DIVISION II SEMIFINAL
Satele carries day for Word of Life
In a match that seemed as if it would never end, top-seeded Word of Life outlasted Waimea 25-21, 17-25, 31-29 in the semifinal round of the Division II New City Nissan/HHSAA Girls Volleyball State Championships last night in front of about 1,000 frenzied fans at Punahou's Hemmeter Fieldhouse.
Molokai def. St. Joseph, 25-18, 25-23
Seabury Hall def. Kalaheo, 25-17, 25-18
Word of Life def. Waimea, 25-21, 17-25, 31-29
Sacred Hearts def. La Pietra, 25-19, 23-25, 25-15
At Stan Sheriff Center
Consolation championship: Waianae vs. Hawaii Prep, 9 a.m.
Fifth place: Molokai vs. Seabury Hall, 10:30 a.m.
Third place: Waimea vs. La Pietra, 3 p.m.
Championship: Word of Life vs. Sacred Hearts, 6 p.m.
The Firebrands (16-5) move on to today's championship match at 6 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. But they would not have had the opportunity to play for the title had it not been for the performance of outside hitter Chanteal Satele. The junior pounded a match-high 21 kills and added five blocks in the victory.
"She started off a little rocky," Word of Life head coach LeeAnn Satele said of her daughter. "But she showed character and fought through."
Waimea (10-1) led the third game 14-11, but Satele took over with a string of scores that included five kills and four blocks, and the Firebrands clung to a 23-20 lead.
"When (Chanteal) got that run of blocks, it got the whole team -- especially her -- to believe that they could do this," Satele said.
Both teams kept battling, and played to seven ties before Word of Life took a 30-29 advantage. Freshman outside hitter Phoibe Fetu slammed down the final kill for the Firebrands, ending the marathon battle.
"Waimea is an excellent team, and we expected a very close game," said a relieved LeeAnn Satele. "I'm proud that we have a chance to play for the championship."
The Firebrands jumped out to an 11-7 lead to begin the opening game, but the Menehunes stormed back with a 5-1 run to knot the score at 12. After Word of Life regained the lead with an 8-3 run of its own, Waimea pulled to within a point, 22-21, thanks to three lift calls against the Firebrands. Word of Life regrouped during a timeout, and rattled off three consecutive points to win the game.
Game 2 appeared to be going in the Firebrands' favor, as they jumped out to a 10-6 lead. But the Menehunes remained calm, and came back to tie the score at 13. Waimea went up 19-16 on three kills and a block from Nue Wong. The Menehunes went on a 6-1 run to end the game, and send the match into a decisive third game.
Wong led her squad with 12 kills and two blocks. Crystal Powell added 15 kills for Word of Life.