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Fort DeRussy volleyball players hope to keep courts open despite - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Fort DeRussy volleyball players hope to keep courts open despite hotel expansion plans

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New construction could come at the temporary cost of popular volleyball courts in Waikiki. The Hale Koa Hotel needs the courts' space for construction storage as part of its expansion plans, starting in January.

But athletes are hoping they'll still have a place to play at Fort DeRussy.

Susie Olsen has been playing volleyball at the courts for so long, she's called "the queen of the courts." She laughs when she hears that. "I've just been coming here a long time. I've been coming for over 30 years. It's definitely a community -- a volleyball community."

She started a petition to keep the courts open after speaking to managers from the nearby Hale Koa Hotel, who told her about their plans to shut down the courts during hotel renovations. Both the hotel -- a retreat for military members and their families -- and the courts are on federal military land.

Hale Koa tells Island News:

The hotel is planning to temporarily close the sand volleyball courts because the area is needed for construction activities. The sand volleyball courts will be restored upon the completion of this project.

"It's really said," said player Shelby Taguma. "It's almost a little depressing, because we're not sure how we're going  to keep everyone together. It's definitely ohana, It's a community."

"It means a lot to a lot of people," said Freitas. "I know so many people who come here to get away from everyday life stress," added Olsen.

The group of players is hoping to work together with the hotel to offer solutions, like turning a nearby grassy area into temporary courts.

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