The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.
The562’s volleyball coverage is sponsored by Misty May-Treanor and the Dream in Gold Foundation
The562’s coverage of Cabrillo Athletics is sponsored by the Cohn Family
It was a hard offseason for the Cabrillo girls’ volleyball team, with the loss of beloved assistant coach James Kainoa Sr., AKA Grandpa. The father of third-year Jags coach James Kainoa Jr. Grandpa’s presence on the Westside was always an inspirational one.
“He was our sun that shined and guided us through tough times,” said Kainoa. “He was the voice of reasons, he gave us strength and confidence. He was the stable foundation our program stoon upon.”
Kainoa said that his team will honor his father with a different focus for this year.
“Instead of limiting ourselves by setting any expectations, we will play for the girls who can’t play volleyball this season,” he said. “Girls who can’t make their middle school or high school team–girls who think they are not good enough, tall enough, fast enough or strong enough. We will embrace the underdog role proudly for them.”
The Jags are improving steadily under Kainoa, and were 8-10 overall last year, and fifth in the Moore League. They return first team All-League captain setter/outside hitter Kailani Kainoa, as well as co-captain setter/DS Evelyn Mejia. Natalia and Montzerat Guzman give the Jags some depth at hitter, and the numbers are growing on the Westside. Other contributors include libero/DS contributors America Martinez and Chelsie Odulio, middle blockers Kali Tilkaran and Mckenzie Jasmin, as well as Jazmeen Gonzalez and Ari Johnson.
“We took a big leap forward last year,” said Kainoa. “Players bought in. This will be our best season ever–we want to give the Cabrillo faithful past, present and future something to cheer for.”
The Jags will face La Salle (10 a.m.) and Whittier (2 p.m.) at Mayfair this Saturday to open pool play for the Tae Kim Lakewood/Molten Classic, their first time making an appearance in the tournament.