Kenui’s surprise award

Storm Kenui is the fifth UH Wahine soccer player to win NSCAA regional honors. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser
Storm Kenui is the fifth UH Wahine soccer player to win NSCAA regional honors. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser

The 2014 season was firmly in the rearview mirror for Storm Kenui.

After all, the Rainbow Wahine finished up their 7-10-1 (2-5-1 Big West) campaign back in early November. Michele Nagamine‘s team, at least the carryover players into next season, have their thoughts on upcoming spring exhibition games.

But on Tuesday the 2014 NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Women’s All-West Region teams were announced. Kenui appeared on the third team, becoming the fifth UH player to ever appear on a NSCAA regional team. The West region is comprised of the West Coast Conference, Big West Conference and Western Athletic Conference.

Storm Kenui  (UH photo)
Storm Kenui
(UH photo)

“Honestly I was surprised, because I got a text message from one of my friends saying ‘congrats on the award,’ ” Kenui said Tuesday. “I was like, ‘Uhh, what award? What are you talking about?’

“She sent me a picture of the article on Twitter and I read it. I was pretty surprised. … I didn’t really think there was going to be any more awards given.”

The complete list of award winners can be seen here. There are several Big West players to receive honors, including Long Beach State’s Ashton McKeown and Taylor Nelson on the first team. Three Cal State Fullerton players made the second team for the Big West regular season and tournament champion Titans. It was otherwise dominated by the WCC.

Kenui was an All-Big West second teamer after scoring a team-high six goals with two assists, mostly from midfield. She was one of the more versatile Wahine and was asked by Nagamine to move forward or back, depending on injuries or strategy.

The previous Rainbow Wahine to win NSCAA regional honors are Tiana Fujimoto (2013), Tehane Higa (2007), Natasha Kai (2004, 2003) and Amanda Paterson (1996).

The team is currently working on fitness and agility training in advance of a handful of spring exhibition matches in March.

“Me and a lot of the girls have been talking about how we lost a lot of our team. Krystal (Pascua), Muki (Ashley Haruki), Hayden (Gibson) guys,” Kenui said. “And we’re just thinking about what next year’s going to look like, and we’re actually pretty excited. Even though we didn’t have the best record last fall, we all felt like we did really good, and we’re just really excited to see how this coming fall season’s going to be.”