KAPAA — Though she’s already graduated, Kapaa High School alumna Tori Daligcon is still working out with the school’s volleyball team once or twice a week.
“I’ve been coming to the practices over here at Kapaa whenever I can. I’m just working out and training with them,” Daligcon said Wednesday at Kapaa High School.
Hopefully staying active during the summer will keep her skills sharp. Come fall, she’s taking her talents to the Midwest.
Daligcon earned a partial scholarship will be playing volleyball at Wentworth Military Academy and College, a private military junior college in Lexington, Missouri. She signed her letter of intent in late May and intends to study engineering.
“It felt good. It made it feel official and that I’m actually going away to college to play ball,” she said. “It felt like I really accomplished a goal. I worked hard these past four years with my grades and with sports.”
The Warriors volleyball standout originally had planned to enroll at the University of Alaska, where she planned to tryout for the team, but then was contacted last minute from Wentworth coach Shelby Woodward about playing for the Red Dragons.
“We started talking. She said it’s a junior college, but it’s a junior college that gave out scholarships. That would help a lot,” Daligcon said. “She said she was looking for players who are willing to work hard … a coachable player.”
“I was going to try to walk on to the team at the University of Alaska, whether it be volleyball or basketball. I was going to try to walk on, and if I made it I was going to try to redshirt — just to get that experience,” she added. “But I felt that the junior college would be a better option. There, I can figure out what kind of engineering I want to do, and I can get experience at the collegiate level.”
Daligon played three years varsity in both volleyball and basketball for Kapaa High. Shortly before graduating, she was named the school’s Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year.
“I’m not going to lie. I was really surprised,” she said of the accolade. “When he said it said it was a girl who played volleyball and basketball, I thought it was one of my other teammates. Then when it said me, it was like, ‘Whoa.’”
Along with working out during the summer break, she works part time at McDonalds in Kapaa. She will take off for Missouri in early August.
In addition to studying and playing volleyball, she also wants to try out for the school’s women’s basketball team.
“It’s a new place. It’s way different than Hawaii, obviously. I’ll try to play basketball, too, while I’m up there,” Daligcon said. “That’s all I’ve known pretty much — school, volleyball and basketball. I want to continue that, even though I’ll be in college.”
She added though she looks forward to Missouri, she will most miss having her support group with her.
“My family — my grandparents and my parents being there at every game supporting me. My grandpa, even when I went to Maui for preseason or at state tournaments, he and my grandma were always there. And my mom, when she didn’t have work and she was able to come, that was always a big help,” Daligcon said. “That’s going to be the hardest thing to adjust to — not having my family there always cheering me on.”
Kapaa High varsity girls volleyball head coach Evan Costa couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.