ESPN Honolulu Fan Friday: Talk Story

Nohea Lileikis is a junior freestyle specialist out of Punahou School, where she was an All-American Honorable Mention selection as a senior. She was also a three-time First-Team All-State honoree. Before transferring to UH, Lileikis was a member of of the swimming team at Pepperdine University.

University of Hawaii men’s basketball standout Noel Coleman, a 6’1”, 175-lb. sophomore guard who is in his second season with the Rainbow Warriors, is currently leading the team in scoring, averaging 18 points per contest. He poured in a career-high 31 points against Vanderbilt on the opening night of last month’s Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. The Leopoldsburg, Belgium native is shooting .518 from the field, including a team-best .500 from beyond the arc.

Kana’i Akana, a 6’5” junior outside hitter out of Punahou School, should see increased action for the Rainbow Warriors this season after primarily serving as a serving specialist and backup outside hitter. He appeared in 10 matches in 2021, recording season-highs of five kills, three digs and a block against CSUN on April 10. Before joining the UH program, Akana played two seasons at BYU. The defending national champion Rainbow Warriors will open their 2022 season next Wednesday with a home date against Loyola-Chicago.

University of Hawaii men’s basketball center Mate Colina, a 7’0”, 240-lb. junior out of Melbourne, Australia, is enjoying his best season as a Rainbow Warrior. He has started six of the team’s seven games and is averaging 8.9 points and six rebounds per contest. He is shooting .543 from the field.

Fan Friday guest is Reydan “Tita” Ahuna, a true legend in Hawaii volleyball. The former Kamehameha standout would become one of the greatest setters in University of Hawaii history, and served as team captain for the Rainbow Wahine in their 1987 national championship season. Later, as head coach, she would lead the Kamehameha boys varsity to two state titles and HPU to two national championships. Ahuna is currently co-athletic director and girls volleyball head coach at Punahou.

University of Hawaii tennis standout Andre Ilagan will be our featured guest on the latest edition of ESPN Honolulu’s “Fan Friday: Talk Story.” Ilagan, a junior, is a two-time First-Team All-Big West selection and former Freshman of the Year. Most recently, he became the first Rainbow Warrior to be invited to play in the ITA National Fall Championships in San Diego. Ilagan advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to Arthur Fery, the tournament’s No. 2 seed. Ilagan is graduate of Farrington High School, where he won back-to-back HHSAA state titles as a singles competitor.

Thomas joined the UH coaching staff this past summer. The Woodland Hills, California native is best known by Rainbow Warrior fans as a starter on Hawaii’s 2015-16 NCAA Tournament team. That team went a program-best 28-6 for the season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament-second round for the first time in school history. In that second-round game against Maryland, Thomas led Hawaii with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Thomas is the winningest player in program history. As an assistant coach, Thomas oversees the development of the team’s wing players, with a focus on rebounding and the transition game. He also is involved in recruiting, player development and the team’s strength program.

This week’s special Fan Friday guest is UH Softball outfielder, Brittnee Rossi from Hollister, CA! Rossi is the epitome of a student-athlete having won the UH Scholar-Athlete award from 2018-2020 and the Big West Academic All-Conference and NFCA Scholar-Athlete awards in 2019.

Nov. 5 – This week’s special guest will be former University of Hawaii football standout Michael Carter! Carter, who played for UH from 1990 to 1993, was a dual-threat QB who spearheaded the Rainbow Warriors’ “spread offense” under Bob Wagner’s tenure as head coach. He is the only player in program history to record 1,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in the same season. Carter accomplished this feat in the 1991 season (1,172 passing yards, 1,092 rushing yards). He remains No. 3 on the school’s career rushing list (2,528), No. 15 on the career passing list (3,504) and No. 6 in total offense (6,032).In 1992, Carter led the Rainbow Warriors to an 11-2 record, winning a share of the Western Athletic Conference title for the first time in school history. That season culminated in a Holiday Bowl victory over Illinois, 27-17, at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. Carter was named the game’s Offensive MVP after putting up 115 passing yards and 105 rushing yards. His 53-yard TD pass to Darrick Branch in the fourth quarter clinched the historic win for Hawaii. #GoBows

Oct. 29 – This week, we’re talking story with University of Hawaii Wahine Soccer midfielder, Kelci Sumida! The Moanalua High School grad was the hero of the game last week, scoring the winning goal to get the team’s first win of the season! #GoBows

FAN FRIDAY IS BACK! 🎉 This week, we’re talking story with University of Hawaii Wahine Volleyball star, Brooke Van Sickle! The outside hitter shares her past ties with Hawaii, how the team has been improving & even shared with us which food she craves!

