Hawai’i Recruits Set to Impact Menlo College Athletics

Hawai’i Recruits Set to Impact Menlo College Athletics

By Aaron Gillespie
Sports Information Director

Menlo College Athletics has a strong history of Hawai’i natives excelling both on the playing surface and within the campus community. A new crop of talented competitors will continue their legacy in 2016-17. Hall of Famers, All-Americans, and All-Conference players who have played at Menlo before them verify that there is no shortage of island influence on the Oaks.

‘Iolani school in Honolulu completed a remarkable season in 2015-16, earning the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship and finishing runner up in the state. A trio of major contributors have committed to play volleyball at Menlo College. All-league outside hitter Sierra Buscher joins First Team All-State selection Moea Kekauoha and All-State Honorable Mention middle blocker Emily Sunada at Menlo next season. The three ‘Iolani school alums will join current Hawai’i native volleyball player Malia Luis-Mateo (Saint Francis School) for the upcoming season.

On the pitch, the Oaks will benefit from the services of a pair of incoming soccer players in Trey Taniguchi and Noa Kerr. Taniguchi had a highly-successful four- year career at King Kekaulike High School where he was a team captain, earned All-Conference honors and was invited to play in the senior invitational all-star game. Joining Taniguchi is Hawai’i Baptist Academy standout Noa Kerr. Kerr was decorated for his successes both on the prep and club scene where he helped the Honolulu Bulls Soccer Club to a Men’s League Div. I League Championship. A midfielder, Kerr was a four-year varsity starter.

The wrestling program will be well-represented by Hawai’i recruits as well with Blaysen Terukina joining Coach Martinez and the men’s team and Brandy Ilac-Wong set to wrestle for Coach Bareng and the women’s program. Terukina was a two-time Hawai’i State Wrestling Tournament champion, a four-time placer and was named both the team captain and Most Outstanding Wrestler for Kamehameha Schools Kapalama. On the women’s side, Ilac-Wong looks to immediately make an impact on a talented Oaks roster. At Honokaa High she was the 2016 BIIF champion at 107 pounds, a year in which she also placed third in the state in that weight class.

In the gym, the Menlo women’s basketball team will benefit from the talent of a pair of incoming Hawai’i recruits Celina Pagan and Alexis Delovio. Delovio enters as a freshman after four impressive seasons at Maryknoll School where she was a four-time All-State selection who helped her team to a pair of ILH Div. I championships and led them to the state semifinals as a senior. Pagan joins the Oaks as a junior transfer who most recently played for Mission College in Santa Clara. She played her prep career at Sacred Hearts Academy in Honolulu where she was All-State and averaged 20 points per game as a senior. At Mission College, Pagan was a two-year starter who twice earned All-State honors, averaged 20 points per game and helped the team to its best record in program history last year (29-6).

A spring-sport athlete looking to help bolster the upstart Track & Field program at Menlo, Aubrie Usui is set to run the hurdles for Head Coach Dan Noel in 2016-17. Usui was a dual-sport standout in high school as both a basketball player and hurdler. On the track, she was Second-Team All-Conference for her efforts in the 100HH.

In 2015-16, Menlo College had 15 Hawai’i natives competing across its 15 intercollegiate athletic programs.