News: PCC Volleyball Star To'omalatai Signs With Northwestern Oklahoma State
Nora To'omalatai, the Pasadena City College women's volleyball team's all-time leader in hitting kills and service aces, has signed a scholarship to attend Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Northwestern is a NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Great American Conference.
For the Lancers, To'omalatai was twice an All-South Coast Conference First Team selection and was named All-Southern California in her sophomore season of 2013. The outside hitter led the No. 12 seed PCC to an upset victory over No. 5 San Diego Mesa before playing valiantly in a 5-set loss to No. 4 Santa Barbara City College in Round 2 of the SoCal Regionals.
After a prep career at Monrovia High, To'omalatai joined PCC in 2012 and played for then head coach Tammy Silva. She would go on to lead the team in kills with 254 and aces with 47 with a strong .355 hitting percentage. The Lancers finished as the No. 7-ranked team in the State Top 25 final poll with a 21-5 record. PCC made it to the final 4 of the regionals, just missing out on a trip to the CCCAA State Tournament.
Last year, To'omalatai made the adjustment of playing for a new interim head coach in Bill Sanchez (Silva took a leave from coaching) and then put together one of the greatest seasons ever by a Lancers' player. She totaled a single-season record for kills with 414 and led the squad in defensive digs with 247. Her two-year totals of 668 kills and 94 aces put her at the top of PCC's career leader list.
To'omalatai talked about her PCC experience.
"I learned a lot my first year under Coach Silva and she pushed me to the limits," To'omalatai said. "The second year, we had a few returning players but I don't think anyone gave us much of a chance. Once we got our new coach and the team was put together, we kind of enjoyed playing as underdogs. It was a great feeling to beat a 5 team like San Diego Mesa and show everyone how good we can be. We played our hearts out against Santa Barbara. It was a fun season."
On going to Northern Oklahoma State: "I think what impressed me was that when I visited in January, I learned that the classes are small and that there would be more one-on-one time with the professors. The coach impressed me because he has won championships at other places and he's rebuilding this one to be a winner. I want to be a part of that."
To'omalatai will play for NWOSU Rangers head coach Gene Krieger, once a national coach of the year at California Baptist University and then a NCAA Division II Coach of the Year at Cal Poly Pomona.
To'omalatai also will have a familiar teammate at NWOSU in her cousin Suekalena Tafao, a top player at El Camino College this past season. "It's kind of nice because I'm going out of state and I won't feel like I'm alone."
[Photo--Nora To'omalatai in a photo signing session at PCC, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 04/30/2014