Sept. 10 – This week we feature University of Hawaii’s Track & Field/Cross Country program. Sophia Morgan, a junior out of Langley, Washington, recently led UH to a resounding win at the 20th Big Wave Invitational in Kahuku. Morgan finished first in the 5k run with a time of 19:19:56. Tim Boyce is in his seventh season as the program’s head coach. He is also the head coach of Hawaii’s track and field team.

Sept. 3 – Quick, who scored the final points in the last college football game to end in a tie? The answer is this week’s featured guest former University of Hawaii slotback John Veneri, whose reception for a two-point conversion in the game’s waning moments allowed the Rainbow Warriors to forge a tie with Missouri, 32-32, in a November 1994 contest.

Aug. 27 – This week Tiff Wells talks story with University of Hawaii Men’s Basketball standout Samuta Avea! Avea, a 6’6 senior forward from Hau‘ula, returns to the program after opting out the COVID-abbreviated 2020-21 season. The previous season, Avea was Hawaii’s second-leading scorer (10.8 points per game) and three-point shooter (39).

Aug. 20 – On this episode we feature University of Hawaii soccer standout Kayla Ryan. Ryan, a senior forward from San Jose, California, was recently selected to the preseason All-Big West Team. She is the Rainbow Wahine’s leading scorer from the 2019 campaign, finishing with 14 points and 7 goals. She also led the team in shot percentage (.292). For her efforts, Ryan was named to the All-Big West First Team that season.

Aug. 13 – On this special Virtual Sports Fest episode, we’re excited to feature former Rainbow Warrior Libero and new Rainbow Wahine Volleyball assistant coach Nick Castello! Castello returns to Hawaii after serving as an assistant coach at Irvine Valley College the past two years. He was a volunteer assistant for the Rainbow Wahine from 2017-18, helping the program earn back-to-back NCAA appearances.

Aug. 6 – Get a double dose of diamonds with this Hawaii Athletics power couple! Kelly Majam was an All-American centerfielder on the Rainbow Wahine softball team. Her husband, Josh Elms, is a former UH pitcher and currently an assistant strength and conditioning coordinator for UH Athletics.

July 23 – On this week’s episode, Tiff Wells chats with former University of Hawaii running back and host of HI Now Kainoa Carlson. The Punahou alum shares his unconventional path into broadcast media and more.

July 16 – This week Tiff catches up with former Rainbow Warrior outside hitter Kupono Fey. Fey, an outside hitter for the Rainbow Warriors from 2014 to 2017, was an All-MPSF Honorable Mention selection as a senior. He was also the recipient of UH’s Jack Bonham Award, which is given to the university’s top male senior student-athlete. The Punahou alum notched a career-high 23 kills against USC in 2016.

July 9 – This week we talk story with new University of Hawaii Men’s Golf head coach Scott Simpson. Simpson, who was previously an assistant coach for the Rainbow Wahine golf team, has a résumé that is as impressive as it is long. He was a competitor on the PGA Tour for 27 years and won seven tour events, including the 1987 U.S. Open.

July 2 – Rainbow Wahine Basketball head coach Laura Beeman joins us on this week’s episode! Beeman, who is entering her 10th season as UH coach, has led the Rainbow Wahine to five postseason appearances (1 NCAA Tournament, 4 WNIT). She was named the Big West “Coach of the Year” in 2015.

June 25 – Former #HawaiiFB lineman and tattoo artist Aaron Kia is our featured guest on this week’s episode! Kia, who played for Hawaii from 2006 to 2009, was a part of three bowl teams, including the 2007 squad that went undefeated in the regular season and took on Georgia in the BCS Sugar Bowl. He also made the WAC’s All-Academic Team on three occasions.

June 18 – This week we feature Rainbow Wahine shortstop Nawai Kaupe! Kaupe recently completed her junior season at UH. She led the Rainbow Wahine in RBIs (22), home runs (6), runs scored (24) and triples (3). The talented shortstop out of Wailuku, Maui was an NFCA West All-Region Third Team selection for her efforts. Kaupe was also named to the All-Big West Second Team.

June 11 – University of Hawaii Cheerleading head coach Mike Baker joins Tiff Wells on this week’s episode! Despite many challenges including only meeting as a full team in February, the UH Cheer Team competed in the UCA Virtual National Championship and placed 2nd behind Oklahoma. Hawaii ended up being the only D1A team to perform/compete in masks, which ends up being a point of pride for this team.

June 4 – Former University of Hawaii Baseball pitcher Harrison Kuroda is this week’s featured guest! Kuroda, a Mid-Pacific Institute alum and 2004 Gatorade Player of the Year, played for the Rainbow Warriors from 2007 to 2010.

