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January 2006

Pacific Northwest News

UW Women’s Volleyball wins NCAA Tournament
Two Players from Hawai`i

By NWHIT Staff

The University of Washington Women Huskies won their first national championship in volleyball, with a winning streak of 18 games culminating in a final win over Nebraska 3-0. It was the first time a team swept all six of its opponents in an NCAA tournament.

In the last five years, the Women Huskies went from last place to national champions, with much credit going to coach Jim McLaughlin, who also took the USC men volleyball team to championship in 1990.Ashley Aratani He becomes the first coach to win both the men’s and women’s NCAA title.

Two women from Hawai`i play for the Huskies: Ashley Aratani, a sophomore who graduated from `Iolani and Tamari Miyashiro, a freshman from Kalani HS. Aratani plays defensive specialist and was a 3-year letter winner and 2003 team captain at `Iolani. Her parents are Dale and Gail Aratani of Honolulu.

Tamari Miyashiro
Miyashiro, a 4-year letter winner and team captain at Kalani, plays the position of setter. Her sister Tehani played volleyball for the University of Hawaii and her brother Ainoa plays volleyball at Graceland University. Her parents are Joey and Gordon Miyashiro.



A Visit to Kaua`i

By Steve Meier

The cold winds of the Pacific Northwest once again motivate us to seek refuge on the Garden Isle of Kaua’i. The stunning scenery will provide a perfect backdrop to amazing events and wonderful people we will meet on the trip we took right before the end of 2005.Jerome Koko of the Makaha Sons with the NW Hawai`i Times

A benefit Ho’ike at the Kaua’i Community College provided an intimate evening with the Makaha Sons. Reminiscent of their grand shows at Benaroya Hall, they melded sounds unique only to Jerome, John, and Moon. Laughing and talking story with Jerome after the show provided the punctuation to a great evening. By the way, Aaron… Uncle Jerome says call him, ya?

Tahiti Nui Lounge in Hanalei gave us a personal look at the original half of Hapa. Keli’i Kaneali’i’s relaxed manner made for a great close-up of his Darryl Gonzales and Mike Ka`awa at the Tahiti Nui Lounge in Hanaleiwonderful talent. Just a few days later the Tahiti Nui lounge would provide a kanikapila to remember. Local artist Darryl Gonzales, whose album I found at Borders in Lihue, where we ran into him a few days later, informed us of a semi-secret jam session. Darryl and guest Mike Ka’awa gave us all a night to remember, with uninhibited playing and singing, reinforcing the Tahiti Nui legend of providing great music “local style.”

A small respite prepared us for the much anticipated Kaua’i Slack Key Festival. Cindy Combs, Ken Emerson, Daniel and Dennis Kamakahi, Mike Ka’awa, and the legendary Led Ka’apana were just a few performing at the six-hour festival of music. The free concert gave us our first look at young sensation Brittni Paiva, who impressed all with her skill much beyond her 16 years. The highlight of the performance was Brother Noland, whose friendly nature comes right through his music. His respect for Hawaiian history in his music is admirable. Newcomer Walter Keale stunned the crowd, with a voice eerily reminiscent of his late first cousin, Braddah Iz. Look for his debut album to be released soon.

With all this great music, and electric atmosphere, it was time for a bit of a break. The last day of our Steve Meier (with shirt) and Maori warriors who travel with U.S. Open winner Michael Campbelltrip found me at another Kaua’i showcase event, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. The tournament invites golf’s four Major winners for the year to get together and play a two day tournament. U.S. Open winner Michael Campbell of New Zealand provided a wonderful history lesson for all of us on the first tee. Very proud of his Maori heritage, Michael brought his Maori warriors to perform the traditional “Haka” dance. Mr. Campbell interacted with all of the locals, trading words in Maori for the Hawaiian equivalent. Tiger won the tournament, Vijay impressed all with his skill, and Phil looked great. But it was Michael Campbell who was adopted as Kaua’i’s newest family member.

Upon returning home, the cold winds of the Pacific Northwest greet me and I am weary from the adventure. The memories of Kaua’i may chill a bit here, but they will never fade.

The Meiers visit Kaua`i a couple times a year. While they may spend a few hours soaking up warm sun, cool water and salt air, they always find things to do that we love to read about. Special Mahalo Nui to a menehune who makes things happen!

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