Lookahead: Far East Girls Class A Volleyball Tournament
Dates: Nov. 6-7; 9-10.
Sites: E.J. King High School Gym and Old Fleet Gym, Sasebo Naval Base, Japan.
Host: E.J. King High School.
Participating schools: Faith Academy Vanguards, Rizal, Philippines; Morrison Christian Academy Mustangs, Taichung, Taiwan; Osan American Cougars, Osan Air Base, South Korea; Taegu American Warriors, South Korea; International School of the Sacred Heart Symbas, Tokyo; E.J. King Cobras, Sasebo Naval Base, Japan; International Christian-Uijongbu Eagles, Uijongbu, South Korea; Korea International Phoenix, Pangyo, South Korea; Matthew C. Perry Samurai, Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, Japan.
Returning All-Tournament players: Leyna Arbour, Sacred Heart; Melynda Sides, Morrison; Ashley Taylor, Perry.
Format: Single round-robin play, Monday-Tuesday, all eight teams in one pool playing two-set matches for purposes of seeding into double-elimination bracket. Double-elimination play, best-of-five matches from Thursday to championship match Friday.
Schedule: Opening ceremony, 8:30 a.m. Monday at E.J. King Gym. Round-robin matches at 10 a.m. Monday through 7 p.m. Tuesday. Double-elimination playoffs start at 9 a.m. Thursday. Championship match at 2 p.m. Friday; second “if necessary” match to follow. Awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Harbor View Club.
DODDS-Pacific teams to watch:Taegu American (coach Jennifer Sharp, second year): Gone is the core of last year’s championship team (Kadijah Parker, Kelli Cox and the late Lynnette Grant), with a small group of experienced returnees (Christina John, Alex Vynorious) to take up the task of defending the title.
Osan American (coach Brian Swenty, third year): Losing middle blocker Jessica Richert hurt badly at the net so the Cougars are thinking and playing small thanks to the likes of setters Celine Baldevia and Laura Vega and veterans Sasha Gluzinski and Dawn Moore. Katie Barnes is a tenacious defender; Brittany Hibbard, a dangerous server.
E.J. King (coach Michael Seitz, seventh year): Seniors Christina Renick and Aika Perez are the lone holders from a squad that lost five seniors. As always, Seitz fields a team of short, scrappy defensive players who can somehow elevate at the net and cover the court like a blanket, trying to frustrate the opponent into mistakes.
Matthew C. Perry (coach Jewell Smith, first year): The eternal, repetitive rebuilding process in Samurai country yields a senior core of Ashley Taylor, Cristina Sindac and LeNieca Jones coupled with senior twin newcomers Kiara and Ciara Lacey.