May 28 – Tiff Wells welcomes University of Hawaii women’s water polo standout Lalelei Mata‘afa to the show! Mata‘afa, a redshirt-junior center out of Lahainaluna High School on Maui, netted the winning goal in Hawaii’s thrilling 9-8 victory over UC Irvine in the Big West title game.

May 21 – Former #HawaiiFB lineman Mike Lafaele joins Tiff Wells for this week’s episode! Lafaele, a Farrington H.S. alum, played at UH from 2003 through 2007. The First-Team All-WAC defensive lineman was a key performer on Hawaii’s Sugar Bowl team in 2007. He received the team’s “Ben Yee Most Inspirational Player Award” that season.

May 14 – #ESPNHonolulu continues to celebrate the University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team’s 2021 NCAA National Championship and former setter Joe Worsley joins us on this week’s episode! Worsley, the older brother of UH senior libero Gage Worsley, is regarded as one of the best setters in program history. In his senior year in 2019, Joe was named to the AVCA All-American First Team and was the recipient of the Off the Block Lloy Ball Award as the nation’s best setter.

May 7 – University of Hawaii Men’s Volleyball outside hitter Colton Cowell joined the show to chat about his volleyball career; being proud to represent his home island of Maui; and more. Cowell was one of the seniors to return after their 2020 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 30 – Former University of Hawaii and NFL receiver Greg Salas joins Tiff Wells to talk story this week! Salas, a two-time First-Team All-WAC selection (2009 and 2010), remains Hawaii’s career leader in receiving yards (4,345) and 100-yard receiving games (19, tied with Davone Bess).

April 23 – Rainbow Warrior Volleyball fans – University of Hawaii middle blocker/opposite hitter “Uncle Pat” is our featured guest this week! Earlier this week, Gasman was named All-Big West First Team for the fourth consecutive year. He is the first player in Big West history to earn First-Team All-Conference honors for four seasons.

April 16 – Ready to take a deep dive? University of Hawaii men’s diver Max Burman and head coach Mike Brown are our featured guests on this week’s episode!

April 2 – Former University of Hawaii pitcher Sam Spangler joins Tiff Wells for this week’s episode! The KHON2 News anchor shares many fond memories of being a #BaseBow​, playing in the Minors, becoming a sports reporter and now news anchor, and more.

March 26 – University of Hawaii divers Daphne Will and Elma Lund are the featured guests on this week’s episode. Both Rainbow Wahine standouts took part in this year’s NCAA Championships.

March 19 – In this week’s episode, Tiff Wells chats with one of the all-time greats in Hawaii volleyball history Angelica Ljungqvist. In addition to being the Rainbow Wahine Beach Volleyball head coach and indoor volleyball associate head coach, she was the first four-time All-American in program history and is a member of the UH Sports Circle of Honor.

March 12 – Former University of Hawai’i​ point guard and current analyst for Spectrum Sports Kawika Hallums joins us for a very entertaining episode! Hear many of his stories from his playing days to broadcast career, including how he “almost” became a QB at BYU.

University of Hawaii first baseman Alex Baeza joins Tiff Wells on this week’s episode! Baeza, a redshirt junior out of West Jordan, Utah, started 15 games for UH in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. The previous year, Baeza started 48 games and hit .248 with 27 RBIs, 30 runs scored and 7 doubles. He was also second on the team in home runs (4).

Feb. 26 – Rainbow Wahine Basketball takes the spotlight on this week’s episode! Olivia Davies is a redshirt freshman guard who is averaging 6.2 points and 2.4 rebounds a game for the Rainbow Wahine, while Kelsie Imai is a true freshman out of Waiakea High School.

Feb. 19 – University of Hawai’i Women’s Water Polo head coach Maureen Cole is our featured guest on this week’s episode! Coach “Mo” talks about why she chose water polo after playing multiple sports as a kid; the people that influenced her playing and coaching careers; being a coach during a global pandemic; and a lot more.

Feb. 12 – ESPN Honolulu swings for the fences this morning with our latest edition of “Fan Friday: Talk Story.” University of Hawaii softball utility player Angelique “Cheeks” Ramos and outfielder Bree Soma join host Tiff Wells for this week’s episode. The two seniors are expected to lead the Rainbow Wahine this season (the schedule has yet to be announced).

Feb. 5 – In this week’s episode, we spotlight University of Hawai’i Golf with Monica Johnson, a highly decorated freshman from Sydney, Australia and Kotaro Murata, a sophomore from Matsuyama, Japan who is coming off a superb freshman season.

