Rallying back

C’mon, there was no doubt retired Air Force Lt. Col. Tracey Saiki was going to attend yesterday’s volleyball match.

It was “Military Appreciation Night,” after all. And as director of military affairs for the Chamber of Commerce, she was largely responsible for the Rainbow Warriors training at Joint Base Pearl Harbor/Hickam this past offseason. Plus, she’s a huge volleyball fan.


Of course, there was an obstacle. This past New Year’s Eve, she suffered a stroke.

The proverbial road to recovery isn’t always smooth. There’s daily physical therapy and rehab. Simple tasks can be large accomplishments. So keep the prayers and well-wishes coming. She’s going to conquer this, partly because of her will, partly because of continued encouragement from family, friends and people who care about others.

* * * * *

Imagine driving 55 mph on the freeway when a brick wall instantly pops up 20 feet in front of your car. Your likely options: 1) Accelerate and try to knock down the wall, 2) Brake and brace for the inevitable crash, 3) Try to swerve around the wall. If you choose “1,” yes, you’re brave, and we’ll put that on your tombstone. Most of us probably would end up going with option 3.

Now imagine you’re a volleyball line judge and a ball traveling at 65 mph is heading your way. You’re likely to turn your body and use your peripheral vision to determine if the ball lands in bounds. It’s human nature.

The point is, it’s not easy to make a call in the line of fire, heat of battle, or whatever mixed metaphor. Men’s volleyball is played at a snap-quick pace. Maybe you see a touch, maybe you don’t. Maybe you see the ball land, maybe it’s a dig. All MPSF matches are recorded as part of the video exchange program, even if the match is not televised. If the tools are available to help make the right call, why not use them? Many times a controversial call won’t impact a match. Yesterday, when a net violation overturned an apparent 9-6 lead to make it 8-7 in a first-to-15 fifth set, it was a factor.

An official can’t be faulted for seeing what he thinks he sees. But if the technology is available, why not allow for visual aids?

* * * * *

When you wish Robert Kekaula a happy birthday today, think about these images:







  1. truegreen March 10, 2014 8:03 am

    Thank you and best wishes to the Lt. Col!

  2. al March 10, 2014 8:07 am

    get well

  3. truegreen March 10, 2014 8:07 am

    Men’s volleyball is a tough sport to officiate. I had a hard enough time calling IM volleyball games in college where the ball travels significantly s-l-o-w-e-r

  4. al March 10, 2014 8:09 am

    the official should have stood his ground and kept his eye on the bouncing ball.
    that’s why he gets paid the big bucks.
    “take one for the team”.
    make sure his medical insurance is paid up.
    be a man.
    shame on him.

  5. al March 10, 2014 8:11 am

    yah, happy birthday big guy.

    I remember him saying that graduation day was the happiest moment of his life.

  6. truegreen March 10, 2014 8:11 am

    The Big West basketball officials on the other hand are pathetic. Went to the Fullerton game on Saturday and saw soooo many blatantly wrong calls. Not talking about subjective stuff like fouls, which was atrocious as it is. I mean last touched out of bounds, stepping on the baseline, etc. Absolutely embarrassing how bad it is.

  7. Ipu Man March 10, 2014 8:15 am

    Happy Monday to all.

  8. Stephen Tsai March 10, 2014 8:18 am

    I think athletes are too good and plays too fast for officials/referees/umpires to always make the right call. Using replay would have upheld that Detroit pitcher’s perfect game.

  9. Stephen Tsai March 10, 2014 8:22 am

    Character and value are revealed when a volleyball player is racing toward press row to make a save. I always grab my cell phone and my Diet Pepsi. I’m not proud to admit I would use a Ka Leo writer or Tiff Wells as a human shield to protect my cell phone and Diet Pepsi.

  10. kawika49 March 10, 2014 8:22 am

    Please Mr. Tsai, the Kekaula pics ruined my breakfast.

  11. Haleakala March 10, 2014 8:27 am

    Happy Birthday to everyone who gas a birthday this year!

  12. Stephen Tsai March 10, 2014 8:58 am

    Oops. I turned off the comments by mistake.
    My bad.
    Continue everyone.

  13. tommui March 10, 2014 9:02 am


    And Happy Birthday Big Guy!

    Get well soon Col. Saiki!

  14. Turfwar March 10, 2014 9:06 am

    Read a copy of the Ka Leo at Satuday’s baskeball game and was touched by a quote from Davis Rozitis when asked about finishing his time in Hawaii. He said ” You never leave Hawaii. It’s always in your heart. A piece of you always stays here.” Thanks for coming back this year Davis. http://www.kaleo.org/sports/basketballm/hawai-i-basketball-seniors-prepare-for-final-farewell/article_59d06d84-a5b3-11e3-ba7a-001a4bcf6878.html

  15. NorthShoreFan March 10, 2014 9:19 am

    Guud Morning Tsaikos…bootiful sunny day..

