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Team capsules

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 12, 2019

Division I

Humphreys Blackhawks

Coach — Cassandra Horne, second season.
Key performers — Trinity Barretto, So., setter; Isabelle Maulsby, So., DS; Arielle Stickar, Jr., OH; Taliyah Calloway. Sr.; Madison Bridges, So.; Alaina Areniego, So.; Rona Denuna, Sr., libero (transferred from Ansbach, Germany); Mindy Pond, Sr., DS (transferred from Seoul American); Jalynn Knight, Jr. (transferred from Seoul American); Zoey Weidley, Jr. (transferred from Kubasaki).
Outlook — Reloading. Student population continues to grow and transfers delivered a bounty of new players. This could be a promising campaign, maybe even a contending one.

Kadena Panthers

Coach — Dennis Decker, first season.
Key performers — Alianis Ayala, Jr., setter; Lyjene Coy, Jr., MB; Meghan Bonafilia, Sr., libero; Vivien Reese, Jr. MB; Sarina Garcia, So., libero; Katie Anderton, So., setter.
Overview — Rebuilding. Better every day is Decker’s team’s motto. Coalescing as a team, building on strengths and not give up on themselves.

Kubasaki Dragons

Coach — Mike Hogen, 11th season.
Key performers — Abby Robinson, Sr., MB; Alyssa Alvarado, So., setter; Sophie Baumbach, Jr.; Risha McGriff, Fr.; Sophie Grubbs, Fr.; Emma Leggio, Fr.
Overview — Rebuilding. The core of last year’s Far East Division I title team, the fourth triumph in five years, has either graduated or transferred. Robinson and Alvarado will serve as the new core; much of the passing will come from the three freshmen, who are new to the team but not new to the game.

Nile C. Kinnick Red Devils

Coach — Anthony San Nicolas, sixth season.
Key performers — Madelyn Gallo, Sr., MB; Charley “Anela” Lau, Jr., OH (transferred from Roosevelt HS, Honolulu); Charlize Uptegrove, setter.
Overview — Reloading. This is the second straight year the Red Devils must start again having lost a major core of the team, but Gallo is certainly a strong centerpiece and the additions of Lau and Uptegrove were huge.

Division II

Daegu Warriors

Coach — Faritzel Mendez, sixth season.
Key performers — Dai’Ja Turner, Jr., MB; Lexie Berry, Jr., setter; Neea Lizama, Sr., setter; Issamoly Thurman, So., RH; Shawna Jang, So., def. Ariel Harvey, So., DS; Victoria Sergi, Jr., MB.
Overview — Reloading. Some core players left after last season, but Mendez might enjoy some continuity from the junior varsity ranks. Turner can be a formidable force up front. Berry and Lizama bring some veteran blood to the all-important setter spot.

E.J. King Cobras

Coach — Ricky Andrew, first season.
Key performers — Marika Smith, Sr., setter; Yumika Randall, Sr., OH; Miya O’Mara, Sr., OH; Hanna O’Mara, So., libero.
Overview — Rebuilding-reloading. Good core of seniors to help a team comprised mostly of underclassmen develop. Not much height, typical of the Cobras. They did well at last weekend’s Osaka invitational and are looking to make noise for the first time in awhile.

Robert D. Edgren Eagles

Coach — Sarah Richardson, 29th season.
Key performer — Alex Amador, So., OH-MB; Shera Gacula, Jr., OH; Emily Ichijo, Fr., OH; Lydia Stone, So., MB; Daija Perez, So., OH; Denai Perez, Sr., OH.
Overview — Rebuilding. Richardson has a group that has the potential to hit well; the Eagles are hurting at other positions, though. Developing setters and passers will be key.

Matthew C. Perry Samurai

Coach — Chris Munsell, second season.
Key performers — Kate Munsell, Jr., OH-def.; Annalisa Garcia, Sr., OH; Sam Palanca, Jr. (transferred from Chicago); Grace Linville, Fr., DS (transferred from North Carolina).
Outlook — Rebuilding. Graduations and transfers hit this lineup hard. It’s a question of how quickly the team and players develop and come together.

Osan Cougars

Coach — Audene Harvey, first season.
Key performers — Kileyna Schniers, Jr., setter; Tailan Hickey, Jr., OH (transferred from Seoul American); Kaithlyn Yamboa, Jr., RH; Naomi Elliott, So., OH.
Overview — Rebuilding. Starting over with a new coach and new philosophy. Replacing the graduated core of Lizzy White and Maja Inthavixay could be a major chore.

Yokota Panthers

Coach — Taylor Hepner, first season.
Key performers — Emily Taynton, Sr., OH (played tennis a season ago); Chloe Dozier, So., MB; Haley Singleton, Jr., OH.
Overview — Rebuilding. Small core of veterans on a team hit hard by graduations and transfers. Many new promising athletes. New coach graduated from Vilseck, Germany, in 2010, where she was All-Europe, and her father, Jim, has been coaching in DODEA since the 1980s.

Zama Trojans

Coach — Veronica Jones, sixth season.
Key performers — Jessica Atkinson, Sr., MB; Grace Bryant, Jr., MB-OH; Iris Hirata, Sr., setter-OH; Leah Sakamoto-Flack, Sr., OH.
Overview — Rebuilding-reloading. Won their first DODEA-Japan tournament title last fall and came up just short in their bid for a first Far East tournament title in 21 years. Trojans have the potential to reach that Division II final again. Good core of returners and some solid, skilled newcomers.

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