Jan. 29 – Former University of Hawai’i standout running back “Nasty” Nate Ilaoa joined Tiff Wells to chat about all the things he’s been up to since his playing days; what brought him to the UH; his favorite memories of Aloha Stadium; and more!

Jan. 22 – Tiff Wells catches up with former Rainbow Wahine Volleyball setter Bailey Choy for this week’s episode! Choy reminisces about her playing days at the UH and lets us know what she has been up to since.

Jan. 2 – Happy New Year! Our first episode of 2021 features former University of Hawai’i Football standout and coach, 11-year NFL veteran, now Executive Director for the Hula Bowl and #HawaiiFB Spectrum Sports analyst Rich Miano.

Dec. 18 – Former University of Hawai’i MVB Outside Hitter and now UH assistant coach Josh Walker joins Tiff Wells for this week’s episode! The former All-American standout has successfully transitioned to the coaching ranks and was named “AVCA Assistant Coach of the Year” in 2019.

Dec. 11 – Tiff Wells chats with Rainbow Warrior Football sophomore standout and Mililani High School alum Darius Muasau. Muasau talks about his big family, representing Hawai’i, playing for coach Rod York at Mililani, and more!

Dec. 4 – Tiff Wells chats with University of Hawai’i Golf head coaches Ronn Miyashiro (M) and Stephen Bidne (W).

Nov. 27 – University of Hawaii Baseball shortstop Kole Kaler joins Tiff Wells for this week’s episode! Kaler was named Third-Team All-America by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. He is the first UH All-American since 2011, when both Kolten Wong and Lenny Linsky were honored by multiple publications.

Nov. 20 – Rainbow Wahine Basketball RS-Senior from Australia Amy Atwell joins Tiff Wells for this week’s episode! The Big West Conference’s reigning “Best Sixth Player” returns after leading the conference in three-point FG percentage (45%).

Nov. 13, 2020 – University of Hawaii offensive tackle Ilm Manning joins us for this week’s episode. The junior out of Glendale, Arizona sits down with Tiff Wells to talk about the Rainbow Warriors’ season so far, his passion for football, life in Hawaii, playing in front of no fans and much more.

Nov. 11, 2020 – Rainbow Warrior Volleyball junior libero out of Moraga, California Gage Worsley shares his experiences as a Rainbow Warrior, how he got started in volleyball, coming to Hawaii and competing for a national title.

Oct. 30, 2020 – Rainbow Wahine Soccer head coach Michele Nagamine joins Tiff Wells for this week’s episode! Coach “Bud” was named head coach at the University of Hawai’i in 2011 and named ‘Big West Coach of the Year’ in 2019.

Oct. 23, 2020 – #HawaiiMBB guard JoVon McClanahan joined Tiff Wells for this week’s episode. The 5-11, 170-lb. sophomore out of Sheridan College in Wyoming is expected to compete for the team’s starting point guard position. McClanahan averaged 23.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game last season for Sheridan.
Video highlights provided by KHON2 Sports. Photos courtesy of Hawai’i Athletics and JoVon McClanahan.

Oct. 16, 2020 – Get to know new Rainbow Wahine Volleyball setters 5’10” freshman Kate Lang (Keller, TX) and 6’2″ junior transfer Mylana Byrd (Houston, TX).

Oct. 9, 2020 – Former Rainbow Warrior offensive lineman and 2016 Ben Yee Most Inspirational RJ Hollis joins Tiff Wells for this week’s “Talk Story”. Hollis, who started 27 games at right tackle for UH in 2015 and 2016, talks about his playing days in Manoa, the University of Hawai’i legacy, transitioning to broadcasting and more.

Oct. 2, 2020 – The former two-time All-WAC selection joins us from Newfoundland, Canada. English helped the program earn back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and reflects on his time in Hawaii, his experiences in pro ball and the story behind his recent book, Chasing a Dream: The Carl English Story.

Sept. 25, 2020 – In this wide-ranging talk story session, Coach Robyn talks about her life in volleyball, from playing at McKinley H.S. and UH to serving on the U.S. National Team and competing in the Olympics. The reigning Big West Conference Co-Coach of the Year also shares her thoughts on coaching the Rainbow Wahine and how the team has coped with the postponement of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sept. 18, 2020 – Tiff Wells “kicks it” with University of Hawai’i Soccer’s Kelci Sumida! The sophomore midfielder had a memorable debut season in 2019, leading the Rainbow Wahine in game-winning goals (3) and finishing second in total goals (5). More importantly, Sumida helped the team make its first-ever Big West Tournament appearance.

Sept. 11, 2020 – Host Tiff Wells sits down with Rainbow Warrior receiver Jared Smart to talk about UH football, life during a global pandemic and…skydiving?