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Windward // Windward Oahu Sports

Kahaleo Girls’ Volleyball Set To Go

The by-product of enduring a so-called rebuilding year is bringing back a far more seasoned group the following year.

With that in mind, Kalaheo head girls’ volleyball coach Roberta Downey likes the state of her program as the Mustangs’ 2013 season begins.

“We’re very, very excited to work with this Kalaheo team,” said Downey, whose team struggled to a 1-10 finish in 2012. “Last year was a humbling one for us as coaches, but a rewarding one for our players. No 1, they see how much they’ve improved and they see how much better we’re going to be. We have the skills. Now it’s a matter of gelling as a team.”

Kalaheo will hold tryouts next Monday (July 29) for all three of its teams – Varsity, JV and Blue team. A demanding preseason slate will follow, with the Mustangs set to host the first Lady Mustangs Volleyball Classic Aug. 3. Kalaheo also will make an appearance Aug. 8, 9 and 10 in the prestigious Kamehameha Tournament.

“That’s our goal, to play a lot of (preseason) matches and work out the kinks. At the Varsity level, they already have the skills. Now we’re trying to bring them together.”

Although more experienced than a year ago, Kalaheo will still be relatively young on the court this fall, with only two seniors projected to be in the lineup.

“The great thing about this team is that most of them will be together for the next three years,” said Downey, whose team opens its OIA schedule Aug. 27 at home versus Kalani.

“We definitely look better mentally and physically than last year.”

In Hawaii, the elite volleyball programs typically are stocked with players who compete throughout much of the year in local clubs. On that note, Downey noted that all six returnees from last year’s Kalaheo team are affiliated with clubs.

“They all played club, and they’re ready to go,” she said. “We also have some incoming freshmen who will bring maturity to our team, even though they’re only freshmen.”

Downey still is looking for teams to take part in the Aug. 3 Classic. Cost for the event is $80. For more information, call (480) 244-8239.

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