After a sensational and nail-biter to the men’s beach volleyball finals between Team NMI and Vanuatu, the Northern Mariana Islands Volleyball Association and head coach Tyce Mister have no other emotion to convey besides pride for both the men’s and women’s beach volleyball team during the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022.
NMIVA president Somia Quan was asked what she thought of both NMI volleyball teams during the Games and she said “On behalf of NMIVA, we are proud of the performance of the NMI national men and women beach volleyball teams. Chenny Lizama, Kathy Winkfield, Logan Mister, and Andrew Johnson put in a lot of hours training and preparing for the Mini Games and we appreciate the sacrifice and dedication it took to do that.”
Quan also recognized Tyce Mister of Gold’s Gym who is the head coach for both teams. “We also want to recognize Tyce Mister for taking on the head coach position and getting the teams ready to compete. His years of experience competing in Oceania events added tremendous value to coaching these men and women.”
Separately, Mister told Saipan Tribune that he is “doubly proud” of the teams as he is both the coach and father of silver medalist Logan, his eldest son of the men’s beach volleyball team.
“I know they’ve been working hard since the last time I’d seen them both actually playing. And I was pleasantly surprised how much they had improved in their skills and improved their overall game.”
When asked what he thought of the skills of the young duo, he said “They’ve always been very coachable when they were younger, and it’s really cool to see them grow up, find that love of volleyball. And even though they left [the] island, they still pursued it.”
Mister added that videos were sent to him by both Logan and Johnson so he could see their level of play progress and improve prior to the start of the Mini Games.
Logan is currently a student of the University of Hawaii-Manoa and is shooting to get a spot in the roster to play for the school’s two-time NCAA Division I defending champion indoor volleyball team.
Johnson is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 2019.
Mister was then asked about the other teams that the men’s team played against and he said that those teams were “powerhouses.”
“Teams like Tahiti are always a very strong, powerhouse team. We played them in our second game and they played outstanding. In the semis [with] Tuvalu, they had done some friendly scrimmages before, and I was really impressed with that team. It is just a very strong team so I knew that would be a tough battle, which it was. And then the one before that was New Caledonia, which they came out on fire. So that was a tough battle, too.”
Finally, with the finals against Vanuatu, Mister said everybody’s nerves were on fire. “I think I was more nervous than when I’ve been playing. And going into the finals, I think everybody was nervous, like ‘oh my gosh, we made it but we’ve got some hard work to do.’”
For the women’s team, Mister also said that he is proud of their effort and performance in the Games. “The ladies did a lot of work and preparation and [I’m] also very proud of the ladies. They played very strong and they didn’t medal… but they did great, they did fantastic.”
Mister then thanked the volunteers and everyone who came out to support the Games.
“There was just a tremendous number of volunteers that came out… they did an outstanding job… We couldn’t have done it without them. Huge shout out to Somia Quan for leading the charge on that. And then our officials and our linesmen and people who came out to do ball retrieval. Huge support, it was amazing. The Department of Public Works also did court maintenance between every game… and all the games went off on time. It was pretty outstanding.”