Maryknoll repeats win at DeLima Volleyball Classic

O%CA%BBahu%27s+Maryknoll+High+School+girls+volleyball+proudly+displays+their+first+place+trophy+at+the+2016+Lee+Ann+DeLima+Volleyball+Classic%2C+Aug.+18-20%2C+at+Kamehameha+Maui.+The+Spartans+won+all+seven+of+their+games+over+the+3-day+tournament+to+emerge+the+winners.

Photo by Ka Leo o Na Koa

Oʻahu's Maryknoll High School girls volleyball proudly displays their first place trophy at the 2016 Lee Ann DeLima Volleyball Classic, Aug. 18-20, at Kamehameha Maui. The Spartans won all seven of their games over the 3-day tournament to emerge the winners.

Maryknoll High School came out on top and earned first place in the Ikaika division finals at the 2016 Kamehameha Maui Lee Ann DeLima Volleyball Classic at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium yesterday, August 20.

This was the second time the Spartans took the top spot, since their last appearance in 2013, when the tournament was known as the Maui Invitaional.

The win means “a lot, especially since I’m a senior,” said captain Tasha McClendon, outside hitter. “To start off with a win? We could take the whole year,” she said.

The honor confirms what Luis Ramirez has been telling the team at practice. “If you put the work in, success will come,” the head coach and program director said.

The pre-season tournament “is a great opportunity for the girls to come together in camaraderie,” Ramirez said.

There were fifteen schools that participated in the tournament.  They were separated into three pools–A, B, and C.

Pool A contained Kapolei, Kealakehe, Kamehameha Maui, Maryknoll, and Kapaʻa high schools.

Pool B consisted of Waiakea, Radford, Maui, and Castle high schools, and Mid Pacific Institute, and pool C included Kalaheo, Konawaena, Lahinaluna, University Laboratory, and Fountain Valley High School from Orange County, California.

Overall in the 3-day tournament Kalaheo placed second, Mid Pacific third, Waiakea fourth, Kapolei fifth, and Konawaena sixth, rounding out the final six teams competing in the Ikaika Division. The tournament started with two days of pool play August 18-19.

The action was intense at the Lee Ann DeLima Volleyball Classic, with all teams on their game in the 3-day preseason meet.
Photo by Deven Aruda
The action was intense at the Lee Ann DeLima Volleyball Classic, with all teams on their game in the 3-day preseason meet.

The Kamehameha Maui girls volleyball team placed seventh overall by defeating Radford, making them the champions in the Hoʻoikaika Division.

To get there, the Maui Warriors won two of their four pool games in the first two days. They went 2-0 against Kealakehe, 25-18 and 25-19, with Kamehameha Maui leading for most of the two sets.

But the Warriors started the tournament with a loss agains the eventual winners, the Maryknoll Spartans (25-20, 25-5).

On Friday, the Warriors racked up another win, versus Kapaʻa (25-15, 25-22), and lost their match against Kapolei (25-12, 25-15).

Yesterday morning, the Warriors narrowly defeated the Junior Bows of University Laboratory School to advance to the Hoʻoikaika final game, where they fought for their win against Radford (25-20, 23-25, and 15-12).  With a nail biting finish, Kamehameha earned seventh place, and the Rams placed eighth.

The Maui Warriors’ head coach and tournament organizer Bala Spencer thought it was a a great learning experience for the girls to play some of the best teams in the state, as well as one California school.

“They [the volleyball girls] still have a long way to go,” he said, but he said that the girls will get better by playing in difficult tournaments like this.

This year, Coach Bala renamed the annual tournament, calling it the Lee Ann DeLima Volleyball Classic. Poʻo Kula DeLima was the schoolʻs headmaster from 2006 to 2015, when she passed away. She oversaw ten graduating classes.

Coach Bala and Mrs. DeLimaʻs husband, “Uncle” Henry DeLima, both emphasized her tireless support of all Kamehameha Maui athletic programs, and especially the volleyball teams, which is part of the reason for the name change.

“I feel privileged and honored to honor her in this tournament,” Coach Bala said.

From the tournament program to a mass version of the “Cha-Cha Slide” danced by the approximately 200 student athletes, the tournament paid tribute to Poʻo Kula DeLima, Kamehameha Mauiʻs biggest sports fan.