Waimanalo Volleyball Family Nurtures Its Rising HPU Star

Pomai Recca. Photo courtesy HPU

Pomai Recca. Photo courtesy HPU

Hawaii Pacific University standout Pomai Recca’s love for volleyball began early. In fact, she practically learned to count on a scoreboard.

“I started playing in the PAL (Police Activities League), which was basic, basic volleyball, because my whole family was playing,” said Recca, a lifelong Waimanalo resident. “All of the boys played football, and the girls played volleyball. We’re an athletic family.

“Definitely, my parents (Sonny and Pomai) and my family have had the biggest impact on me,” she added. “The training, the love and support, and their pushing me to do well academically and in athletics helped me to get where I am.”

Among Recca’s extended family are cousins Aven Lee and Tamari Miyashiro, two of the more visible players to have come out of the local volleyball community. Recca has blossomed in her own right and is on track for a memorable career with the Sharks, with two years of eligibility still left.

As a freshman last season, Recca started all 28 matches and led the Sharks in kills with 321. She also finished second on the team in hitting percentage at .228. Through 17 games this season, Recca has tallied a team-high 248 kills.

HPU, which was 7-4 in the PacWest at press time, currently is in the midst of an eight-game home stand in Honolulu after having begun the season with seven straight games off island. The team returns to action at St. Andrew’s Priory Thursday and Friday, facing Notre Dame De Namur and Academy of the Art, respectively.

Recca recently took some time away from the practice court and her studies to visit with MidWeek‘s Windward Islander.

What was the biggest adjustment in moving from prep volleyball to the college level? The tempo and the ability to absorb everything you learned in practice and carry it over into a game. You need to adjust very quickly in college to what your coaches want and to the other team.

What is your favorite road destination in the PacWest Conference? Southern California. We have a lot of supporters there, and my teammates (who are from California) always are happy to see their families.

When you surf the Internet, what website do you go to the most? I go to Netflix to watch movies or YouTube to watch the latest music videos. I also like to read up on the news.

What TV show could you watch over and over? My mom and I were hooked on NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles and Person of Interest.

Who is your favorite musical artist? I like Beyonce. She’s awesome; she can do anything. She’s really good.

When you have free time, how do you like to spend it? Over the summer or during long breaks (from school), my family and I go camping at Bellows. We spend literally two or three weeks just camping. All of my aunties and my cousins come down. That’s where we make a lot of the memories.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Married with a family and, hopefully, I’ll be pursuing my career. I’m looking at working in the medical field as either a physician’s assistant or as a physical therapist.

If you were planning a trip, what would be your dream destination? Maybe I would want to go to Italy. My family is from there.

You’re stuck on Kahoolawe and can have just one food. What would it be? Pasta.

Given the chance, what celebrity would you most like to meet? (Actor) Hugh Jackman.