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Going from red to blue

LIHUE — Kauai High School senior Rebecca Zenger had blue — a bright blue T-shirt surrounded by a blue volleyball — on Tuesday afternoon at the Kauai High School gym.

She was surrounded by a group that included her parents, friends, volleyball coaches, and community volleyball players warming up for their afternoon workout, but pausing for a few minutes to join the huddle of people.

“I took off work early,” said Scott Zenger, Rebecca’s dad. “I didn’t think this was a big, but now I understand. This is pretty big.”

Rebecca was the spotlight attraction as she sat at a decorated table bearing a sole document flanked by a blue volleyball, a small sign touting “Odessa College,” and backed by a poster featuring a wrangler aboard a bucking bronco — the logo for Odessa College.

Rebecca tentatively put the pen to paper on her letter of intent, committing to play volleyball for the Wranglers for the next two years at the junior college, the act igniting cheer and applause from the group of appreciative fans.

“This was a big decision for her,” Scott said. “She wrangled with it for about three weeks. It was between two colleges — the University of Mary in South Dakota, or Odessa College in Texas. After all that, I guess she is happy to go to Texas.”

He said Odessa College is located outside Dallas and Houston, and despite the town having about 200,000 people, looks like Hawaii.

Kehau Regidore, Rebecca’s Kauai High School volleyball coach, was stoked about Rebecca’s decision.

“This is very exciting,” Regidore said. “Rebecca is my first collegiate volleyball player, ever! She should do very well with the Wranglers. I had her for two years and I’ve seen her undergo extreme growth and leadership. These will serve her well as she goes toward her goal of getting a degree in graphic design.”

Kauai fans can follow Rebecca’s journey through Odessa via the wranglersports.com website.

“I’ve got blue on today. Normally, I’m in red, but I just want to thank all of my coaches — club volleyball and high school, and my parents,” Rebecca said. “This is pretty much a free ride for the two years I’ll be at Odessa. I don’t know what the coaches there will do, but when they saw me at the combine, I was playing middle and they had me rotating to other positions like hitting. I’m just excited to reach this point.”

Darnell Aquino, a Kauai High School junior varsity coach with Kathleen Higa, was silently thrilled with the events unfolding as Rebecca’s fans poured lei over the Red Raider middle following her signing.

“This is such a good thing for these younger players,” Aquino said. “They can feel the excitement and have something to work for.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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