ASIJ tourney a key test for spikers as postseason nears
October 13, 2016
Randall Sangalli and his Seoul American girls volleyball team have played well enough for second place in the Korea Blue division regular season. Now, they hope to make the most of a chance to warm up for post-season tournament action.
The Falcons take their 6-1 regular-season record to Tokyo this weekend for the second American School In Japan-YUJO tournament. It features two DODEA Okinawa entities, including the two-time defending Far East Division I champions, and players from Yokota High School entered as a club team.
“We hope to be competitive,” Sangalli said of a team featuring veteran middle blocker Renee Thompson and doing well so far with sophomore Faith Stehle in her first season at setter.
“We’re a better team than we were last year. We still have to work on some things. We still have some holes somewhere to fill. But I think we can surprise some people.”
They’ll try to do that against a field that includes Kubasaki and Kadena – the Dragons are also the defending ASIJ-YUJO champions – along with the Yokota Volleyball Club.
The non-DODEA contingent includes host ASIJ, which Kubasaki has beaten the last two years in the D-I tournament final. Also from the Kanto Plain are Seisen and Christian Academy Japan.
Canadian International of Hong Kong returns. Coming from Singapore are United World College, which played last year, and Stanford American International, new to the tournament.
Play begins at 2:30 p.m. Thursday and concludes with the championship match at 5:15 p.m. Saturday.
Outdoors on the turfed football field, ASIJ takes on Kadena, currently leading the chase for Far East D-I title-game host space. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Down the street at Yokosuka Naval Base, Nile C. Kinnick tries to remain in the hunt for one of the two D-I final berths, when the Red Devils host Seoul American. They kick off at the same time as Kadena and ASIJ.
Friday’s football slate features three Division II matchups, the key one being Humphreys at Daegu, with a 5:30 p.m. kickoff.
A Blackhawks win punches their ticket for the D-II title game Nov. 5, either at Yokota or Matthew C. Perry; Daegu needs to win by 20 or more to have a shot at a fourth straight D-II title.
Perry visits Zama, while Yokota travels to Robert D. Edgren; both of those kickoffs are at 7 p.m. Friday. For the visitors, it’s a warmup game for Oct. 22, when the Panthers travel to Perry with the D-II host bid on the line.