- Outside Hitter
Akana carries a 3.76 cumulative GPA in marketing. She was one of six student athletes in District 1 Named to the 2012 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team (which recognizes academic and athletic excellence), and is a two-time MAAC All-Academic and MAAC Honor Roll selection. At Siena, she is a member of several prestigious honors societies, including: Beta Gamma Sigma and Delta Epsilon Sigma. She is currently conducting research toward her Honors Thesis: Consumer Adoption of Mobile Payments. Akana was named Siena College’s Leo Dufort Student Athlete of the Month in November of 2012 and was a member of the athletic department’s 4.0 Club in 2011-12. She was featured on the cover of the summer 2012 issue of the Siena College Business Review.
Akana will serve as co-captain of the Saints for the second straight year in 2013. She is a leader on the court and on campus, as demonstrated by her induction into the prominent 21st Century Business Leaders Society at Siena. Head coach Garvey Pierre regards Akana with the highest esteem: “Taylor is a tremendous representative of our program and our university. She has great respect for the game, and arrived three years ago with leadership skills far beyond her years. As the top returning player in our conference, she has the respect of her teammates and opponents, but she is not reckless with the responsibility this provides. Taylor has made the most of every opportunity afforded by her success on the volleyball court. She is an exceptional student, is very active in the Hawaiian and Capital Region communities’ outreach projects and is the perfect role model for young girls who aspire to lead a fulfilling and balanced life.”
Akana has been an active participant in Siena’s Saints in the Community initiative and in outreach programs near her hometown of Kaneohe, Hawaii. She has volunteered every summer for various Hawaiian club teams and with the Kamehameha High School girl’s volleyball team, teaching volleyball to girls so that they can one day enjoy the same opportunity she has. She’s also played a leadership role in efforts for the restoration of taro patches, preserved farming lands and fish ponds in Hawaii. At Siena, she and her teammates helped orchestrate Siena’s first Dig Pink event in 2012 and made visits to the Ronald McDonald House in Albany to prepare dinner for the families staying there.
Akana entered her senior season fourth among all Division I student athletes in kills (1,361). The 4.05 kills per set she has averaged for her career place her among the most effective and dangerous outside hitters in the nation. Akana was named MAAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2011 after leading the conference and raking 47th nationally with 3.99 kills per set. She led the league and ranked 12th nationally with 4.48 kills per set as a rookie when she was named to the MAAC Second Team. As a junior, she became the fastest player in MAAC history to reach 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs (65 matches), and helped Siena reach the MAAC Championship match and post a 21-11 record. She was named an ECAC All-Star (one of just six) and First Team All-MAAC in 2012 after again leading the conference with 3.75 kills per set. She ranks second on Siena’s career kills chart with 1,527 kills and sixth with 1,204 digs (as of October 7).