📅05 June 2017
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By Kylon Eckert

Summer usually means a laid back time to rest and recuperate from a long and grueling school year, but late Friday night the Harvest Family Life Center was anything but lazy as the 3rd Annual Harvest Alumni Volleyball Tournament took center stage.

Fresh off a high school boys’ volleyball championship the Eagles of years past flocked back to the nest to see who was the best team of past players.  Among the alumni were former MVP’s, coaches, teachers, and future stars.  This would also be the last volleyball event for the storied career of Harvest’s most successful coach, Kevin Inafuku.

Inafuku, after the tournament, said “I’m just so humbled to see you guys.  I have to walk away or I’ll cry.  I love you all, and I’m thankful for the privilege to have had a small part in your lives.”

The CHAMPS: L-R: Allen Kong, Ana Paulin, Gaby Paulin, Kyle Eckert, Sean Evans, Ben Mills, and Kevin Schmidt.

This year’s tournament proved to be a competitive one as four teams were tied for the top spot going into the final round.  The Killah Krewsaderz, despite having the oldest average age in the tournament, played with a defensive tenacity that thwarted the reigning champs, Kev’s Tru Boiz, in the first round.  That first game set the tone: Every team at this tournament came to WIN.

Even the team called “Here for the Shirts” proved their name was a misnomer as they took down the Leftovers in pool play.  Carl Giese and Heather White of HFTS showed absolutely stalwart net play refusing to let any attack go untouched; while Jordan Santos and Stephanie Agarpao refused to let anything drop behind the big blockers.  The Leftovers, with a roster centered around reigning MVP Sean Evans and Allen “King” Kong, couldn’t find a solution to their opponent’s scrappiness; and errors led to their downfall.

When playoffs rolled around revenge matches were set, and tables were turned.  Kev’s Tru Boiz overcame the Killah Krewsaderz with overwhelming firepower.  A combination of Josh Madrid, Marlon Evans, and Kobe Sotelo proved too much for even Salonpas to handle.  On the other court, the Leftovers took a bite out of Here for the Shirts with tough serves and punched their ticket to the championship game.

The championship game between Kev’s Tru Boiz and the Leftovers was filled with intriguing storylines.  The MVP Brothers: Marlon Evans vs Sean Evans, the Immovable Object that is Allen Kong vs the Unstoppable force of Kobe Sotelo, and the rivalry of friends on opposite sides of the court.  This battle played out how a championship should have.

Both teams came out guns blazing looking to take the lead as soon as possible.  Kevin Schmidt, the other Kevin in the building, refused to be outdone by his counterpart’s team by lobbing pinpoint sets to the outside hitters Sean Evans and Ana Paulin.

The early Leftovers lead would be in peril thanks to the attacks of Tru Boiz’ Stephen “Got ‘em” Yates and Misty Inafuku’s knack for picking up Leftover tips and attacks.  But the heroic moment of the match came from the King himself: Allen Kong.  Kong, who had not served his entire high school career, was now forced to serve because of an earlier substitution gaff.

With the Tru Boiz nipping at the Leftovers’ heels and the alumni crown two points away Kong literally rose to the occasion with two uncanny jump serves that aced the Tru Boiz passers, stunned the crowd, and gave the Leftovers the unforgettable victory.

The tournament finished with the teams at a local diner taking pictures, exchanging tales, and giving thanks to the people that made this diverse group of alumni what it really is: a family.

‘Killa Krewsaderz’ Back row L-R: Bonnie Bayless, Carina Pegarido, Brandon Pegarido, Joe Fantanalgo, Cliff Paulin, Reyz Romo, Brianne Romo
Front Row L-R: Jonas Macapinlac, Kensin Harry, Christian Bendo, Melissa Bendo

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