Treasure trove: Waiakea alum turns team success into new home

  • RICK OGATA photo Hilo’s Anela Navor finished third in the Northwest Athletic Conference with 9.5 assists per set for Treasure Valley CC. She’s signed with Montana State University Northern, an NAIA school.

Treasure Valley Community College had one of its best volleyball seasons ever, and sophomore setter Anela Navor had a direct hand in the success.

The 2017 Waiakea graduate led the Chukars to their first Northwest Athletic Conference postseason appearance in 11 years and along the way became a model for how to find a new collegiate home.

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Treasure Valley fell to Spokane Community College and finished with a 23-16 record. Navor had monster stats in the five-set loss with 47 assists and 17 digs.

She finished third in the NWAC with 9.5 assists per set, was named the conference setter of the week once in 2020 and 2019 and honored as the East Region setter of the week six times.

Her accomplishments didn’t go unnoticed. She recently signed with Montana State University Northern, an NAIA school.

The journey from a juco to a new collegiate home can be a taxing one, but Navor pointed out that she had a lot of help.

“With the help and guidance from my parents Michelle and Eugene Navor and Treasure Valley volleyball coach Erin Mellinger, Montana State University Northern will be my next home,” said Navor, who’ll major in business accounting.

The highlight for Navor was forming new friendships at Treasure and building the type of team chemistry that becomes unbeatable. She did the same at Waiakea when the Warriors won the BIIF title in 2017.

“The best part was generating lots of new friends and cherishing all my memories and road trip adventures going to the games,” she said.

Connections helped Navor land with the Skylights, who finished 9-20 and 0-12 in the Frontier Conference.

Northern coach Jerry Wagner has known Treasure Valley’s Mellinger since 2005. Wagner invited Navor on a three-day campus visit, and she fell in love with the campus in Havre, Montana.

Navor went to Treasure Valley because of former Piopio Bears club teammate Kawai Ua, who signed first with the Chukars, who needed a setter.

Wagner also met Piopio Bears club coach Laura Thompson at the Las Vegas tournament in February, further cementing Navor’s standing.

When she visited the school in February, Navor had an instant bond with her future Skylight teammates.

“I got to hang out with the team for a little while, and they were awesome,” she said. “We instantly connected and bonded. I hope to bring some wins to Northern, and I hope for a great season next year.”

Northern is not exactly a conference powerhouse, but Navor and Wagner will take their shot at turning the program around. Wagner is on his second tour of duty, after starting as the Skylights coach back in 1987.

Navor’s goals are simple, which includes giving back.

“I want to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business accounting, be a successful volleyball player on our upcoming seasons and when I’m in the offseason or back at home on the Big Island for summer breaks to help coach and train other volleyball players who have the passion for volleyball,” she said.

With the concern over the Coronavirus, Navor said the situation at Treasure Valley, located in Ontario, Ore., isn’t too bad.

“At Treasure, we haven’t had a case near us,” she said. “But we will be going online for the first two weeks of school, and Northern will also be going online.”

Navor also offered a piece of advice for juco players looking for a new collegiate home.

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“Keep your options open, consult with your parents and coaches and always ask questions and always look for a full ride,” she said.

Sound reasoning from someone who followed her own advice.

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