    Hauoli Lahanau Big Kahuna!

  16. d1shima March 10, 2014 9:53 am

    Great Morning All!

    Best wishes for a continuing recovery for LCol. Saiki.

    Happy Birthday to the Big Guy. Hope you get summoa way kool Aloha Shirts!

  17. d1shima March 10, 2014 9:53 am

    Have a terrific day erryboddy!

  18. hwnstln March 10, 2014 9:56 am

    Special congrads to the Men’s BB team for winning 20 games this year. Special accolades to Coach Arnold and his staff for putting together this very successful team. Now good luck in this weeks tournament – hoping for at least 2 wins!! Gooo Bows!!!

  19. 3-Prong March 10, 2014 10:03 am

    Congratz to Fotu and Stanhardinger.

  20. SteveM March 10, 2014 10:04 am

    Good morning everyone!

    Best wishes for Lt. Colonel Saiki!


    Click here for my favorite pix of RK and ST. 😉

  21. jm2375 March 10, 2014 10:09 am

    Good morning Tsaikos!

    Get well soon, COL Saiki. Hope you enjoyed the game.

    Happy Birthday Mr. Kekaula.

    Refs need to reconsider their calls when everyone in the building is saying you made the wrong call.
    Oh well, on to Stanford. ST – any over/under predictions on how many times Stanford will call for the floor wipers to slow down the game? 🙄 👿 😆

    Truegreen – #6 – definitely agree. One official at a non-conference home game earlier this year didn’t call a travel on a player who pretty much ran to half-court with the ball without dribbling. This ain’t the NBA.

  22. jm2375 March 10, 2014 10:23 am

    BTW, ST – who got the yellow card on that crappy call last night?

  23. jm2375 March 10, 2014 10:26 am

    Congrats to Standhardinger, Fotu, Jackson, Kuehu, and Karaitiana on their BWC awards.

  24. jalansky March 10, 2014 10:41 am

    Turfwar #14: Thanks for the citation from Ka Leo on Rozitis. Classy guy! A friend of mine who was a grad student here in the early seventies says all these years later from British Columbia that “Hawaii never leaves you.” Do we have a “money can’t buy you love” situation at UH in terms of recruiting, in which not only the quality of the academics but also certain other intangibles about Hawaii may tip the scales for a certain type of student athlete from elsewhere? Reading Diane Sebastian Pestolesi’s quote in the Hall of Honor article the other day, and also hearing what Sydney Haydel had to say last week on Leahey & Leahey about her great experience with the UH athletic program, are really encouraging in this respect. Imua Hawaii! Go Rainbow Warriors!

  25. hilosupaman March 10, 2014 10:47 am

    As an Active Duty Military member I love to see Lt Col Saiki back, Thank you for your service Colonel! Glad you are doing well! GO FOR BROKE!

    Hope they put those Camo Volleyball jerseys for sale!

  26. Warrior Dave March 10, 2014 10:54 am


    When I didn’t see the comment section I thought I was banned from posting. Whew!!! So happy for Mr. Fotu and Mr. Standhardinger. They worked hard and had very good seasons.

  27. Da Punchbowl Kid March 10, 2014 10:57 am

    Get well Colonel!

    Happy Birthday Mistah Kekaula!

  28. Stephen Tsai March 10, 2014 11:40 am

    I think Milan got warned for standing. Apparently only one coach is allowed to stand. I think they need seatbelts for the assistant coaches.

  29. whitey March 10, 2014 12:03 pm

    get well wishes to col saiki. one thing stands out, col saiki is better looking than my other col friend. hahahahahahaa

  30. whitey March 10, 2014 12:39 pm

    col a house, you know i only joking. hahahahhaaa. just no could pass up on it.

  31. bowwar March 10, 2014 12:48 pm

    Okay Larry, you can have your America’s Cup IF you build UH a new stadium…How about that??? You’ll be loved by many folks in Hawaii and we’ll overlook the excesses associated with holding such a boat race.

  32. alwaysarainbow March 10, 2014 1:15 pm

    Great to see a De Lasalle Spartan (Gaetano De Mattei) walk on and get a try. Watching his film you see the right stuff. Guys like Gaetano sometimes get overlooked after graduation, as the Spartans have always had four or more D1 recruits. But, others are sometimes cast as “program players” in the DLS machine. They are tough-as-nails, well conditioned and fiercely dedicated players who can and should be playing in the D1. One thing I like about De Mattei is that he can sure-tackle and can take down a lot of blockers. Great that he was appreciated by the UH staff and you will be hearing his number called in the future.

  33. A-House March 10, 2014 1:29 pm

    whitey your #30 and #31:

    oh, I would be the first in line to “drink to that” comment.

