Rivera Country Club — In what must be a first in Santa Monica High School history, no fewer than three members of one family were inducted into the Samohi Alumni Association Hall of Fame – Dr. Gary Sato (Class of ’73), Liane Sato (’82) and Eric Sato (’84) – at a March 3 banquet at Rivera Country Club. All three not only played varsity volleyball at Samohi, but each later represented America in the Olympics and the Sato family is now known internationally for its athletic accomplishments. Dr. Gary Sato was Assistant Coach for the gold medal winning 1988 U.S. Olympic team. Sister Liane Sato played in both the 1988 and 1992 games, capturing a bronze medal in ’92. Eric Sato won gold in the 1988 Olympics, and returned with the team to win bronze in the 1992 games. It should be noted that two additional Sato siblings, Glen (’79) and Scott (’81) also played varsity volleyball at Samohi and each enjoyed distinguished collegiate careers and other achievements in the sport as well. Liane Sato continues her daily affiliation with Samohi both as a faculty member and varsity men’s and women’s volleyball coach. It has been a very busy time. The women’s team recently concluded its season, winning the Ocean League Championship. Liane Sato was voted Volleyball Coach of the Year in the Ocean League. The men’s season is now ubderway.Youth bowed to experience as the alumni (yes, there were Satos on the floor!) defeated the varsity men three games to one in the annual season opening scrimmage on February 26. The Samohi men then won their first practice match against University High, three games to zip on March 2. Last Friday and Saturday the team trekked to the South Bay to the Redondo Preseason Classic Tournament where they finished at .500, three games won and three games lost. The men are gunning to repeat last season’s campaign where they won a berth in CIF post season play.
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