JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Bekah Torres is one of the leaders of the Warriors, who are ranked fifth in the nation.
Senior Bekah Torres has grown into Kamehameha's ultimate role player
IF you didn't see Bekah Torres coming, she'll forgive you. Actually, she likes it better that way. While it's almost impossible to disguise the senior's superb all-around game and 5-foot-10 frame, Torres isn't the flashiest or most keyed-on player for two-time defending state champion Kamehameha.
Coach Chris Blake takes advantage of it, slotting Torres -- the Swiss army knife of the Warriors -- practically anywhere on the court where he thinks she could supply an advantage.
"I'm constantly moving from position to position, doing certain things to help my team," said Torres, listed as a middle blocker ... sometimes. "So I like to do that to throw my opponents off, which is funny. They're like, 'Oh she's over there ... but now she's coming from that side!' It's fun."
Torres' impact was felt everywhere on the floor in the Warriors' 2006 title win over Punahou: she stuffed the stat sheet for 14 kills on .281 hitting, with four aces, five digs and four blocks. The year before, her excellent defense helped Kamehameha defeat Iolani for the championship.
Her teammate and fellow senior, outside hitter Kanani Herring, was named Star-Bulletin All-State Player of the Year for the second straight time in 2006, and Blake earned a repeat Coach of the Year nod.
But Torres didn't go unnoticed, garnering consecutive All-State first-team selections during both of the title years.
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Senior Bekah Torres will play any position to help the Kamehameha girls volleyball team win.
"Because we have a lot of strengths -- and Bekah's definitely one of those strengths -- she's willing to do what it takes, whatever it takes for our team to come out successful," Blake said. "And I think it's a great testament for her maturity, and her ability to make everything happen. She's willing to sacrifice for that."
In the preseason, the undefeated Warriors -- ranked No. 5 by PrepVolleyball.com -- won the prestigious Ann Kang Invitational. All of that makes it hard to keep a low profile, but Torres' ninja-style tactics remain.
A four-year starter, it was difficult at times for her not to share as much of the spotlight. But she came into this season with a new outlook and drive to be a total team player, and she said the team has never enjoyed a better rapport than it has right now.
"I guess in the past, I probably would have reacted a little bit different about it," Torres said. "I would have been more jealous, about other people being more looked at than I have. But I look back at it now and it just gave me a reason to push harder, toward becoming a better player on and off the court. It helped me out a lot."
Libero Cassidee Young has been with her every step of the way since Torres came from the Kamehameha girls intermediate team. She's noticed the complete evolution of Torres from wide-eyed freshman (still at about 5-foot-10) to a leader.
"I think we've all grown (as people), especially her, she's always been supportive and has always been a team player," Young said. "Her attitude is always the same, always positive. Always everything for the team."
Like all of her other tasks for the Warriors, sliding into a more vocal role this year came seamlessly.
"It's just (about) being there in general for the underclassmen," Torres said. "It could be school, it could be volleyball, it could be personal stuff. It's being able to talk to them one-on-one and having a good friendship."
Blake thinks her versatility will only help Torres at Pacific next year, where she has a full scholarship waiting. She selected it because of familiarity with Tigers' head coach Charlie Wade, a former assistant at Hawaii.
"She's a great, great server, which allows us to run the offense that we run because it forces the other team into a lot of bad positions," Blake said. "That's one of the underrated parts of her game, that and her defense. Her ball control, for somebody of her stature, is definitely underrated."
That goes for a lot of things about her, too.