello signed with Pacific.

Takeuchi will continue her bowling career at Newman (Kan.). Alcoran will play soccer at Menlo College (Calif.). Asada will join the volleyball team at Bates (Maine).

Raiders volleyball standout Mokihana Tufono wasn’t able to be at the signing event, but the senior signed with UCLA and was also named second-team All-American.

Agbayani’s older sister, Aleia, in her sophomore year at Cal. Even with her future secure, Ailana Agbayani has traveled to Florida each weekend this fall with her mother, Niela, to play in tournaments for OC Batbusters, one of the premier club teams nationwide. She is one of the state’s top shortstops, and is once of the Raiders’ aces on the mound.

‘Iolani softball player Allie Capello signs her national letter of intent with the University of Pacific as her parents look on. Paul Honda/
‘Iolani bowler Carianne Takeuchi signs a national letter of intent with Newman University (Kan.) as her parents watch. Paul Honda/
Niela and Benny Agbayani watch as their daughter, Ailana, signs a national letter of intent with BYU. Paul Honda/
‘Iolani soccer player Kawai‘apo Acopan signs a national letter of intent with Menlo College (Calif.) as her parents capture the moment. Paul Honda/
‘Iolani volleyball player Ellie Asada will continue her playing career at Bates College (Lewiston, Maine). Paul Honda/

Capello’s ability to hit for average and power is matched by few in the islands. She had an opportunity to visit and play for BYU, but the stipulation was that she would have a scholarship beginning in her sophomore year. That is the reality of the pandemic, which has allowed college players to have an extra season.

Agbayani and Capello have played together since they were starting middle school.

“The thing I will miss about playing with Allie is how much fun we have together. I will miss our jokes on the field and just playing with her in general. We have grown up playing together since we were 12 years old or maybe even younger,” Agbayani said.

“I will definitely miss her,” Capello said. “We’ve been good friends for a real long time. We’ve played together always except for travel ball.”

Softball season is still months away, but the training and anticipation are alive and well.

“I’m definitely ready for season,” Capello added. “It’ll be a super fun season for us seniors.”

Agbayani has toiled endlessly, a speedy contact hitter with some punch at the plate, and versatile on the diamond. It could have been tough playing for her father, former MLB and Japanese league player Benny Agbayani, but she continues to thrive.

“I owe everything to my parents. They sacrificed so much for me to be able to travel every weekend to the mainland and play on one of the best nationally-ranked softball organizations,” she said. “They dedicate their time and money into me playing softball and going to the best college prep school in Hawaii. I owe it all to them. None of this would be possible without their love and support.”

‘Iolani volleyball player Ellie Asada signed a national letter of intent to play at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Paul Honda/
‘Iolani bowler Carianne Takeuchi signed a national letter of intent to play for Newman University in Wichita, Kan. Paul Honda/
‘Iolani softball player Allie Capello signed a national letter of intent with the University of Pacific (Stockton, Calif.). Paul Honda/
‘Iolani softball player Ailana Agbayani signed a national letter of intent with Brigham Young University. Paul Honda/
‘Iolani soccer player Kawai‘apo Acopan signed a national letter of intent with Menlo College (Calif.). Paul Honda/
The journey has been memorable for ‘Iolani softball teammates Allie Capello and Ailana Agbayani (center), and their fathers, Josh Capello (left) and Benny Agbayani (right). Paul Honda/


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