Feature: Volleyball A Family Affair For Lakewood’s Tufugas

If you ever find yourself at a park on a sunny day and you stumble across a Tufuga family picnic, do not attempt to join in a pickup volleyball match—unless you can come correct. The first family of Moore League volleyball powered Lakewood to this year’s league championship, and they’re hoping to lead the Lancers to the school’s first CIF Southern Section championship in more than a decade.

There’s junior Teilon Tufuga, the team’s stud opposite hitter, who’s verbally committed to BYU, where he’ll join his older brother and former Lakewood star Storm. Then there’s Teilon and Storm’s first cousins, senior Kyler and freshman Cameron.

“It adds to that family feel that every team wants to have,” said Lakewood coach Devon Taylor.

It isn’t just the kids at Lakewood. The Tufugas said their parents all played volleyball, and several uncles, aunts, and grandparents are currently volleyball officials.

Their impact for Lakewood is obvious. In Tuesday’s first-round playoff sweep of Channel Islands, the trio combined for 26 kills, two blocks, and 13 aces, meaning that of the Lancers’ 75 points, 41 of them came off the arms of a Tufuga.

“They should rename the school after you,” joked one of the officials during the second set.

Ironically, none of the three of them thought they’d be volleyball players. Kyler said he played soccer growing up and didn’t start with volleyball until middle school. Teilon liked basketball and Cameron also started out playing soccer. Now, of course, they’re all happy to be on the same court in the same jersey, trying to win a CIF title with their teammates.

“Playing volleyball with these guys is the best,” said Kyler.


Division 2

Lakewood @ Saddleback Valley Christian

Wilson vs. Mission Viejo

Division 4

St. Anthony @ Murrieta Valley

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.