Elissa Sato, 2017
Elissa Sato has been involved in Southern California volleyball for almost 50 years and the Sato name has been around the college and international scene for almost as long. Elissa is deserving of the first SCIVBHOF Lifetime Service Award because she has probably worked and viewed more local, national and international volleyball matches than just about anybody else that could be considered for such an honor. Her volleyball work is most noted for being the college match scorekeeper starting in the 1970s. She was a regular at UCLA, USC, Pepperdine and Loyola-Marymount matches and did that job into the 2000s. She also assisted the volleyball programs at Santa Monica High School and Santa Monica College where her children competed. She also helped in running summer volleyball camps for Marv Dunphy at Pepperdine.
However, she and her deceased husband Richard are most known for the Sato family name and the VB accomplishments of her children and grandchildren that started at Santa Monica High School. Gary Sato was part of Pepperdine’s 1978 & 2005 NCAA title teams and is still coaching today at USC. He helped coach his younger brother Eric, who was the defensive specialist on the 1988 USA Gold Medal team and 1992 Bronze Medal squad. His sister Liane competed in the 1988 Olympics and won a bronze in 1992 Games. Eric coaches in San Diego and Liane returned to Santa Monica HS and has won a California State Title. Two other brothers Scott (San Diego State) and Glenn (Loyola-Marymount) also played college volleyball. Elissa has grandchildren playing in college (Andrew at Long Beach State, Katie at CS Northridge, Blossom at Mississippi State and Malia will start college in the fall at USC). Elissa still tries to attend as many matches as possible.