Hana Hou! Lady Warriors MIL champs again

Hana+Hou%21+Lady+Warriors+MIL+champs+again

Photo by Lexis Viena

The girls volleyball team, nine-time Maui Interscholastic League Division 1 champions, celebrate their final point against the Baldwin Bears at the MIL tournament on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. The girls dominated and finished their opponents off in three quick sets on their home territory, Ka'ulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium.

By Lexis Viena, news writer

PUKALANI–The KSM girls volleyball Warriors came out victorious against the Baldwin Bears yet again on Friday, Oct. 26, and won the MIL Division I championship title for the ninth consecutive year at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium.

KS Maui dominated over Baldwin winning the best-of-five game in three quick sets, 25-15, 25-11, 25-10. The Warriors stayed ahead of the Bears throughout the game, falling behind only once, by only one point during the first set.

Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku was a full house on the Kamehameha Warrior side. Supporters circulated good luck ti leaves, enough for everyone there.

Following instructions from students in the crowd, the Warrior fans carried out Operation Silent Night, to the delight of all. No matter how much they wanted to shout out in support of the girls team, the audience squirmed quietly in their seats until the Warriors reached their first 10 points. Then, the crowd erupted into huge cheers, all part of the Silent Night treatment. The delayed crowd reaction clearly did its job. Spirit swept through the stands, and the Bears looked momentarily stunned.

During the first set, seniors Sienna Davis’s and Anuhea Kaiaokamalie’s kills kept the Warriors in the lead and on the offensive against the Bears.

During set two, Captain Bobbi-Lin Kalama scored the first point with an ace and followed it with two others almost immediately after, the team won that set by their overall kills and aces in the beginning, and the errors of the Bears  near the end.

The third set’s first point came from a kill by senior Raven Poepoe. The team’s strong blocking and teamwork helped them to win the third and final set, which was won on a service error from Baldwin.

Kill standouts included Davis, Kaiaokamalie, and senior Leimana Kane, while Kalama and freshman Danielle Brown were hot on services. All players on the team saw action last night during the championship game, including the three underclassmen on the team, freshmen Brown and Victoria Kunishi and sophomore Tiare Laufou.

“This is a huge accomplishment, and it is not easy. We’ve had some dips in the road this season, but we’ve managed to pull through as a team. These games are getting harder and harder to beat, but I’m really proud of the girls and excited for the challenge of states next week,” Head Coach Bala Spencer said.

This championship game was the last time that the seniors would ever compete at home. Davis, who had 11 kills for the night, said she felt that it was “bitter-sweet,” but that she feels accomplished and is looking forward to a successful future.

“It feels good knowing that you’re a team [at the end of the game]. We’ve been getting at each other at practice preparing for states, but, we’re like a family,” Kalama said.

The team had previously guaranteed themselves a state appearance by locking in a win against King Kekaulike High School on October 11 and becoming the regular season champions with enough wins to preclude any other school from claiming the title.

Seniors Sheylin Patao and Raven Poepoe agreed that it feels good to be the ninth reigning Maui Interscholastic League Division I champions, and that they, too, are looking forward to competing in the state tournament next week on O’ahu.

“If I could give any advice to future Lady Warriors It’d be to keep working and pushing each other and no matter what, stay as a team,” Kane said.