Waipahu Volleyball Team Works On Cohesiveness, Defense

The Waipahu girls’ volleyball team won’t have to wait long to get into the swing of things in 2013. Their appearance at this week’s Longy Okamoto Pre-Season Tournament should provide the Marauders with plenty of opportunities to accumulate some game experience in preparation for their Oahu Interscholastic Association regular season.

“Each day, we should be able to play at least three (matches),” Waipahu head coach Julna Pasicaren said of the Longy Okamoto Tournament. “It will be good practice for us. Hopefully, we’ll be ready. We just picked the team last week, so they’re just getting to know each other. We’re very raw right now.”

When Pasicaren looks over her roster for 2013, she sees a lot of options.

“I’m excited – when you see a lot of potential, you can’t wait to get started,” she said. “Everybody has good competition this year. We have three or four players fighting (for court time) at every position. We have so many choices to go to this year, but nothing is given (playing time-wise) and everything has to be earned.”

Pasicaren will build around senior returnee Kuinita Donley and newcomer Nalae Tagovailoa this fall. Donley is a second-year varsity player, who will see time at middle blocker and outside hitter. Tagovailoa will play multiple positions despite being only a freshman.

“Kuinita brings leadership, and she has maturity as a second-year player,” Pasicaren said of Donley. “Nalae is really good. She plays club volleyball (with Tava Hawaii), which helps. She’s very athletic and looks like she’s been playing club for a long time. She knows the game. She can play just about everything on the court.”

Also back in the fold for the Marauders is Jaslynn To, who is slated to play a setter position.

“She was one of our setters last year,” Pasicaren said of To. “She’ll have competition this year. Everybody will have good competition this year.”

Among the priorities for the Marauders during their early-season workouts has been developing cohesiveness, according to the coach.

“We have a good bunch of kids – we have to keep them together and playing together as a unit,” she said. “Once they get to know each other, I think we’ll be OK. Offensively, we’re sound. Defensively, we have to work on it.”

The Longy Okimoto Tournament will run Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at both Waipahu and Pearl City high schools. (Blue Division and varsity games will take place at Waipahu. Junior varsity matches will be played at Pearl City. Pairings for the tournament were not available at press time.)

Waipahu begins OIA West play Aug. 28 at home versus Waialua. The Marauders’ conference schedule also includes matches with Pearl City (8/31 at home), Mililani (9/4, away), Campbell (9/7 at home), Kapolei (9/11, away), Aiea (9/14 at home), Leilehua (9/18, away), Radford (9/21 at home), Waianae (9/25, away) and Nanakuli (9/28, away).