High school volleyball coach survives cancer, leads team to play - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

High school volleyball coach survives cancer, leads team to playoffs

Image Courtesy: Andrew Lee Image Courtesy: Andrew Lee
PAHOA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The high school volleyball playoffs are underway. For the girls of Pahoa High School this year was about more than the sport.

The Pahoa High girl's volleyball team is used to being the underdog but this year they have a lot to cheer about. For the first time in 16 years they qualified for the state playoffs.

"They did it because they had a lot of heart. What they lack in skill they made up in desire," said Eden Scanlan, Pahoa High Girls Volleyball Coach.

It was the same type of team the last time Pahoa made the playoffs, which was a team led by Scanlan when she was a student. She has led Pahoa to the playoffs as both a player and coach. Not bad considering the school has only been to the playoffs three times ever. But even that isn't her biggest accomplishment. The 32 year old is a thyroid cancer survivor which understandably changed her perspective on life.

"Now I'm more goal driven. I set a goal and I want to accomplish it and that's what I do for my team. I teach them how to set goals and how to set little goals to reach a big goal. That actually helps me with my whole philosophy in life," said Scanlan.

"It inspired us and created a closer bond then we've had in past years," said Maxine Block, Pahoa High Volleyball Captain.

The inspiration also helped team captain Maxine Block to be the first Pahoa volleyball player to get a scholarship to four year university. Block just signed her letter of intent to Dakota Wesleyan University in South Dakota.

"I feel happy to make her proud," said Block.

Even with the year's success they still struggled with fundraising. This trip they raised enough for airfare and three nights in a hotel. But they will still sleep two nights on the floor in Farrington High's gym.

"We can handle," said Block.

Of course they can. They've handled much bigger adversity before.

On Monday Pahoa lost its opening round game against Waimea in three sets. But the team bounced back and beat Hana on Tuesday. They now move on to play Kaimuki on Wednesday.

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