The American Volleyball Coaches Association announced the 14th annual High School Senior All-America Team for boys volleyball, with Iolani’s Kaina Alvarez honored as the only player from the state of Hawaii.
The recent Iolani graduate was selected as a second-team setter, providing a prestigious accolade in an elite group of 20 student-athletes represent 9 states and 17 different high schools from across the country.
“I’m still surprised about the honor. When I first got it at my friend’s house, I was jumping up and down. It really means the world coming from Hawaii,” Alvarez told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello. “Being around the game of volleyball all my life, it’s just a crazy award to me.”
In the pandemic shortened season, Iolani played an 11 match ILH season with Alvarez averaging just over 15 assists per match. Not lost on the athletic maestro on the court is the importance of a supporting cast in order to be recognized.
“As a setter, it’s definitely a representation of the team. Especially my Iolani team as well as my Spike and Serve team. Whenever setters are given an award it’s definitely a representation of all the people, all the coaches, all the teachers. Every single person that has been a part of my development and I’m super appreciative of all the coaches that have been able to help this journey along the way,” said Alvarez.
Alvarez, who is the son of former University of Hawaii women’s beach volleyball assistant Danny Alvarez, signed to play collegiately at the University of Charleston. The award serves as quite the send off into the next chapter of his volleyball journey, where a year ago at this time it was unclear whether or not he would ever play prep volleyball again amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think it was April or May (2020), it was one of the hardest times for me. Especially coming off what would have been my junior year and not knowing if we would have a senior year because we were all waiting and waiting and just the hope that we could have a season because I know a lot of our classmates weren’t able to have a season. Just the fact that we were able to have a season, having our group of guys to have a season and play was just an honor.”
Up next for Alvarez will be a trip to Kansas City, Missouri where along with his Spike and Serve club team, the collection of players from around the state will compete in the 2021 USA Volleyball Junior National Championships held at the Kansas City Convention Center. The tournament will run from July 4-7.