Ricardo Ayala of Borinquen Coqui tried to tip one past Ka Ulukoa's Larry Tuileta during the 12 and under championship of the 2008 U.S. Junior Olympic boys volleyball tournament in Sandy, Utah.
Gold for Ka Ulukoa 12s at JOs
Ka Ulukoa became the first American team to win the 12-under club division at the USA Volleyball Boys Junior Olympic Tournament yesterday with a sweep of Puerto Rico's Borinquen Coqui, 26-24, 25-21 in Sandy, Utah.
The Honolulu team, coached by former Hawaii All-American Pono Ma'a and David Engleman, reached the gold-medal match by defeating Fusion 12 (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) 25-21, 25-11 in the semifinals after receiving a quarterfinal bye. Ka Ulukoa finished 7-0, dropping only one set.
Ma'a said that former U.S. Olympic men's volleyball team coach Doug Beal, now the CEO of USA Volleyball, congratulated him after the match.
"It was pretty sweet," Ma'a said. "Doug said it was very impressive, what we had done."
The division had been dominated by Puerto Rican teams for the past two decades. Puerto Rico had four of the top five finishers in this year's 12 club division.
Ka Ulukoa is in its first year of competition.
» Also yesterday, the Ime Iki finished tied for fifth in the 16s National division of the USA Volleyball Girls Junior Olympic Tournament in Dallas.
Koala Matusoka was named to the all-tournament team for Ime Iki (8-1), which lost in the quarterfinals to eventual runner-up Cincinnati Classics Red, 26-24, 16-25, 17-15.
The team is coached by former Rainbow Wahine Aven Lee.
Willoughby helps US over Poland
The U.S. Women's National Indoor Volleyball Team, with three former Hawaii All-Americans in the lineup, took a step closer to qualifying for the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round yesterday by overcoming a mistake-filled first set to defeat Poland 20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-10 for the second time in less than five days during Pool H action at Taipei, Chinese Taipei.
Former Rainbow Wahine Kim Willoughby had 12 kills, a block and an ace, while Heather Bown had six kills and a block. Setter Robyn Ah Mow-Santos came off the bench in Game 1 to replace Punahou graduate Lindsey Berg and finished with an ace and 32 assists.
Team USA, 6-1 overall in the World Grand Prix with six consecutive victories, challenges Turkey today.
Stanley leads US to victory
Former Hawaii All-American Clay Stanley had a match-high 21 kills and was in on two blocks to help the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team survive against Spain in a World League match yesterday in Madrid 25-23, 25-22, 29-31, 20-25, 18-16.
The 2-hour, 13-minute, Independence Day win improved the U.S. record to 6-1 in Pool C. The U.S. and Spain will play again tomorrow.
US junior team playing for bronze
The U.S. Men's Junior National Team, with two players from Hawaii in the starting lineup, lost to Cuba yesterday in the semifinals of the NORCECA Continental Championship, 25-19, 25-18, 25-20, in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Team USA takes on Mexico for the bronze medal today.
Outside hitter Tri Bourne (AOP '07) had three kills in two sets. No statistics were available for starting libero Erik Shoji (Punahou '08), who played the entire match.