This page contains photos and video from the 2016 Summer Soiree tournament, as provided by parents and family. Clicking on some of the photos may take you to see a related slide show. Some of the videos, but unfortunately not all, are high resolution so please allow time for your computer to buffer.
Huikahi entered both its 14U and 15U teams in this 8th annual volleyball tournament held in the Anaheim Convention Center by the Southern California Volleyball Association (SCVA). Our journey was well planned thanks to Precious and everyone made it to Honolulu Airport on time for our departure. Unfortunately the airline switched planes on us so the seating had to be rearranged but Precious very ably resolved that issue too. Mahalo nui loa to Joe for providing the bento for each traveler; the in-flight nourishment was much appreciated! The flight itself was uneventful and we arrived safely at LAX. The airport was super busy and it took some time for the van rental company to come pick up our drivers but it was nothing compared to the delay our "advance scout" Ryan encountered when picking up his van earlier in the day. When the van rental company's limousine finally got our drivers to the rental site, the process went smoothly and all the vans returned together to LAX to pick up our group. The half-hour drive to the hotel was straightforward with everyone simply following Ryan. After a bite to eat, it was off to bed for everyone. The next day, after sleeping in, we went to the Anaheim Convention Center to familiarize ourselves with the playing venue, then went to verify our check-in with the SCVA, followed by shopping for snacks and drinks. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, then dinner, and to bed.
The following morning, to our head coach's dismay, some of the girls had gotten sick. Nevertheless, it was "Game On" as the tournament began play, so our girls did their best to stay focused and soldier on. Our 14U played in the opening day's morning wave, taking second place in their Pool 19 of the 14U division. Our 15U played in that first day's afternoon wave, taking first place in their Pool 14 of the 15U division, then also winning their crossover match.
On the second day, the bug had more of our players and even some parents and coaches feeling ill. It was bad enough that our team doctor, Corilyn, was making room visits and calling in prescriptions for some of them; thankfully there was a pharmacy close by. The girls, however, again showed good focus and desire as they continued to play well despite being sick. The second day had both our teams playing in the morning and our 14U battled back to a second place finish in their Pool 2, while our 15U also took second place in their Pool 3.
By the third day, the bug had taken its toll on our teams and even though they fought valiantly, both our teams struggled on this penultimate day of the tournament. Our 14U finished fourth in their third day Pool 1 while our 15U finished third in their Pool 4. Those finishes, on this bracket-deciding day, sent our 14U to the Bronze bracket of their division and our 15U to the Silver bracket of their division.
After a good night's rest, our teams were somewhat on the road to recovery so they continued their strong play. Our 14U finished third in their Bronze Bracket, 21st out of 88 overall. Our 15U swept through their Silver Bracket to win the Silver championship and become the highest finishing Hawaii team in the 15U division, 9th overall out of 59 teams.
Hats off to both our teams for fighting through their illnesses and congratulations to our 15U team for rallying to win the Silver Championship on the last day of the Summer Soiree! Both our teams received compliments from opposing coaches and fans for their competitive play and, notably, for their style of play with many in awe of our girls' ability to hit the floor to save balls. In fact, one of our girls who attended a college's training camp after the Summer Soiree was asked to teach our floor skills by the camp's instructors, who were impressed by her abilites and had seen nothing like it. We hope she got a discount for becoming an impromptu instructor!
The day following the completion of play, many of our girls joined their families in visiting nearby relatives while those who stayed with the group visited the Huntington Beach pier and surrounding town. Most rejoined the group that evening as we celebrated at the Anaheim Dave & Busters; many thanks to Kendra for arranging that fun event! Having traveled last season to Orlando and visited the Disney World parks there, the group opted to skip Disneyland and instead went to Knott's Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain in the ensuing days, before heading home to Honolulu. The girls had a blast on the wild roller coasters but only a few adults were brave enough (or foolish enough) to accompany them, preferring instead to stay with the tamer roller coasters. For Huikahi it seemed the wild roller coasters were definitely a young person's adventure!
With our families all safely home, we wish our girls the same success with their school teams that they had with Huikahi, and we look forward to their return to Huikahi next club season. Hana hou!