    LTC Saiki is a beauty – not only skin deep, but look into her eyes – it flashes goodness, kindness, etc. that I would not even come close to matching.

    with that said, LTC Saiki, my prayers and best wishes for a full and speedy recovery – wishes come from the entire family!

  34. st. anthony trojan March 10, 2014 1:35 pm

    hey whitey…where u stay..when u here…have to go immigration..13…n u here 14… you will be one day ahead when u here…so you will know all the scores first…he he he..

  35. jimmy the lock March 10, 2014 1:49 pm

    Calls can go either way. Best solution, take care of business so you don’t have to go to 5 games. Only losers dwell on the what-ifs.

  36. Warrior Dave March 10, 2014 1:49 pm


    Thank you for taking it upon yourself to call Josh’s show and provide your input on the recently completed Contract negotiations. I’ve stated my comments before and don’t want to repeat myself.

    But your comments were spot on and I wish there was more time on the show so you could finish. Rick B. needs to be stop spreading half-truths/lies now that the contract has been signed with OC 16. Such a sore loser.

  37. jimmy the lock March 10, 2014 1:54 pm

    Congrats to the UH athletes who were recognized for their efforts on the basketball court.

  38. jimmy the lock March 10, 2014 2:16 pm

    Condolences to Sharie Shima, thought and prayers to her family.

  39. Derek March 10, 2014 2:21 pm

    I worry about Kekaula. He’s still a very young guy. The only person who can take care of him, is him. Stick to Subway’s. Eat fresh.

    Yes, congrats to all the UH athletes getting recognition today.

  40. wafan March 10, 2014 2:35 pm

    Good afternoon!

  41. wafan March 10, 2014 2:35 pm

    Happy birthday big guy!

  42. wafan March 10, 2014 2:36 pm

    Congratulations to the ‘Bow athletes.


  43. whitey March 10, 2014 3:10 pm

    sa trojan, i gave you the wrong info. sorry about that. i will be on IR for another 2 months and maybe get chance to visit “your country” in June. Will give you ample notice before arrival.

  44. Lowtone123 March 10, 2014 4:35 pm

    #40-As an addendum to your comment…It’s not only what you eat but how much you eat.

  45. Old School Dave March 10, 2014 4:52 pm

    Heard Robert K jokingly poopooing brown rice and quinoa on a report about UH S & C Coach Gary Beemer’s emphasis on improving the football team’s diet. Hard for local boys to wean away from white rice, but it’s not that bad, not to mention more filling and healthier.

  46. Warrior Dave March 10, 2014 7:10 pm

    I’m overweight but I have to be the one that wants to make life hanged like brown rice, etc. that’s the only lasting way to stick to a diet. Enjoy Robert and do it your way. We love you!

  47. whitey March 10, 2014 8:25 pm

    happy birthday Robert K. and many more to come.

  48. whitey March 10, 2014 8:30 pm

    daylight savings has started.

  49. whitey March 10, 2014 8:30 pm

    hawaii 5 0

  50. SteveM March 10, 2014 8:57 pm

    RE: #49
    I missed that. No wonder some cable stations are an hour early today. 🙁

  51. 3-Prong March 10, 2014 9:30 pm

    Rest in Peace Shari Shima.

  52. Warrior Dave March 10, 2014 10:33 pm

    Wow, RB went in TV to talk about investigating the deal signed by UH and OC16. He’s not happy UH did not wait for them to submit a formal bid. RB actually said Apple and BJ are LIARS to indicate they had spoken to him prior to signing the contract.

    Well RB, I do believe they did speak to someone at HNN. Please move forward with your quest. I hope you do have opportunity to bid but the CASH you put on the table better be for at least be $2.3MM and not promotional/TV dollars. UH can’t pay bills with promotional dollars.

  53. obachan March 10, 2014 11:09 pm

    Shari Shima was a consummate professional and a classy lady. Sincere condolences to her family.

  54. SteveM March 10, 2014 11:12 pm

    I don’t know the story between UHAD, Oeanic, and HNN bidding. Although Blangiardi sounds like sour grapes, I have my biases. In the mid-70’s I was working as an office furniture salesman with only me and the owner in on a Saturday. The owner wasn’t a UH football fan but I was since 1967 after high school.

    Rick Blangiardi walked in to buy a file cabinet for home use. I recognized him as UH coach and mentioned I was a fan after he selected his cabinet and paid the slightly discounted price the owner allowed. He then talked to us about the team for an hour. It was informative and I was a little unnerved by his passion and intensity for the UH football team. I immediately understood why he was selected as a coach.

    I admit I was relieved to see him leave carrying a 2-drawer legal file on his shoulder (he wanted the display model). But the man bleeds green. UH green. He was a straight shooter. I never met him in person again, but no matter what big business has done, I do not doubt the concern and commitment of Rick Blangiardi towards UH football.

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