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Star-Bulletin Sports


Saturday, November 3, 2001


[ PREP VOLLEYBALL ]


DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Pearl City's Kalei Kaanaana tries to hit past Moanalua's
Jacob Gaison in the OIA final.



Chargers perfect and
OIA champions


By Cindy Luis
cluis@starbulletin.com

Before every game, Pearl City huddles, gives a team cheer, then fans out in a dive drill.

The routine has worked all season and it didn't fail the Chargers last night. Pearl City (12-0) capped a perfect Oahu Interscholastic Association boys volleyball season, walking off with the trophy and the OIA's top seed in next week's state tournament with a 15-12, 15-9 victory over upset-minded Moanalua.

"This was goal No. 1 all season," said Pearl City senior hitter Allison Dupont. "Goal No. 2 is winning next week.

"We know we'll be the smallest team in the tournament but, like it has been all season, it's one game at a time."

The Chargers may be short on height - converted basketball player Michael Adams is the tallest starter at 6-foot-1 - but they have hops. Dupont, listed at 5-10, has a 43-inch vertical leap. His leaping ability and hang time led to a match-high 14 kills.


DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Pearl City's Allison Dupont blocks Moanalua's Greg Kabua
in the OIA final. The Chargers swept the Menehunes last night.



"Allison's athleticism has been a real plus for us," said Pearl City coach Reid Shigemasa. "I think the difference between the two teams tonight is our all-around play. It's hard to stop five attackers and we're working on getting our sixth (Adams) involved more. It's his first year and he's coming along.

"This is the first level and now we have to step it up and go on to the next level next week."

Last night, the Menehunes showed the same determination they had in upsetting defending OIA champion Kalaheo on Wednesday. Moanalua (10-3) jumped out to leads in both games only to have Pearl City rally.

In Game 1, the Menehunes took a 4-0 advantage behind the tough serving of Jacob Gaison. The Chargers came back to tie it at 4.

Slowly, Pearl City began to pull away. Ahead 10-9 the Chargers went on a 4-0 run with Zen Watanabe putting down a kill to gain game-point.

Moanalua fended off two game points while closing to 14-12.

It would have been 14-13 as Spencer Gabriel launched one wide, but a net violation on Moanalua gave the serve back to Pearl City. The Chargers ended it with a resounding block of Joey Sierra by Kapena Wong and Kalei Kaanaana.

Game 2 again started with Moanalua taking a 4-0 lead. Again Pearl City rallied, tying it at 4 and then taking leads at 7-6 and 9-7.

At 9-8 the Chargers reeled off five straight points, with Dupont's final kill giving his team match point.

Three sideouts later, the shortest player on either team - 5-3 Tyson Takiguchi - served for the win. Gaison hit wide and the Chargers came together again for a huddle and a cheer ... but no dive this time.

"It is one more step for us," said Takiguchi. "We need to keep playing our game."

Wong added nine kills for Pearl City and Kaanaana eight. For Moanalua, Gaison had a team-high 10 kills and Nick Slate seven.

In the third-place game, Kalaheo recovered from its upset Wednesday to outlast Farrington 15-13, 15-13.

"I was a little concerned about a letdown," said Mustang coach Sivan Leoni, "but we had a morale-boosting practice (Thursday). We used this game to regroup and get us ready for next week."



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