Lady Mustangs Form United Front For Volleyball Season

If the Kalaheo girls volleyball team somehow comes undone this fall, it will have to come from the outside. As far as team unity goes, the Lady Mustangs are firmly in the right place, according to senior co-captains Skye Parker and Tati Schenk-Lee.

“Our strength this year is that we’ve jelled off of the court,” said Parker, a middle-blocker and three-year varsity player. “No one gets down on each other. In school, we all hang out together. We eat lunch together. We do everything together.”

Added Schenk-Lee: “I feel really good about this team. Everyone plays their part and brings their own game. We’ve all meshed together.”

The team’s cohesiveness begins with its co-captains. Both Parker and Schenk-Lee also are teammates in the Okino Volleyball Club. “We’ve become almost like sisters – it’s nice to have her around,” said Schenk-Lee.

The Mustangs are looking to rebound in a big way this fall following a disappointing 2012 season that saw them win just one league match. In preseason tournaments hosted by Kamehameha and Le Jardin Academy, Kalaheo already has begun to see improvement on the court. The larger test will begin next week, when the team opens OIA East play.

“My goal is for us to just go one game at a time and ultimately reach the OIA championship,” explained Parker. “We need to talk more on the court. When we do that, we play amazing.

We hustle for every single ball and never let any ball hit the floor. If we can keep that up, we’ll be champions in my eyes.”

In addition to the pair, Kalaheo has added a talented supporting cast on its roster since the end of last season.

“We have a lot of potential with the underclassmen, especially the freshmen,” Schenk-Lee said. “We’re really talented. Everyone on this team plays club and can play at a level that varsity volleyball is played at.”

As veterans of a team that will have its share of younger players in the lineup, both Parker and Schenk-Lee find themselves in leadership roles this time around.

“I’m taking a leadership class in school, and that’s given me experience in leading,” Parker said.

“I have four nephews and two nieces, so I have to be someone they can look up to. Being on varsity for three years, you get the experience that you need (to be a leader).”

Added Schenk-Lee: “I’m getting used to the role. It’s challenging because all the girls have really strong personalities. I always looked up to the seniors when I was an underclassman. It’s fun to have that role now.”