The Huikahi Volleyball Club employs an offensive system in which there are always three hitters in the front row, hence there is no need for the middle hitter to slide to the right as most systems will sometimes do when there are just two hitters in the front row along with a setter. Nevertheless, our head coach determined that our girls should learn the slide since all their schools would have them playing at times with just two hitters and a setter in the front row. Coach thought that the girls would be delighted and excited to learn it from a real expert, someone locally famous for doing the slide, so he reached out to Kalei Adolpho, former UH-Manoa Wahine middle hitter, who is well-known for hitting the "Molokai Slide". Kalei very graciously accepted the invitation to come to one of our practices to teach the slide to our girls. Doubling the pleasure and excitement, Kalei even brought UH Wahine teammate Tai Manu-Olevao with her!
Kalei and Tai were asked to describe to our girls what it is like to play volleyball at the college level. They described it as an enjoyable experience yet a full-time responsibility, in that there are demands and requirements which must be met, both for volleyball and in academics. Practices are mandatory as is keeping up an acceptable GPA. Players have to be on time for practices and full effort is constantly required as is a positive demeanor. The coaches are demanding and things must be done their way with no deviation. Players are not babied; they either do what is demanded or else. There is always another player ready and willing to replace anyone who does not give full, constant effort. Conditioning and practice are basically year-round. They advised that there is always someone watching, so a good attitude, and constantly putting one's best foot forward is needed, including in the recruiting process. They also cautioned that coaches and recruiters will look at a player's social media postings so they advised keeping it clean and acceptable. They also described the humbling feeling of going from being a high school phenom to a freshmen bench warmer and being in the shadow of the older, more established players. They didn't get discouraged and put in hard work to get better and became the starters and stars they are today.
Then it was time to get onto the court. Kalei and Tai explained the basic concepts of the slide, showed our girls how it's done, then had the girls try it.
After all our girls had a chance to try the slide and had gained an idea of the concept and how to do it, it was time to have some fun. Kalei and Tai were gracious enough to play with our 14U against our 15U!
To close the practice, Kalei and Tai posed with our girls, something our girls will long remember.
Mahalo nui loa to Kalei Adolpho and Tai Manu-Olevao for coming to our practice and spending time with our girls. The insights they shared with our girls were invaluable and our girls were super excited and delighted to meet them and learn the slide from them. Our girls are still talking about their visit. Kalei and Tai are true ambassadors of Aloha, and are still down-to-earth local girls despite their fame and renown. We truly appreciate that they would take the time to come visit our small club and help our girls.