Mustang Setter, Teammates Ready For VB State Tourney

Kalaheo setter Silila Tucker and his volleyball teammates didn’t lack for ways to rally themselves during the summer. After a riveting post-season run last May, which saw them make the state semifinals, they looked at this spring as a time to finish business.

“We felt like we knew what it took to get there and what it takes to win it all,” Tucker said. “We knew how hard we had to work. When we lost Nainoa (Frank, to a season-ending injury), it also gave us more motivation because we all knew we had to work harder as a team.”

Tucker has been among the most consistent Mustangs in what already has been an extraordinary year as they took a 13-0 record into last Thursday’s OIA title game. They’re now gearing up for the Division I state tournament next week at Blaisdell Arena.

Tucker recently took some time to visit with MidWeek‘s Windward Islander.

What is your earliest sports-related memory? Ever since I was 6 or 7, I went to watch my dad (Dennis) play in volleyball tournaments. I would be with him before every game. When I started playing at 3 or 4, it came kind of easy. Now, it is more technical stuff that I’m learning.

Who has had the biggest impact on your life? Probably my aunties in (Orem) Utah. I grew up with them, and they were all real good athletes. They’ve coached me and been to all of my games.

What area of your game did you work on the most during the off-season? I worked really hard on my blocking and serving. My blocking wasn’t as strong last year as I would have liked it to be. I wanted to be more sound. On serving, I wanted more velocity, control and consistency.

Who is Kalaheo’s best practice player – the teammate who always gives 110 percent? The one who always gives the most effort every day is Chandler Ross. He just started playing volleyball, but he doesn’t care. He goes at it.

What film could you watch over and over? Step-Brothers.

What item couldn’t you live without? My volleyball shoes. I can use those for everything.

What website do you go to the most? Probably Google.

Do you have any pre-game rituals? How do you prepare yourself mentally and physically on game day? Whenever we do our serving-and-passing (drill) before we leave (for a road game), I always wear the exact same clothes. I also listen to the same playlist (of music) on my way to games.

What is your least favorite household chore? Doing the dishes.

What do you like to do in your spare time? There’s not much of it right now, but when I do have spare time, I like to hang out with my friends.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I hope to be playing professionally somewhere.

You are stuck on Kahoolawe and can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? Pizza.