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Nile C. Kinnick's Katrina Reid gets one of her team-high eight digs against Robert D. Edgren.

Nile C. Kinnick's Katrina Reid gets one of her team-high eight digs against Robert D. Edgren. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

Nile C. Kinnick's Katrina Reid gets one of her team-high eight digs against Robert D. Edgren.

Nile C. Kinnick's Katrina Reid gets one of her team-high eight digs against Robert D. Edgren. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

Nile C. Kinnick's Rhyssa Hizon sets one of her 20 assists against Robert D. Edgren.

Nile C. Kinnick's Rhyssa Hizon sets one of her 20 assists against Robert D. Edgren. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

Robert D. Edgren's Sabrina Doria receives against Nile C. Kinnick.

Robert D. Edgren's Sabrina Doria receives against Nile C. Kinnick. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

Robert D. Edgren's Naomy Montanez digs up the ball against Nile C. Kinnick.

Robert D. Edgren's Naomy Montanez digs up the ball against Nile C. Kinnick. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

Evan Yukevich of American School In Japan heads for the finish and a first-place time of 14 minutes, 51.1  seconds in the Kanto cross country finals at Tama.

Evan Yukevich of American School In Japan heads for the finish and a first-place time of 14 minutes, 51.1 seconds in the Kanto cross country finals at Tama. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

Seisen International's Brittani Shappell heads for the finish and a first-place time of 12 minutes, 34.1 seconds in the Kanto cross country finals at Tama.

Seisen International's Brittani Shappell heads for the finish and a first-place time of 12 minutes, 34.1 seconds in the Kanto cross country finals at Tama. (Dave Ornauer/Stars and Stripes)

Robert D. Edgren's Coko Magby tries to get the ball past Nile C. Kinnick's Shakita Samuels and Stephanie Stockman.

Robert D. Edgren's Coko Magby tries to get the ball past Nile C. Kinnick's Shakita Samuels and Stephanie Stockman. (Nathaniel Punla/Special to Stars and Stripes)

Nile C. Kinnick's Audri Salter spikes past Robert D. Edgren's Kalean Middleton.

Nile C. Kinnick's Audri Salter spikes past Robert D. Edgren's Kalean Middleton. (Nathaniel Punla/Special to Stars and Stripes)

Nile C. Kinnick's Katrina Reid spikes through the block of Robert D. Edgren's Kalean Middleton.

Nile C. Kinnick's Katrina Reid spikes through the block of Robert D. Edgren's Kalean Middleton. (Nathaniel Punla/Special to Stars and Stripes)

Robert D. Edgren's Madeline Mattingly tries to spike over Nile C. Kinnick's Rhyssa Hizon and Stephanie Stockman.

Robert D. Edgren's Madeline Mattingly tries to spike over Nile C. Kinnick's Rhyssa Hizon and Stephanie Stockman. (Nathaniel Punla/Special to Stars and Stripes)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – Coaches always love learning that they have backup options to use when a star is absent or injured.

With senior setter Charla Johnson away taking an ACT exam, backside hitter Rhyssa Hizon stepped into the role and produced 20 assists, boosting Nile C. Kinnick to its eighth straight DODDS Japan girls volleyball tournament title with a four-set win over Robert D. Edgren.

“She’s an athlete and that’s what helps us,” coach Tony San Nicolas said after Saturday’s 26-24, 27-25, 22-25, 25-7 win over the Eagles.

“You just tell her what to do, she says, ‘Yes, coach,’ and goes out there and does it and tries her best. That’s what I love about her.”

Kinnick has won the tournament in every year of its existence. Edgren reached the final for the first time. The Eagles are 0-4 in four matches with Kinnick, but three went at least four sets, and one went to five.

The Eagles fought to the wire in the first three sets, but seemed to let up a little in the last set, which the Red Devils won easily. Edgren coach Sarah Richardson attributed Kinnick’s success against the Eagles to the Red Devils’ experience and Edgren’s lack of it.

“The only time we experience this is when we get to tournaments,” said Richardson, whose Eagles only played eight regular-season matches. “These other teams have great competition all the time. My kids don’t have that.”

Kinnick rallied from a slow start in the first set and won a back-and-forth battle. In the second, the Eagles trailed 24-16, but Naomy Montanez served out nine straight and Edgren fought off eight set points before two Katrina Reid kills gave the Red Devils the set.

The Red Devils rallied from a 16-9 third-set deficit and led 22-18 before the Eagles got seven straight points to close it. Kinnick controlled the last set from start to finish to cap its title run.

Audri Salter led Kinnick with 15 kills and seven block points. Reid had six kills and eight digs. Kalean Middleton fueled the Eagles with six kills and 13 assists. Montanez had seven kills and Nicole Marquez 10 assists and seven digs.

The next competition for each team is the Nov. 3-6 Far East Tournaments, Division II at Zama and Division I at Yokota.

Yukevich, Shappell capture first Kanto crownsTAMA HILLS RECREATION CENTER, Japan – New champions were crowned in the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools cross-country finals Saturday at Tama, Evan Yukevich of American School In Japan and Brittani Shappell of Seisen International.

Shappell, who has posted the fastest times in the Pacific at various distances, remained unbeaten, posting a time of 12 minutes, 34.1 seconds on Tama’s 2.1-mile girls course.

Yukevich was timed in 14:51.1 on the 2.9-mile boys course. Yukevich led a 1-2-3 ASIJ finish and the boys outdistanced St. Mary’s International 22-65 for top team honors. Connor Brown of Kinnick was the leading DODDS runner in 16:06.6.

ASIJ, with Tatiana Riordan, Lisa Watanuki and Emma Wingfield-Hayes finishing 3-4-5, outgunned Seisen 41-48 in the girls standings. Kinnick’s Cassie Burger (13:44.2) was the top DODDS runner.

Seoul Foreign’s Smith, Charnesky capture KAIAC titlesPANGYO, South Korea – Grace Charnesky, who finished fifth in last weekend’s Asia-Pacific Invitational on Guam, became the new Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference girls cross-country champion Saturday at Korea International School.

She ran the 3.12-mile course in 21 minutes, 32 seconds, leading Seoul Foreign to the KAIAC team title, outdistancing Seoul American. Teammate Addison Smith won the boys race in 17:57, and Seoul Foreign as a team finished third.

The leading DODDS runner among boys was Seoul American’s Collyn Lindley in 18:56, nearly a minute behind Smith. Seoul American’s Hannah Frederick was third among girls in 22:29.

ornauer.dave@stripes.com

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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