Volleyball Invitational promises quality

Waimea preseason boys’ tourney in its 14th year

By JASON

GALLIC

TGI Sports Editor

WAIMEA — It’s been the same story for 13

seasons. Every year about this time, Waimea boys’ volleyball Coach Bobby

Kamakele feels the excitement only an impending season can bring.

Make it

14.

This Friday and Saturday, Kamakele and Waimea High School will host the

Waimea Invitational. This year’s installment will pull in five off-island

schools. Three — Honoka’a, Wai’akea and Kohala — from the Big Island, and two

— Lutheran and Castle — from Honolulu.

Combine those team with Kapa’a and

Kaua’i High Schools, as well as two groups from Waimea, and a nine-team

preseason tournament ensues. Play begins with a Friday round-robin at 11 a.m.,

and continues Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Waimea Gym. There is no charge to

attend.

“The KIF (Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation) is wide open this

year,” Kamakele said, “so this tournament will be a nice chance for each team

to see the other.

“And it’ll be nice to play some other kind of teams,

too.”

Those expecting the same volleyball powerhouse names of past

tournaments be wary, however. Some of those will be playing in events on

Oahu.

“Punahou, the top school in the state, came the past two years,”

Kamakele explained. “But they aren’t going to this year. No big

deal.”

Despite the fact that the season opener is nearly one month away,

Kamakele said the tourney is important.

“We, and all the other schools,

have been hitting against ourselves for awhile,” he said. “It’ll be nice to see

some other bodies.”

Teams will play eight games on Friday, allowing coaches

to get a look at many different formations and a host of player

combinations.

“I think I speak for a lot of coaches when I say that it’s

tough to see everything in practice,” Kamakele said. “You’ve got to see how a

kid is going to react in a game situation.

“So these kids will be trying to

impress.”

Except, Kamakele explained when the KIF teams play each

other.

“You kind of have to hold something back when you play the island

teams,” the coach said. “Can’t be showing them everything this early in the

game.”

Kaua’i High School, which ended among the top four, was the

top-finishing school from the island at last year’s tourney.

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