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Hawaii Baptist still the 1


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POSTED: Sunday, November 01, 2009

The road to Division II's girls volleyball state crown is painted black and gold once again.

The Hawaii Baptist Eagles fought off the young, upstart Firebrands of Word of Life to capture their third Division II state championship in a row with a 25-22, 25-14, 19-25, 25-16 win last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

A crowd of about 2,000 watched as HBA (21-2) closed the year with 15 consecutive wins, including an upset victory at Kamehameha during the regular season.

The senior core of Sarah Palmer, C'era Oliveira and Kayla Kawamura were at their best under the big lights again. Palmer, a University of Texas-bound senior, amassed 19 kills and a team-high 25 digs. Oliveira finished with 20 kills, three aces and seven digs, and Kawamura tallied 42 assists and 13 digs for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu D-II champions.

“;I really wanted this for our girls. They've worked so hard,”; Word of Life coach Lee Ann Satele said. “;But you gotta give it to HBA. They played so well.”;

WOLA tried to keep Palmer out of business, but that may have indirectly benefited Oliveira, who was consistent with a hammer for a swing.

“;This whole team pushed harder than other matches tonight,”; Oliveira said. “;I think that's the best Word of Life's played. I'm so happy. I'm still shaking. For the seniors, we really know how special it is to win a state championship.”;

The three state titles in D-II volleyball — all under coach Myles Shioji — are unprecedented, but not surprising by HBA, a small school that battled the state's D-I powerhouses for years.

Word of Life, which has only two seniors, got major production from its underclassmen. Kaena Kaina had 11 kills and Kainoa Ocasek had 10 kills plus seven digs for the Firebrands (18-6). Phoibe Fetu tallied 21 assists, 11 digs and six kills, and Adaiah Hanakahi chipped in with six kills and four digs. Shelbi Miyashiro added 12 assists and eight digs.

The teams met twice during the ILH season with HBA winning both times. The Eagles won 21-25, 25-20, 25-10 on Oct. 1, then at home on Oct. 20, 25-23, 25-22, 25-12.

The opening point of last night's match promised an epic battle. It took 13 swings combined by the Eagles and Firebrands to settle the first point, which went to WOLA on Fetu's kill over the middle. Palmer was quiet until midway through the set, when she drilled four in a row to open HBA's lead to 18-11.

“;Usually, my strong hit is down the line, but my teammates told me (Word of Life) took that away,”; said Palmer, who finished with 49 swings — a far cry from the 95 attempts she had in last year's title match against WOLA. “;I went with my angles until the line opened up again.”;

The Firebrands rallied to within 21-20 with three blocks, including two by Alohi Kahoohanohano, but Oliveira sealed the game with a kill on a set from backup Jordin Ramos.

A pair of aces by Oliveira set the tone early in the second set, and HBA never trailed.

Palmer was named the most outstanding player of the tournament, with Oliveira, Kawamura and Taryn Bohan making the all-tournament team. They were joined by Kaina and Ocasek from Word of Life, Molokai's Kalei Adolpho and Quynne Eharis of University.

NO. 1 HAWAII BAPTIST DEF. WORD OF LIFE 25-22, 25-14, 19-25, 25-16
FIREBRANDS (18-6, 3-1 HHSAA)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  SKEATT PCTDBSBA
Miyashiro4036-.500800
Hanakahi46128.179411
Fetu46526.0381102
Ocasek410431.194700
Kaina411327.296101
Kahoohanohano4025-.400102
Villa4001.0002300
Hanakahi41011.000600
Villa1000.000000
Satele3000.000100
Savea1000.000000
Alualu2000.000000
TOTALS43418125.1286216


EAGLES (21-2, 3-0 HHSAA)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 SKEATT PCTDBSBA
Kawamura4002.0001300
Oliveira4201053.189700
Oyasato45414.071100
Palmer4191049.1842500
Lovett46017.353100
Asuncion47219.263000
Lee1000.000000
Rodeheaver-Nojima1000.000000
Kurosawa3000.000300Ramos3000.000000
Bohan4000.000900
Young3000.000200
Hamano2000.000300
Grumling22021.000000
Totals45926156.2126400

Key — s: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct: hitting percentage; d: digs; bs: block solo; ba: block assists

Aces — Word of Life (4): Fetu, Ocasek, Hanakahi, Satele. Hawaii Baptist (9): Oliveira 3, Palmer 2, Kawamura, Rodeheaver-Nojima, Bohan, Young. Service Errors — Word of Life (6): Fetu, Ocasek, Hanakahi, Villa, Satele, Savea. Hawaii Baptist (10): Palmer 3, Kawamura 2, Oyasato 2, Oliveira, Asuncion, Bohan. Assists — Word of Life (34): Ocasek 21, Miyashiro 12, Hanakahi. Hawaii Baptist (52): Kawamura 42, Ramos 6, Bohan 4.

T — 1:58. Officials — Kent Tsutsumi, Denice Hanson. A — 2,000.