POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, May 4, 2011
For a moment here and a moment there, Lanakila Baptist looked every bit a possible giant killer.
The rest of the time, Hawaii Baptist had no mercy. Using a dominant block and air-tight defense, the Eagles swept Lanakila Baptist 25-15, 25-14, 25-11 last night to capture the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II title.
It is the fourth ILH D-II championship in a row for HBA.
A crowd of about 200 watched at HBA's Dan Liu Gym. HBA (14-3), ranked No. 4 in the Star-Advertiser Boys Volleyball Top 10, claimed a seeded berth in the upcoming state championships.
Lanakila Baptist, a little Ewa school that practices on an asphalt court, is still in the hunt for a state-tourney berth. The Warriors (10-8) will meet Academy of the Pacific (10-7) tomorrow at Damien's gym at 4 p.m.
Normally, it's HBA in the role of David versus Goliath, occasionally upsetting one of the ILH's trinity of D-I volleyball powerhouses. This time, LBA was on a roll after knocking off AOP in the playoff tourney. The Warriors had beaten Saint Louis and Mid-Pacific, both D-I programs, during the regular season.
HBA didn't offer much help yesterday. Defensive specialist Travin Nagasawa led a relentless defense.
"Were you watching the whole game? Nothing hit the floor," Lanakila Baptist assistant coach Kyle Iwata said of HBA's defense.
At the net, HBA handled the visitors' serve game consistently, leaving little resistance when Chad Barretta and Michael Fisher soared for kills. Barretta, a 6-foot-4 junior, finished with 15 kills and an ace. Fisher, a 6-6 sophomore, had 13 kills and an ace.
Sophomore Mason Ohta dished up 41 assists and two aces.
"Our outside hitters matched up with their blockers," HBA coach Teoni Obrey said. "We had a pretty decent serving game."
The Eagles had five aces and just five service errors. They hit .481, committing just five hitting errors. Lanakila managed two aces against six service errors and hit .056.
HBA had a 12-10 lead in the opening set before Barretta and John Kuioka (seven kills) sparked an 11-2 run.
From there, the Eagles dominated the match.
James Tessler and Chad Adachi led LBA with six kills each. Richard Abbley added four kills and Chase Antonio had three. Micah Miranda distributed 19 assists.
Second-round runner-up Lanakila Baptist and AOP, the first-round runner-up, have never played in the state volleyball tourney.
A win by LBA tomorrow would give the Warriors an automatic berth. If AOP wins, the teams would meet again for the state berth. The extra match would be required by league rule because AOP is a combination team that includes players from other schools, including Waldorf. AOP would have to play without its combination players.