POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 3, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 2:02 a.m. HST, Nov 3, 2012
No. 10 St. Francis found its happy place.
The Saints rallied from a 2-0 hole to beat Seabury Hall 19-25, 19-25, 25-14, 25-19, 15-9 for its second straight Division II state title at the New City Nissan/HHSAA Girls Volleyball State Championships on Friday night at the Blaisdell Arena.
DIVISION II VOLLEYBALL
St. Francis def. Seabury 19-25, 19-25, 25-14, 25-19, 15-9
Farrington def. Ka'u 22-25, 25-21, 19-17
Hawaii Prep def. Waimea 27-26, 25-18
Konawaena def. Kaimuki 25-20, 24-26, 17-15
OH: Trinity Alualu, Farrington; Kiki Leuteneker, Seabury Hall; Angel Savea, St. Francis
MB: Regal Deen-Jackson, Seabury Hall; Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, Ka'u
S: Lexus Satele, St. Francis
U: Gabbie Ewing, Hawaii Prep
DS/L: Pualehua Keola, St. Francis
Most Outstanding Player
Angel Savea, St. Francis
"We always say, go to your happy place so we can see happy faces," St. Francis coach Sonja Samsonas said. "After being down two, they went there and got their mojo back."
The Saints got it back by moving Angel Savea to the front.
After losing middle blocker Jennifer Lum to a sprained knee earlier in the tournament, Samsonas stubbornly started the title match with the same lineup that got her there with another player plugged into Lum's spot. That didn't work so well, as Seabury Hall dominated the middle in the first two sets. Regal Deen-Jackson (6 feet 2) had six of her 14 kills in the first set and five more in the second. Seabury Hall boasted three players over 6 feet tall, while the Saints had none.
"I actually started going up to block to help out our middles," said Savea, who led the Saints with 20 kills. "But really, all we had to do was start playing volleyball again because we were terrible in the first two sets."
St. Francis turned into a winner as soon as it had nothing to lose. The Saints went on a 12-1 run in the middle of the third set. Seabury Hall could only manage 14 points in the set and switched sides knowing that if it didn't get the ball back to its middles, it was not going to win. Thanks to St. Francis' serving, the Spartans never got a chance. Seabury Hall cut St. Francis' lead to 22-19 in the fourth, but sophomore Alyssa Panis flipped a kill over Seabury's front wall and Lexus Satele followed with an ace. Malia Luis-Mateo, a 5-4 sophomore, sent it to a fifth set with a kill.
"We weren't talking, we weren't playing as a team," Panis said. "I was so nervous, but we remembered our code word is 'team is greater than I' and we started playing as a team."
The teams traded points to begin the fifth set, but St. Francis earned the advantage with a 4-0 run with Luis-Mateo serving. Pualehua Keola got it started with a kill and Sierra Esperas and Savea got two more kills after Deen-Jackson hit wide off one of the few good opportunities she got after the second set. The best Seabury Hall could do from there was cut the margin to 10-8, before St. Francis took off.
The Saints became the first repeat Division II state champions since Hawaii Baptist won three in 2007-09.
"It was just great service by a great team," Seabury Hall coach Scottie Zucco said. "You can have the middles, but if you can't get the ball to them it really doesn't matter. They stopped serving to our libero and our passing broke down. Great adjustment by a state championship team."
|Spartans (14-2, 2-1 HHSAA)|
|Saints (16-1, 3-0 HHSAA)|
Key -- s: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct: hitting percentage; d: digs; pts: points (kills plus blocks plus aces). Blocks Solo -- Seabury 2 (Leuteneker, Deen-Jackson). St. Francis 1 (Esperas). Blocks Assists -- Seabury 24 (Deen-Jackson 7, Rudow 5, Leuteneker 5, Ozee 4, Janssen 3). St. Francis 8 (Esperas 4, Savea 2, Luis-Mateo, Lacey Satele). Service Aces -- Seabury 9 (G. Ratte 5, Fox 2, Janssen, T. Shaw). St. Francis 11 (Luis-Mateo 3, Savea 2, Lexus Satele 2, Keola 2, Enos, Matsumoto). Service errors -- Seabury 6 (G. Ratte 2, Pilotin 2, Janssen, Leuteneker). St. Francis 5 (Luis-Mateo 3, Lexus Satele, Keola). Assists -- Seabury 39 (G. Ratte 34, Fox 3, Janssen, T. Shaw). St. Francis 49 (Lexus Satele 20, Enos 14, Luis-Mateo 6, Lacey Satele 3, Welsh 2, Keola 2, Savea, Matsumoto). T -- 2:10. A -- 1,942.