|Molten 18-Navy: Head Coach Kurstan Olaso, Assistant Coach
Jolynn Faatulu-Olaso, Chad Arnett, Klayson Barlow, Jameson
Bevans, Jacob Brockmann, Stewart Hamblin, Doug Kaanaana,
Joseph Kauliakamoa, Jr, Travis Knight, Jesse Noble, Sean
Ostrander, Justin Peterson, Gavin Tanner
Molten's Six Paves Way to Region Title
That is how Molten’s 18-Navy coach Kurstan Olaso had
put it to his team.
matches and a region championship…
with a thrilling 22-25, 28-26, 15-13 win over Gary Durrett’s
AZ Rage 18-Red squad, number six was done.
“Before each match we counted them down to ensure that
we remained focused on what the team goal was for that day.” Olaso
recalls. “We played well all day long, but before the final
match we told them that nothing mattered except for this last
match. Win or lose, we were proud of the improvements they made
individually and as a team during the season.”
After having played the Rage 18-Red twice before, Olaso knew
it was going to be a war.
“We expected the championship match to be us versus Rage
and we knew it would not be an easy match. I think that we came
out a little tentative in the first game and then got comfortable
to make a move.” Kurstan said. “We had focused on
our middle attack and defense all day long because we knew that
would be a huge factor going into the finals. We defended well
and our outside hitters did a great job of finding a way to put
the ball down for us in the end.”
particular Molten boys team was the first time that Olaso didn’t
have a big nucleus of talent returning.
“Because we did not have a lot of experience returning,
we had to focus a lot on mental toughness and leadership this
year.” Olaso said. With only two returning players, there
was a lot of preparation to get the team into the Regional finals.
“We knew this team had the ability to win, but it was
a matter of getting everything, physical and mental, together
before the Regional Championships...and we did. These boys trained
very hard all season long and we worked on mental endurance a
lot throughout the season. It was tough for them in the beginning,
but by the end of the season, they knew exactly what I needed
from them. We were very proud of their improvement throughout
the season and their accomplishment that day.” lauded the
the team stayed in the top five the entire season, it was still
frustrating at times for
Olaso and his staff. “Usually
we are able to compete at a high level at the beginning of the
season, but this year we knew that there was a lot of improvement
that needed to take place in order for us to get back to the
team will travel to Minnesota to compete in the Junior Nationals. “We
have 5 juniors on our team this year, four of which were starters
for us, that will be returning to us next year: Klayson Barlow,
Joe Kauliakamoa, Gavin Tanner, Sean Ostrander and Jesse Noble.” Olaso
16-1: Head Coach David Thistle, Assistant Coach Ho Huynh,
Nick Barraza, Noel Carpio, Justin Gotchey, Logan Hale,
Michael Meaney, Frankie Mulcahy, Sean Sicurello, Chris
Steffes, Garrett Voge, Alex Yang, Kevin Yee
Compete and Complete the Four-peat!
Cactus’ Boy’s 16’s
Coach David Thistle had been there before.
now he’s been there again…for
the fourth time as a matter of fact.
Cactus Boys won their fourth straight Region Championship with
25-18 win over AZ.
Rage 16-Black squad.
“One of our team goals was to improve every tournament
this year and we really saved our best playing for Regionals” Thistle
observed, adding, “That was very exciting to see.”
fourth straight title wasn’t a ‘gimme’ even
though his team floated in and around the 18’s teams all
season long. But Thistle was quick to point the glory onto his
boys. “Every single year I am blessed with having a great
group of kids but the one thing that set this group apart from
others was there energy level and their
his quadrennial repeat, his status as one of the premiere boy’s coaches in the Region isn’t
going unnoticed. His secret? Chemistry.
“ We didn't really do anything a whole lot different as far as
individuals or drills but we really wanted to keep this group
as motivated and as positive as possible, nothing negative from
player to player or coach to player, that was our main focus
with this group.”
it’s scary to think, the region will have to be
on its toes for next year’s Cactus 16’s offering
as well. “Next year I expect good things from this group.” Thistle
predicts. “Four or five players will be moving up and about
five are staying with me.” Thistle’s expertise has
him evaluating the talent coming from Tucson as well. “Look
out for Garrett Voge a freshmen this year, who definitely has
college potential as well as Justin Gotchey a sophomore, both
will be moving up to 18-1 or 17-1.”
Standings of our Boys Division are available by clicking
here. You will need Adobe Acrobat to read it.
Back to Newsletter