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Ex-Waiakea setter earns Big Isle honor


Former Waiakea High School volleyball standout Ashia Joseph has been named the Big Island Athlete of the Month for November.

Joseph, a sophomore setter at the College of Southern Idaho, helped lead the top-seeded Golden Eagles to the Natiional Junior College Athletic Association Division I volleyball national championship in early November.

Southern Idaho (33-1) defeated second-seeded Western Nebraska 25-20, 25-21, 25-20 in the national final.

Joseph, a 2011 Waiakea graduate, was a key player throughout the remarkable Southern Idaho season. The Golden Eagles fell to Western Nebraska in late August, then rattled off 29 straight victories to win their first national title since 2009. Southern Idaho has established itself as the premier volleyball program in the NJCAA, claiming more championship than any other school.

The Big Island athlete of the month program is sponsored by Don’s Grill, under owner Don Hoota. The athlete of the month as well as athlete and sportsperson of the year programs were founded by the late Jack Matsui.

Members of the selection committee are Hugh Clark, Ramon Goya, Stan Costales and chairman Bill O’Rear.


Nominations for the December athlete of the month may be sent to Don’s Grill, 485 Hinano St., Hilo, HI 96720, or to Bill O’Rear, Tribune-Herald Sports, P.O. Box 767, Hilo, HI 96721; or e-mail

The deadline to submit nominations is Jan. 2.

2012 Athletes of the Month

• January: Jason Alani, NFL Punt, Pass & Kick national champion.

• February: State champions Konawaena (girls D-I basketball), Kamehameha (girls D-II basketball), Honokaa (boys D-II soccer) and swimming champions Anu Nihipali (Hawaii Prep) and Beth Tsuha (Hilo High).

• March: Kamehameha’s Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy captured his second straight state heavyweight wrestling title.

• April: UH-Hilo softball standout Aisha Sueda.

• May: Waiakea baseball standouts Quintin Torres-Costa and Kodi Medeiros and Kamehameha volleyball star Evan Enriques and track champion Aukai Akau.

• June: Ronnie Loeffler, Hawaii Stars baseball pitcher.

• July: Madisyn Uekawa, Hilo Aquatic Club swimmer, who claimed five gold medals at the state age group long course swimming championships.

• August: Kahoalii Karratti, Konawaena quarterback, who led the Wildcats to the top of the BIIF Division II standings with his outstanding preseason and regular season play.

• September: Shae Kanakaole, Kamehameha volleyball player, who led the Warriors to an undefeated regular season record with her dominant play.

• October: Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, Ka’u volleyball player, and Terence Moniz, state champion Waiakea boys and girls air riflery coach.


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