OIA WHITE CHAMPIONSHIP
Governors grab a championship
When the pressure was on, the Farrington Governors were cool and collected.
The Govs, seeded second in the East, used a balanced attack to dismantle top-seeded McKinley 25-21, 25-22 in the championship match of the Oahu Interscholastic Association White Conference playoffs last night.
Before about 1,500 at McKinley Student Council Gym, the Governors and Tigers were even on just about every front. However, it was Farrington (12-4) that executed in the crunch as host McKinley stumbled into a multitude of unforced errors.
Both teams have already qualified for the Division II state championships next week. Farrington, which was in the Red Conference last year, will have a first-round bye.
Setter Brandy Vergado-Duclayan was the traffic controller for Farrington's offense. The sophomore settled down quickly after an early miscue.
"I just told myself to relax. Coach said relax, and that's what I did," said Vergado-Duclayan, who had 20 assists and four kills.
Juniors Brandy Kahanaoi-Pimental and Keui Remigio led the Govs with six kills each. Taiana Faafiti-Samuseva, who added five kills and a block, was not surprised with her team's championship.
"Earlier, nobody was clicking," she said, referring to the four regular-season defeats. "But at the end, we put our heads together. We deserved this."
Farrington added a new play this week, bringing two middles into the attack. The new wrinkle was a challenge for Vergado-Duclayan.
"It was hard at first, but it worked out," she said. "We've improved our communication a lot."
Coach Reagan Agena was happy inside, even if he wasn't showing it.
"Their confidence was key. We wanted to be in a rhythm and just be relaxed," he said. "They know, once we finished the (regular) season, it's a brand-new season."
McKinley led Game 1 10-5 before the Govs rallied to force three lead changes. Down 17-16, they scored six points in a row with an ace by Faafiti-Samuseva, to take control and the opening-set victory.
The second game was, for the most part, a matter of McKinley chasing the Govs. Farrington broke a 9-all tie and went on a 6-2 run to seize momentum. The Tigers, with kills by Era Iafeta and Juri Franzen, pulled within 16-15, but couldn't quite catch up. Four McKinley errors in a row gave momentum back to the Governors.
Franzen led McKinley (14-2) with six kills. Pearly Togiai added five kills.