Aiea Teacher Takes Over Volleyball Team

Kory Toyo didn’t have to travel far to find her next challenge.

As the newly installed head girls volleyball coach at Aiea High School, Toyo already works at the school in the special education department, helping to ensure a smooth transition.

“Working there helps,” she explained, “and also the fact that I coached the Aiea junior varsity team three years ago, so I had this senior class when they were freshmen.”

Toyo spent the last two seasons as head coach for Pearl City. Her 2012 Charger team finished 11-7 overall last fall en route to an appearance in the Division I state tournament.

Aiea is aiming to return to the state tournament as well, having missed the event the past few seasons after a long stretch of years in the mix.

Conditioning has begun in preparation for Aiea’s summer league. The prep volleyball season officially begins in late July, giving Toyo and her staff time the coming days to implement their schemes.

“We’re excited to see what we can do with them. With a new coaching staff, they’ll have to get used to a whole new system. They’re learning about us and the physical labor (involved). They’re quick learners. They’ve been working hard.”

In addition to Pearl City, Toyo also coached eight seasons at Leilehua before her previous stint at Aiea. Former Aiea head varsity coach Blythe Yamamoto is back coaching in the program alongside Toyo.

Aiea is building its 2013 team around veterans Megan Maafala-Maiava and Roina Maafala. Maafala-Maiava was a Second Team All-OIA Red West pick last season as a junior.

“They’re both four-year players,” Toyo said. “Megan’s a good all-around player, and Roina will help us in the front row – she can play all three positions. Both also are good in the classroom.”

Toyo also had high praise for fellow senior Paula Mauga. “She’s a 4-point student who will have all upper-level classes her senior year. She was on the Blue team, but she’ll definitely be playing on the varsity this year.”

Aiea finished 4-6 last fall, but was a perennial state tournament team in the past, most notably during Yamamoto’s long successful run at the school. Toyo likes the talent level that the Aiea program attracts year after year.

On May 31, Aiea’s incoming freshman class can join the program for summer workouts.

“They’re a physically strong bunch,” Toyo said of her current team. “They’re taller and thicker than any team I’ve coached in the past. They’ve always had a lot of athletes here – it’s just raw (volleyball) talent because we have a lot of multi-sport athletes. Right now, we’re just getting them back into volleyball shape.”