Tumaneng: Coming Full Circle

Bob Hogue
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Wednesday - August 09, 2006
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Jenic Tumaneng remembers the first time the late Ann Kang called him about her high school girls volleyball tournament at Iolani.

“It was 1992, and it was my first year coaching at Farrington,” Tumaneng recalls. “She had such a passion for the game and for the kids, and I was honored to be invited. We did well enough to get invited back again and again. There were only a few Mainland teams back then and we were fortunate enough to win the title in 1995.”

The caliber of the prestigious pre-season volleyball tournament has changed a great deal since the mid-90s. Only two other local teams have won the tournament since ‘95 - Punahou in 1996 and Pearl City in 1997.

“About 10 years ago, I started sending out letters nationally and internationally,” says Alan Kang, Ann’s husband. “First, the Southern California teams came, then the Northern California teams. Then, teams from all over heard about it and wanted to come.”

The Iolani tournament officially became the Ann Kang Invitational Volleyball Tournament after Ann passed away three years ago from Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS.

“As time progresses, it’s a way for people to remember her,” says Alan. “She helped so many coaches and players along the way. She was always trying to help. That’s her legacy.”

Coach Tumaneng was one of those she helped.

“Volleyball was an accidental sport for me,” he says. “All the basketball players at Farrington were put on the volleyball team. My only other playing experience came in USVBA club ball.”

Tumaneng’s story came full circle this year when he moved from his alma mater after 14 years as the Governor’s coach and was named the new head coach of Iolani girls volleyball.

“Jenic is a lot like Ann - lowkey and very positive,” Alan says. “I hope he lasts at Iolani for a long time.”

Tumaneng’s first Raider team will get a chance to showcase its talent in this year’s Ann Kang Invitational Aug. 16-19 at the Iolani gym. Eleven Mainland teams and nine local high schools make up the field, including last year’s champion, Los Alamitos, three-time champ Mira Costa, and two-time champ Newport Harbor.

“It’s one of the top tournaments in the country,” Tumaneng says. “It’s an honor to play in it against these top caliber teams. It will give us a good indication of what we have to work on.”

Iolani appears to be loaded with talent this season. Tumaneng says he has nine returning veterans from last year’s Raider team that finished runner-up to Kamehameha in both the ILH and the state tournament.

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