Farrington makes it three in a row over Roosevelt


POSTED: Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Farrington girls volleyball team may have had little trouble in sweeping Roosevelt, a fellow Oahu Interscholastic Association squad, twice in the regular season. But that doesn't mean that the Governors were expecting to cruise in yesterday's first-round Division I matchup of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Girls Volleyball State Championships.

The Rough Riders, who entered the state tournament with a 5-12 overall record, didn't look like the heavy underdogs. But in a match that featured dozens of long rallies indicative of two teams familiar with each other, Farrington was simply too much, and those regular-season matchups proved to be a precursor for states as the Governors pulled away with a 25-22, 25-12, 23-25, 25-15 victory yesterday at McKinley's Student Council Gym.

With the victory, No. 9 Farrington (12-6) advances to the quarterfinals to play top-seeded Punahou (19-0) today at McKinley. Roosevelt (5-13) falls to the consolation round, where it will play Kamehameha-Hawaii (13-4).

“;For us, we can't take anyone for granted,”; said Farrington head coach Reagen Agena. “;They played tough. They played with a lot of heart. We were actually kind of fortunate that they struggled just a little bit. We got lucky there.”;

Farrington lost focus in the third set when Roosevelt surged to a big early lead and held on despite watching the Governors make a frenetic comeback. It was the Rough Riders' first victorious game against Farrington this season, and for Farrington, it was another reminder of the problem that has plagued the team all season.

“;We need to learn how to focus better,”; Agena said. “;It's been a constant struggle for us.”;

In the first set, Roosevelt stuck around early and forced a 19-19 tie on the heels of back-to-back kills from junior hitter Zoe Young. But a Young hitting error gave the ball back to Farrington, and Chelsea Wong took full advantage. With two straight aces, the Governors earned a modicum of breathing room, and kills from Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo, Brandy Vergado-Duclayan and Ashley Gravely were enough to seal Game 1.

But the three-point differential was the closest Roosevelt had played Farrington all year, and the Rough Riders seemed to carry some of that confidence over into the second set as they surged to 5-1 and 8-4 leads.

“;We have confidence, but I think our team had too much confidence,”; said Tatupu-Leopoldo. “;This is our third time playing them. We just have to keep focus as a team.”;

Farrington stayed calm, though, and methodically made up the difference. And after forcing an 8-8 tie, the Governors never looked back. They scored 17 of the final 21 points and cruised to win the game.

Moanalua 3, Kamehameha-Hawaii 1

Despite a game-high 27 kills and 17 digs from Warriors' junior hitter Hi'i Evans-Bautista, Na Menehune survived a tough first-round matchup with a 22-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-21 win at McKinley.

Moanalua (16-3), which finished fifth last season, advance to play fourth-seeded Kamehameha-Maui today.

The Warriors (13-4), the Big Island Interscholastic Federation's No. 2 team, pulled away late to win the first set and were on the verge of pushing Moanalua to a fifth and decisive set.

But trailing 14-7 in the fourth game, Moanalua's tough serving — coupled with Kamehameha-Hawaii's shoddy passing — sparked a 9-0 run and a stunning comeback.

Sixth-ranked Na Menehune served up eight aces, including six from senior hitter Gabby Matautia. She also led Na Menehune with 19 kills.

“;We just had to serve tougher,”; said Moanalua coach Tommy Lake. “;That kind of helped us because they couldn't just set (Evans-Bautista) where they wanted to. Because when they set her where they wanted to, we couldn't stop her.”;