SPORTS

‘Kill Machine’ Spiking Her Way In The USA

Dubbed the ‘Kill Machine’ Naqase is a setter and hitter. Her team broke the record for most wins in a season in California for women’s volleyball and has also been nominated for best junior college player in the USA.
14 Dec 2019 17:37
‘Kill Machine’ Spiking Her Way In The USA
Mere Funaki Naqase in action. Photo: Mere Funaki

Mere Funaki Naqase was among the Feather River five most valuable players (MVP) that won the 2019 Community College California Athletics Association (CCCAA) Women’s Volleyball State Championship last week.

Dubbed the ‘Kill Machine’ Naqase is a setter and hitter. Her team broke the record for most wins in a season in California for women’s volleyball and has also been nominated for best junior college player in the USA.

They beat previously unbeaten Irvine Valley 23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 26-28, 15-11.

The 20- year-old got special mention with power hitter Natalie Thomas, middle blocker Sydney Gott and outside hitters Lelaau Tuia and Aurora Carnes.

Originally from Sawani, Wainunu, Bua with maternal links to Nukuni, Ono-i-Lau, Naqase told ESPN the goal coming in from pre-season was making it to the State competition.

Naqase and her team-mates continually pounded the ball until all five reached double figures in kills last Sunday.

Naqase said it was always her goal to win State championship in her first Two-Year College Women’s Volleyball All-America team.

“From the beginning we did a lot of visualising and putting ourselves in a position when we reached State final,”she said.

“We started out strong as we practiced every day.

“Our team did a good job in implementing it and it really helped a lot through the entire season.”

She added: “Having five different players reaching double figures made my job easier.

“I have a team that is so disciplined, that can hit, block and pass.

“It’s the team that make me look good.”

Naqase said the meaning of the white braided ropes that she wore.

“Each person on our team has a goal for the season and we wrote them on the rope and braided them all together,” she said.

“It kept us level minded and brought us back to base. When stuff got too tight, we pulled the rope out and remembered what the main goal was.”

She is the daughter of Semisi and Wainise Naqase with one brother and three sisters.

She was nominated by a school in the East Coast, even though the school is on the West Coast.

Second row (second from left): Mere Funaki Naqase with the Feather River College team. Photo: Feather River College

Second row (second from left): Mere Funaki Naqase with the Feather River College team. Photo: Feather River College

Match report:

The 65 kills combined from them propelled Feather River College (35-2) to its first-ever state championship in any sport and the North Region’s fifth in the last seven years.

Her sister Ashley Naqase said her recruiters were there watching her play.

“Our parents have been our greatest drive and supporters. We do sports as going to a University here in the States is very expensive unless we have a scholarship. We are hoping that our Fijian community here will do the same.

“USA is the land of opportunity so why not reach for the stars,”

Edited by Osea Bola

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