Volleyball's best come together


POSTED: Thursday, November 20, 2008

Even in an exhibition tournament of outstanding players, chemistry prevails over size.

The North team, led by setter Caitlin Andrade, swept the West squad 25-18, 25-21, 25-22 last night in the final of the inaugural OC 16 Senior Invitational Girls Volleyball Tournament.

A perky crowd of about 250 watched at McKinley Student Council Gymnasium. Andrade, the virtually flawless distributor from Kamehameha, dished out 17 assists. She also had four kills and two aces.

Mama Fiaseu (Radford) had team highs of eight kills and three aces, and Macy Mitravich (Sacred Hearts) pounded seven kills. Andrade's accurate sets kept the taller West team off balance. Valerie Lesu (Farrington) and Natasha Souza (Aiea) added four kills apiece.

Crystal Powell (Word of Life) powered the West with 14 kills and Elissa Ji (Maryknoll) had 11 kills. With Powell, Ji, Lahela Kaili-Laroya (Moanalua) and Alex Akana (Kamehameha), the West appeared to have a great hitting squad. However, their opponent, in the yellow jerseys, was golden.

“;I love having her on my team,”; Mitravich said. “;Sometimes I feel bad because I mess up. It was easy to fuse with her. The chemistry works. She's so good adjusting to how you want the ball.”;

Tiana Inong (Pearl City) had a solid match with 21 assists and two kills for the West.

Back-row play was key for the North. Kelly Chang (Hawaii Baptist) had eight digs.

“;Kelly, Carolyn (Ringor, of Leilehua), Mama, Keely, they were great passers,”; Andrade said.

Ji and Powell had nine digs each for the West.

The two-day tournament was orchestrated by OC 16. The opening night was played at Moanalua, and the teams had two practices, and even a little more. The North added a scrimmage before the tourney.

“;The girls had so much fun together,”; North co-coach Lee Ann Satele (Word of Life) said. “;The passing was great and the hitting was steady.”;

The competitive nature of the matches was high, but so was the level of bonding. The teams were mixed between ILH and OIA players.

“;It feels great. I'm honored to play for this team. I had a lot of fun,”; Ji said.

Powell agreed.

“;You're getting to play with different people from different schools,”; she said.

“;It's a good way to finish high school volleyball,”; Mitravich added.

Kamehameha coach Chris Blake, who coached the South to a win in the third-place match, was happy to participate.

“;Even though the time frame was so short, I think they got a great experience from it,”; he said.


South 3, East 1

Nile Te'o's double-double—20 kills and 21 digs—led the South in a comeback victory. Te'o, of Kahuku, also had two blocks.

Kiana Wasson (Kalaheo) had 13 kills and La Shaun Dela Cruz (Waianae) tallied 12 kills and 20 assists. Leina'ala Batalona (Roosevelt had 21 assists and Juri Franzen (McKinley) added 11 digs.

Anuhea Keanini (Punahou) paced the East with 25 assists and seven kills. Candace Soares (Mililani) had a team-high 10 kills to go with 10 digs. Tina Pulu (Kalani) added seven kills and Jasmine Mahi-Beamer (Kailua) chipped in 12 digs.