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Pearl City Volleyball Player Charges Into Leadership Role

Tasha Keaunui. Photo courtesy Keaunui ohana.

Tasha Keaunui. Photo courtesy Keaunui ohana.

As Pearl City girls volleyball head coach Bryan Camello watched his players go through their first official fall practices last week, finding leaders was a high priority.

So he was relieved to discover senior Tasha Keaunui.

“We have four seniors, and we need leadership from all or one of them, and she’s been doing it,” he said of Keaunui, who plays opposite/defensive specialist. “She’s always been a good kid and a good student. This year, she’s mentally better (in volleyball).

“She’s stepped up her leadership. We’ll be counting on her. Only coaches will appreciate this kind of kid. She does the dirty work. If you don’t know the game, you won’t see all that she does. You need unsung heroes like her who can do the grunt work.”

Keaunui looks forward to seeing her role expand from a year ago when she was a reserve on the team.

“I didn’t get as much playing time as I would have liked, and that motivated me to try harder this year and prove that I should be playing more,” she explained.

The Chargers went 5-6 in 2013, which was Camello’s first season at Pearl City, following a successful stint at Roosevelt.

“We’re getting used to how he (Camello) runs things, and it’s not all new to us like last year,”

Keaunui said. “There were a lot of changes last year. It’s easier.”

Team unity also has been a strength in their summer workouts, she noted.

“We don’t have any dramas between us, so I think we’ll all be able to get along. We’re close enough to be up front (with each other).”

Next up for Pearl City will be an appearance at the Kamehameha Pre-Season Tournament in mid August. Pearl City begins

OIA play at the end of August. For Keaunui, the Kamehameha tourney will be the first test for her and her teammates.

“She’s not battle tested, in a sense,” Camello said. “We see it in practice every day. So far, she looks like she’s progressing well.”

Said Keaunui: “We were entered in the tournament (at Kamehameha) last year. It will be good to see all the teams we don’t usually get to play (in regular season). I’m excited for that.”