Leilehua Volleyball Standout Looks Forward To HPU Career

Leilehua's Kayla Kilaulani. Photo from Kilaulani family.

Leilehua’s Kayla Kilaulani. Photo from Kilaulani family.

When Leilehua volleyball standout Kayla Kilaulani signed on to play at Hawaii Pacific University, she ensured that attendance will very likely multiply at Sea Warriors games over the next four years.

“My family is very supportive,” said Kilaulani, who is the oldest of three children. “When I told them of my decision to go to HPU, they said they could go to all of my games. They even want to go to the games on the Mainland, too.”

Kilaulani, who noted that she is her family’s first college attendee, was a top Hawaii volleyball prospect in the class of

2014, but she didn’t have to depend on her athletic skills to go to college. Indeed, her HPU package includes a Dean’s academic scholarship to cover half of her tuition.

“I’m going to major in architectural engineering,” she said. “I chose HPU for academic reasons. I’m going to college to go to school and not just to play volleyball. They have so many different opportunities for me to pursue a career later.”

Even so, Kilaulani’s talent is considerable. At Leilehua, she was a four-year starter as a defensive specialist and three-time OIA All-Conference pick, earning Player of the Year honors as a sophomore.

Kilaulani, who currently plays with Mililani Volleyball Club, competed with Aloha Regional High Performance and played in championships in both Arizona and Wisconsin.

She noted that HPU head coach Daryl Kapis also was a reason she chose the Sea Warriors, despite strongly considering Western Texas.

“HPU kept in touch with me throughout (the recruiting season),” she said. “Coach Daryl is a cool guy. He came to four of my tournaments to watch me play.”

Said Kapis: “Kayla is a straight competitor. Every time I watched her, she was chasing down balls, making spectacular plays, and never let the ball hit the ground without maximum effort.”

Kilaulani was the only defensive specialist added to HPU’s roster after the graduation of three seniors this spring. Kapis also announced the signing of Cheyenne Rankin (Huntington Beach High School, Calif.), and Brooke Garlick (Coronado High School, Nevada) last week.

These three new additions round out the 2014 class for the Sea Warriors. Kapis had signed middle hitter Lea Felton out of Sacramento and setter Tenika Wentworth from Seattle during the early signing period last November.