HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL
Hawaii Baptist attacks Word of Life’s big gun
About the only thing that could crack Hawaii Baptist Academy's tenacious defense was the power arm of Word of Life's Chanteal Satele.
So, the Eagles figured the best way to exercise damage control was to serve right at the Firebrands' star hitter with the match on the line, in an attempt to take her out of the team's offense.
The gambit worked, and Hawaii Baptist held on for a 25-19, 22-25, 25-22 win in Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II play yesterday.
Setter Keisha Miura spread around the Eagles' (7-3 ILH) attack admirably, tallying 30 assists. She fed Sarah Palmer for 12 kills, while Kathryn Kaichi added 10 and C'era Oliveira nine.
Satele went for 16 kills, but faced a double block almost constantly at her favored left side from the undersized-but-pesky Eagles, who won their third straight match.
"Basically, what we do is try to serve every team tough," Hawaii Baptist coach Myles Shioji said. "It depends on who they're going to set. If they don't get an opportunity to set Chanteal, then we kind of accomplish our mission serving. She's a great player, I don't think you can totally stop her but we did kind of an effective job slowing some of her shots."
Hawaii Baptist took the opening game despite absorbing seven Satele kills, but dropped a tightly-contested second game when several other Firebrands got involved. Satele then slammed three straight kills to help even things up at a game apiece.
Hawaii Baptist was again seemingly in control as it rode the Miura-to-Palmer connection for four points in building a 17-11 lead in Game 3.
But the Eagles' sound offense inexplicably became flummoxed; they committed six attack errors and allowed the Firebrands to tear off a 9-1 run and lead 20-18.
"I thought we were quiet for a bit, and stopped talking, communicating," Miura said. "So, it kind of broke down, but we regained our energy and came back."
Shioji called a pair of timeouts to stop the panic. His team's focus at that stage became clear: Don't let Satele beat them.
It was Word of Life's turn to look confused as pinpoint serves made it difficult to set to their bread and butter; a single Tianna Pearson kill was all the Firebrands (6-5 ILH) managed the rest of the way offensively. Pearson and Crystal Powell had six kills apiece for the Firebrands.
Oliveira drilled the second of two kills from Miura over the final three points to take the match.
Assistant coach Randy Nako filled in for Word of Life head coach LeeAnn Satele, away on a mainland trip.
"A couple times they made sure (Chanteal) touched the first ball, to take her out of the offense, so that was a good move on their part, and that's what you expect from Myles," Nako said.