She plays volleyball and hopes to ace college, he plays water polo and hopes to swim in Hawaii
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
We all understand how hard it can be for our local high schools to choose just one MVP each season; There are many good ones to choose from! But West Valley High School has managed this yet again, selecting a guy and a girl who each demonstrate why they say ‘It’s a great day to be a Mustang!’ For our Fall MVP Spotlight, they have chosen seniors Lelaau Tuia and Elikai Crompton.
Lelaau, who is known among her peers as “Molia”, played volleyball for the Mustangs and was nominated by girls’ volleyball Coach Shaun Pulsipher: “Molia was clearly the most valuable player on our team from her teammates eyes as well as from a coach’s standpoint. Not only does she have great defense and a high volleyball IQ, but she has power like no girl I have coached in the 6 years I have been coaching girls. She was able to take over a match if we needed her to, and she helped lead us to many great victories this year.”
The number of victories Molia helped lead the Mustangs to is 20, West Valley’s new record. Pulsipher also supplied more of Molia’s stats for your reading pleasure:
Molia was voted to the Mountain Pass League First Team All-League. She has broken the single match kill record for West Valley Twice this season. The record was previously held by Elyse Vega who had 25 kills in 2013 against Cantrell Sacred Heart of Mary in the second round of the CIF playoffs. Molia broke this record the first time with 26 kills against San Jacinto, and then she broke her own record again against Beaumont at the WVHS gym when she tallied 27 kills and led the Mustangs to a win over the cougars for the first time in four seasons.
She also broke a West Valley record for most kills in a single season with 310 Kills. This record was also previously held by Elyse Vega.
So how does Molia feel about holding school records? Perhaps just a little overwhelmed: “It’s an honor to be selected for the Valley Chronicle MVP Spotlight and undeniably a blessing,” says Molia. “I have too many great memories this season, but (my favorite) was probably when we finally beat Beaumont after 4 years.”
Molia says her church helped guide her toward playing volleyball: “My church family would hold these tournaments and encourage me to play. The more I played, the more my love grew for volleyball.”
She also shot some hoops for the Mustangs her sophomore year.
After graduation, Molia hopes to set a new precedent in her family by graduating college. “I hope to one day coach or mentor a team into becoming a great volleyball player. After highschool, I plan to play at the college level and take my career as far as I can.”
Molia said she was thankful for these individuals for their influence thus far: “A shout out to our heavenly father for providing me with the skills and talent. My parents and my family for the overbearing love and support. My coaches Melesi’i Motuliki, Tyler Jackson Meghan Moenoa, Shaun Pulsipher, and Jamie Palmer for pushing me to be better than I already am. My teammates for always boosting my spirit. My uncle and grandma who passed in 2014, who still watches over me. And finally my brother Aj in the army who is currently stationed in Germany, for rooting for me overseas. I love you all.”
It’s a great day to be a Mustang!”
Elikai made a splash as one of the Mustang water polo boys and was nominated by coach Rob Avila: “I chose Elikai because he is a hard worker. He brings a level of intensity that is unmatched by his peers. His desire to be the best he can be and his drive.”
According to Avila, Crompton would often take one for the team so the team could shine: “Elikai played the 2m meter position. Teams would usually drop on him, allowing other team members to step up and be goal scorers. He played a great game against Paloma Valley, which we won by one goal in OT.”
Crompton certainly didn’t expect to see his name here today: “I have always felt like people that are nominated are some of the most well know and respectable people in the area across all sports and I have always wanted to be apart of that group of people.”
He says some of his favorite times in the pool included wins and losses alike. “For the one we won it was against La Salle and it was our first game of the season and the boys and I were extremely nervous about the game but surprisingly we did really well with everything that we did. For the game that we lost the whole team was very sick but we all played with so much heart fought to the very end, up against Hillcrest.”
So how did he end up playing water polo? At the suggestion of his old swim coach, naturally: “I got involved in waterpolo by my past club swim coach by him telling me to “try it out it’d be a good break from swimming.” So I said ‘why not’ and took a shot at it and it turned out pretty well.”
And having gotten his feet wet, he hopes to carry on swimming for the University of Hawaii. “I’d love to thank all coaches for helping me along the way and most importantly mom because she has provided me with everything that I could have needed and asked for and I can’t thank her enough!”
Do you have a student athlete to nominate for our MVP Spotlight? If so, Corey Evan can be reached at (760) 270-5625 or by email at email@example.com.