Fueled by last year’s disappointment, there was no stopping Hawaii Baptist Academy.
The Eagles, spurred by pinpoint offensive execution and coach Teoni Obrey’s defensive game plan, swept Seabury Hall 25-22, 25-23, 26-24 in a tightly contested final today of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Division II Boys Volleyball State Championships.
The title is HBA’s third in the D-II state championships, all under Obrey. HBA completed the season 17-3.
A crowd of about 1,000 watched at McKinley Student Council Gym as Chad Barretta and Mike Fisher were cannons from either side of HBA’s attack. Barretta, a 6-foot-4 junior, landed 20 kills (.364) and Fisher, a 6-6 sophomore, pounded 14 kills (.250).
“Last year, we had an unexpected turn in our season and it didn’t turn out how we wanted it to,” said Barretta, who also had two blocks and two aces. “We took that on like a burden this year and made sure we pulled it out.”
“We have more consistency,” Fisher said. “We have a lot of fun when we play and we play for each other a lot more. You gotta have the energy and have fun. It’s fantastic.”
HBA’s balanced attack also included 11 combined kills by middles John Kuioka (six), Kaimana Triska (three) and Nathan Le (two).
Setter Mason Ohta, one of nine underclassmen on the roster, dished 41 assists. His high sets to the edge of the net were difficult even for the tall Spartans to defend against. The Eagles hit .344 and added five aces with just six service errors.
HBA’s history was felt. The Eagles fell in last year’s semifinal round to Pahoa. That served as fuel for this year’s title run.
“This was an opportunity for the kids to accomplish their goals,” Obrey said. “It feels awesome. Volleyball’s a game and they can enjoy themselves while they get better.”
The back row was seamless, led by libero Kalei Hosaka,, who had a team-high 12 digs.