Ahuna, Sebastian into Circle of Honor

Thanks for the reminder Tryouts and all other user names. meant to post earlier

Tita Ahuna and Diane Sebastian Pestolesi are 2 of the 7 who will be inducted into the UH Sports Circle of Honor next month.  There are now 10 individual volleyball players and the 1982-83 and 87 vb teams.

Other inductors are Al and Niko Noga (Footbaoo), QiongJie Huang (diving) and Rose Thomas-Rosie Vera Cruz (tennis)

Ahuna (1984-87), the captain of UH’s last NCAA Championship volleyball team in 1987, was a two-time AVCA All-American (1985-86), USVBA All-American (1986-87) and USVBA tournament MVP (1986-87). She was the first Rainbow Wahine to reach the 1,000-kill, 1,000-dig plateau and still ranks in the UH record book in career kills, attempts, aces, digs, and digs per game.  She later coached Hawai‘i Pacific University to two NCAA Division II titles (1998, 2000) and her 2000 team was the first to finish undefeated in Division II history at 28-0. Ahuna was named national Coach of the Year that same year. Ahuna, who also coached Kamehameha to two boys’ state titles, is the only person in Hawaii volleyball history to win state high school and collegiate national titles as both a player and coach.

>> Sebastian Pestolesi (1978-81), the first blue-chip mainland recruit for Rainbow Wahine coach Dave Shoji  was a starting middle blocker for the 1979 AIAW national championship team and was named to the all-tournament team. She was a three-time AIAW All-American (1978-80) and the 1980 Broderick Award winner as the nation’s top collegiate volleyball player. A U.S. national team member, she was named the 1981 Hawaii state female athlete of the year. The only female athlete to be named CIF-SS MVP in two sports in the same school year (volleyball and basketball) she was inducted into the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Hall of Fame in 1993.



  1. Warriorfan February 17, 2014 11:24 am

    Congrats to both.

  2. volleyball fan February 17, 2014 1:51 pm

    I would have liked to see Tita Ahuna take over the helm of Wahine volleyball once coach Shoji retires. Has she retired from coaching altogether?

  3. Tryouts February 17, 2014 1:52 pm

    Doitashimashite. Although this is the 1st time that I’m posting to this thread, so..

    Miscellaneous-es on Ahuna:
    Played internationally/nationally/locally.
    U.S.A. Natl/Team Hawaiian Airlines/Short Sets VBC (Da prelude to what would be the Rusty Wahine VB Team today)

    In those in-btwn-years, the USA had her training with them in SD CA.
    That 1987 summer, at USAV Open Nationals in Berkeley that year, before UH’s last Natl Championship banner, she was named MVP just as she had the previous year (also at USAV Open Nationals).

    In the spring of 1988–at Hilo’s Haili Church’s VB Tourney–although Teee was named MVP, Tita (I believe) was named Most Outstanding Player (MOP). Their entire team was basically that 1987 NCAA Champions team. Eagye and a couple of others (like Nishida) teamed with Hawaii small school All-Americans for perhaps the best W’s AA/Open finals in the history of that sleepy town *Hilo* tourney.

  4. Cindy Luis February 17, 2014 2:00 pm

    2. she coaches club TAVA Tita Ahuna Volleyball Academy

  5. ClawsBeatSkin February 17, 2014 2:39 pm

    NOT that she didn’t deserve AA (in ’80) ’cause she did, but that MVP award could’ve gone to UCLA’s Sr. Linda Robertson–who could TRULY play @OH. No disrespect intended, Ms. Pesto, but some may’ve claimed “sympathy”.

    Hawai’i beat them (UCLA) outright for 3rd place in 1980.
    Pacific lost to the Champions @ USC. Paula W. had played her one and only year for the Trojans in that (her) inaugural Fr. season.

    I’m sure that Sabastian would have wanted that MVP in 1979 when UH won its first.
    *No second guessing @ that point.
    Utah State’s Annette Cottle’s MVP award was perhaps likely in the final year of the 70s.

  6. Cindy Luis February 17, 2014 2:44 pm

    6.curious as to why you’d call it a sympathy vote.
    Sebastian was only a sophomore in 79. That was a very senior-laden team.
    She wasn’t an MVP, she was the Broderick Award winner. very different and wasn’t connected with the AIAW

  7. ClawsBeatSkin February 17, 2014 2:54 pm

    1981 was a messed up year. All the powers that be (at the time) went NCAA vs. remaining AIAW. Texas lucked out.

    USC beat UH in the NW Regional Finals (and then went on to win the 1st NCAA title?)? UH had just beat USC in the Wendy’s (where UHH had also been invited to participate that year, incidentally).

    Cathy Stukel was a 4x All-Am for USC. She would’ve been the MVP in 1981.

  8. Cindy Luis February 17, 2014 3:04 pm

    7. Texas didn’t luck out. They remained in the AIAW because their women’s athletic director was also the president of the AIAW as they continued the fight against the NCAA takeover of women’s sports.
    Interestingly, the Texas women’s AD beat out UH’s Donnis Thompson for the AIAW presidency. Had Donnis won, likely UH would have stayed for one more year in the AIAW.
    Just had this conversation with former women’s athletic director Cindy Boerner Mazda who was at Ann Miller’s retirement party Friday.

  9. ClawsBeatSkin February 17, 2014 3:11 pm

    Congrats again Ann.
    8. K, Thanks!

  10. Tiki808 February 17, 2014 6:54 pm

    How can this be? I already got a B.S. in computer science 87′ UHM. Interesting!

  11. Warriorfan February 17, 2014 8:05 pm

    This person posting in different usernames, is very annoying and never makes any sense.

  12. Cindy Luis February 17, 2014 8:35 pm

    11. yep

  13. Tryouts February 18, 2014 9:20 am

    12. I do respect you, Cindy.
    *Hopefully you’ve got that.

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