Six months after being invited by NoKaOi Volleyball Showcase and raising funds, the day finally arrived for Sabrina Taylor to board a plane for Hawaii. Taylor attended a seven-day event where she got to play with other girls from across the United States and be coached by a different coach.
“This was the most fun I had in my life,” said Taylor.
She flew into Oahu at 8 p.m., Hawaii standard time, which is 12 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time. She met her coach and some of the team members that evening. The next day was filled with touring most of the island. Afterward, they went to the school they would be playing at and practiced. During the practice the coach put some of the players in new positions. For those who played in positions they were familiar with, they had to rotate differently and sit out at different times. She got a whole new view of different coaching, she added.
After practice, they went to the beach where Taylor got to board a catamaran and sail to the ocean. Taylor said the water “was so beautiful” and got to see the island from the ocean. When they returned to shore, Taylor got to jump in the water and swim.
Taylor said they had a lot of free time until Saturday and Sunday, which were the days of the competition. During her free time, she shopped a lot. She also got to attend a luau.
Her favorite part of the trip was the tournaments. There were six teams there. Her team had seven girls from the continental U.S. and two girls from Hawaii. Three of the girls on her team were from Wyoming. Taylor said that they knew each other, but not very well. They started playing and beat the first three teams they played. The first match, they beat them in two games. The second and third matches, they beat them in three games. The fourth game they played was against mostly girls from Montana. Taylor’s team lost to them in three by three points. They played one more game on Sunday against what Taylor said was the “best team” and lost by five points in three.
In the tournament, Taylor’s team won the first round and made it to the semis. They lost in that round and didn’t get to go to the finals however they won third overall.
After the tournaments on Sunday, the girls mostly hung out and watched a lot of movies. She said playing with the girls was so much fun and that they were there to learn and to compete. One thing that Taylor learned at the event is that there is no reason to get into her own head and said that the reason why you mess up is that you can be over-thinking it.
Taylor also learned that Hawaii is expensive. She also learned that the fruit is fresher and said she got to try a mango that a woman picked out of her yard. She also loved the hotels and said they were beautiful and different from Wyoming hotels.
This experience allowed Taylor to make new friends while she was there. She has already made plans for a movie night with one of her new friends from Wind River before she leaves for college.
She said that Hawaii also gave her a preview of what it will be like in New York where she will be attending college this fall. She added, there were a lot of people in Hawaii like there is in New York. Taylor also explained that she sees there will be differences in people in New York because not everyone is from the same part of the city. In Hawaii, she saw that the people were different from everyone else. While in Hawaii, Taylor experienced humidity and said that there will be humidity where she will be attending college. She added that she found out that she loved the humidity during her trip.
Taylor will be studying anthropology, sociology and psychology with a minor in theatrical performance. She will be playing volleyball while she is attending college. Taylor said she would not be playing varsity volleyball for her first year due to the coach already having her roster filled. However, if Taylor plays club volleyball and plays with them next spring, she will have a chance to compete. She said her coach in Hawaii thought she was worthy of playing Division III.
She is very appreciative of what the community did for her to help her get to Hawaii. Taylor said, “The community is most definitely what got me there; without local businesses’ support and individuals’ generosity this trip would have been nearly impossible for me. I greatly appreciate the opportunity this community has given me through donations and participation in the raffle. I can’t stress how grateful I am for the community’s contributions and the encouragement to pursue my passion for volleyball.”
By JESSICA ROBINSON