Hawaii Grown Report:
Yee helps Red Storm into volleyball Sweet 16
has seen women's volleyball come full circle at St. John's. The '05 Moanalua graduate committed to a team that was ranked 13th in its own conference her freshman season, and lost 10 of its last 11 matches.
Just two years later, the two-time Big East libero of the year has the Red Storm in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.
"It's a very special thing," Yee said. "We had high goals, but I mean, wow, Sweet 16 is awesome."
St. John's advanced by beating Long Island and Delaware on back-to-back days.
Yee combined for 21 digs and two aces and freshman Kayla Motoyama (Roosevelt '07) saw action in the Long Island match.
The Red Storm will face Southern California today in a rematch of a preseason match the Trojans won in four games.
"They beat us, but it was really good because we took a set off of them," Yee said. "We know that we can play with them. It's just that we need to keep really consistent."
Yee and Motoyama became the only local players left in the tournament after Washington was defeated by BYU in the second round.
Sophomore Tamari Miyashiro (Kalani '05) tied for a team high with 13 digs and added two aces for the Huskies. Both Miyashiro and senior Ashley Aratani (Iolani '04) played in all five games.
Aratani was recently named to the Pac-10 all-academic second team after earning honorable mention honors as a junior.
Seven teams featuring players with local ties lost in the first round.
» Washington senior Wilson Afoa
(Saint Louis '03) had two tackles for a loss, including a sack, in the Huskies' 35-28 loss to Hawaii.
Sophomore defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (Hawaii Prep '05) also had a sack and five solo tackles, while Jay Angotti (Punahou '06) recorded an assisted tackle.
» Tyson Alualu (Saint Louis '05) had eight tackles and a fumble recovery in California's 20-13 loss to Stanford.
The Golden Bears, who lost six of their final seven games, will play Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 31.
» Southern California sophomore linebacker Kaluka Maiava (Baldwin '05) had four tackles, including two for a loss, and a sack in the Trojans' 24-7 victory over UCLA.
The win gave USC a berth in the Rose Bowl against Illinois.
» Navy junior quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (Kapolei '04) completed two passes for 7 yards and rushed for 24 more in the Midshipmen's 38-3 win over Army.
» Defensive tackle J.T. Mapu (Kahuku '02) had two tackles in Tennessee's 21-14 loss to LSU in the SEC championship.
The Volunteers will play Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.
» Duke senior goalkeeper Allison Lipsher
(Punahou '04) made five saves in the Blue Devils' 3-2 loss to Notre Dame in the quarterfinals of the NCAA College Cup.
Lipsher finished her career one shutout shy of the school record with 33.
» Azusa Pacific junior forward Sarah Yoro (Mililani '05) and Westmont junior striker Amy Lawson (Iolani '05) were named to the NAIA All-Region II team.
Yoro started all 21 games for the Cougars and finished with 12 goals and seven assists. Lawson finished tied for the team lead with four goals and had twice as many shots on goal as anybody else.
» Creighton freshman Jeremy Wittig
(Lutheran '06) played 32 minutes and did not attempt a shot in a 1-0 loss to Illinois-Chicago in the round of 16 of the NCAA tournament.
» Menlo College senior Kepua Lee
(Moanalua '04) had 27 points and 10 rebounds and junior Kelci Fushikoshi
(Lahainaluna '05) added 22 points and three steals in a 68-56 victory over Whittier.