Graceland University recognized a new class of athletics hall of fame inductees over the homecoming weekend for their contributions to the athletic department. Inductees, along with family and friends, enjoyed a special luncheon in the historic Harpham Heritage Chapel located in the Higdon Administration Building with special recognition from Graceland President Patricia H. Draves and Athletic Director Brady McKillip. The induction took place during halftime of the 2019 homecoming football game, Saturday, Oct. 26. Read below for more information on this year’s class.
1979 Men’s Volleyball National Championship Team
(Above) Back Row, left to right: 8–Pete Smart, 9–Brian Tubbesing, 2–Ed Kaleikau,7–Rob Kaleikau, 3–Tim Hattey, 11–Steve Hedrick, 5–Jim Huffman; Front Row, left to right: Coach Rod Schall, 12–Ken Crangle, 10–Kurt Hausheer,0–Mark Kistler, 1–Steve Yates, 6–Dan Dempsey, 4–Tom McFadden
The Graceland College Yellowjackets’ 1979 men’s volleyball team captured their third NAIA national men’s volleyball title after settling for second place the previous two seasons. In the semifinals, they defeated Earlham College 15-5, 15-6, 12-15, 15-6 to reach the championship, where they upended the two-time defending champion, George Williams College, in four sets 16-14, 15-10, 10-15 and 15-9. Over the entire tournament, Graceland outscored their opponents 215-150.
Head coach Rod Schall was named coach of the year and led his team to a 34-7 record, including going 5-0 in the national tournament. Junior Rob Kaleikau earned all-tournament team honors on the national stage and was named MVP. In addition, Pete smart was named to the all-tournament team.
Ian Davies ’78, a native of Longford, Tasmania, Australia, was a member of the Graceland men’s basketball program from 1974-78. After graduating, he went on to play one season in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) with the Maine Lumberjacks. He also represented Australia at the Olympics in 1980 and 1984, and the World Championships in 1982 and 1986. As a pure shooter, he led all scorers at the 1980 Olympics with 209 points in seven games and was the second-leading scorer at the 1982 world championship.
After the 1980 Olympics, Davies returned to Australia and played 10 seasons in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL), where he played 252 games. He played for four different teams during his career, starting with the Launceston Casino City. In 1981, he was a member of the Casino City’s NBL championship team, where he finished sixth in the league in scoring. For the 1982 season, Davies moved to the Newcastle Falcons, where he played in 105 games. Next, he went on to play for the Geelong Supercats for two seasons. In 1988, Davies again moved to a new franchise, the Sydney Kings. In game one of the Kings’ quarterfinals appearance in 1989, Davies scored a game-high 30 points in just 18 minutes.
Davies finished his NBL career averaging 17.8 points. After retiring, he was inducted as a member of the NBL Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2003, Davies received eight votes in the NBL 25th anniversary all-time team. In addition, he became the director of the Darling Harbour Sports Centre in Sydney. He then became an assistant coach with the Adelaide 36ers in 2005. Davies passed away in Hobart, Tasmania, of unspecified causes on Nov. 7, 2013, at the age of 57.
As a high school senior, Rob Kaleikau ’80 was recruited by Loyola Marymount University (LMU, Los Angeles, CA), Ohio State, and Pepperdine. He selected LMU, where he started as a setter/hitter.
The following year in 1977, Kaleikau transferred to Graceland and made an immediate impact as a member of the 1977-78 men’s volleyball team. He was a starter on that team, helping them earn a runner-up finish at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championships and was named to the all-tournament team. Then in 1979, Kaleikau played a huge part in securing a third NAIA national championship title for Graceland. He was once again named to the all-tournament team and was named MVP of the national championships. He finished his Graceland career as a two-time All-American, a three-time MAIVA Conference MVP, three-time MVP of major tournaments, and he served two seasons as a captain for the Yellowjackets.
Kaleikau has over 40 years of volleyball involvement as a player, coach and administrator. In addition to his NAIA success, he played on teams that won over 40 USA Volleyball tournaments in his playing career, many of which occurred after his Graceland playing days were done. As a coach, Kaleikau founded RKV (Rob Kaleikau Volleyball), a sports training company that provides volleyball skill instruction and programming to young volleyball players of all ages. He has successfully trained thousands of athletes throughout the Midwest since the 1990s. The majority of athletes he trains compete on junior high, high school and USA Volleyball club teams in Missouri and Kansas. Through USA Volleyball, the sport’s national governing body, Kaleikau is a certified CAP Level I instructor and certified member of the American Sport Education Program, and he serves as a coach and player evaluator for the national USA Volleyball High Performance program, which is the pipeline for young athletes who aspire to reach elite levels of the USA Olympic competition.
In addition to RKV, Kaleikau is the head women’s coach at MCC-Longview (11th year) and is a six-time region coach of the year and a three-time national team qualifier.
Graceland runs in the Kaleikau family. Both of Rob’s parents attended Graceland. His older brother Dennis played for the 1976 national championship team; his older sister, Liane, played for the women’s team, and his younger brother, Ed, also played on the 1979 national championship team. Kaleikau credits his family, teammates, coach Rod Schall, many others and God for the inspiration, friendship, and knowledge that has blessed him in his volleyball life journey.
Diana Jensen ’01, the daughter of Graceland alumni Ralph ’67 and Phyllis ’66 Jensen, was an outstanding high school volleyball player helping Linden High win the California Division IV State Championship in 1996.
Joining the Graceland volleyball team, she made an immediate impact. She was named a three-time all-conference player, earning second team once and first team twice. She was an All-American honorable mention selection in 1999 and named to the second team in 2000. During her time on the volleyball court, Diana was also named to three all-tournament teams, voted as the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) player of the week two times and named the Heart player of the year in 2000. A true example of the “student-athlete,” Jensen was also an academic All-American in 1999 and 2000.
After her time at Graceland, Jensen began her teaching career. She is currently in her 18th year of teaching in Stockton, California. In addition, she has taken two trips to build homes with Habitat for Humanity, one in Alaska and one in Thailand. Jensen was married in 2016 and has one three-year-old daughter, as well as two step-daughters, ages 12 and 15.
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