By Cindy Luis
Another pretty routine practice although they did get into more of a true scrimmage at the end, first to 15, after playing Shoji's favorite game: baseball.
Baseball had 3 different teams but they kept switching some positions so hard for me to keep track as to who was in for what inning. And after a score one of the coaches would throw a ball onto the other side instead of a serve. The designated "at-bat" team can have runners get on base and advance, or score runs with kills and blocks, with outs recorded for hitting out, being blocked or the other team getting a kill or ace.
The rule also was the first set had to go either right or middle so they are definitely working on those connections. Two teams very event in the second inning; the score was 8-7. the team with 8 won the game 16-12-8
All the middles working very hard. Adolpho had some monster kills and Tuaniga continues to move well, getting from left front outside the setter to the right on a very long step-out move. They are running a lot of combos and a lot of misdirection plays. Vorster also hit with authority but still is jumping early (IMHO).
Uiato made one amazing play where she backpedaled from close to middle back to the middle back of the court next to her, setting the ball perfectly back across her court to her left front. impressed by her footwork and how she got under the ball. Longo even told her so during a water break.
As for the scrimmage, where they didn't always rotate, a surprising comeback by the side which had Kastl and Manu-Olevao at LS, Vorster and Tuaniga the MBs, Goodman RS, Higgins setting. Kamura at DS. Think they were down 11-8 when the other side got stuck in a rotation. That team Hartong, Adolpho, Taylor, Long and Longo.
Higgins had a couple of nice jump serves and Kawamura at least one ace that had the Higgins' side pulling out a 15=12 win, including a 4-0 run at the end. Wong did make a comment about how that showed good aggressiveness by Higgins' side that put pressure on Uiato's side.
Shoji said he is still looking for that third passer but the decision was close. It could be either Kastl or Manu-Olevao, depending on the lineup. Said he hasn't determined a lineup yet, was moving closer to it and may have it ready for Saturday's preview scrimmage for the boosters. said they'll be working with the starting unit by next week.
The depth does give him a lot of options.