ILH Girls Volleyball
Hawaii Baptist earns first ILH win over Le Jardin since 2016


Thu, Sep 7, 2023 @ Hawaii Baptist [ 6:00 pm ]

FINAL  1   2   3   4   5      
LJA (3-11) 9 24 18 - - 0
HBA (12-8) 25 26 25 - - 3
Kill: M. Nakata (HBA) 24 kills
Ast: K. Iida (HBA) 18 ast

NUUANU — The rematch of the 2022 Division II girls volleyball state championship match was a one-sided affair.

Hawaii Baptist avenged a loss to Le Jardin in last year's title match with a straight set win Thursday night in an ILH contest at Dan Liu Gymnasium. Set scores were 25-9, 26-24, 25-18.

"I feel like since then we put in a lot of hard work and we really worked on what we needed to work on," said junior outside hitter Marisa Nakata. "This was the outcome that we wanted."

Nakata put down 24 kills and 15 digs with four blocks to lead the Eagles (1-1) to their first win in league play. It was also HBA's first win over the Bulldogs (0-2) since 2016.

Caitlin Wong added 10 kills with 13 digs and Brooke Brennan had two kills and had a hand in all seven of the Eagles' blocks to round out the top point contributors for HBA.

The Eagles also got the win with a short-handed lineup with five girls out.

"We're going through a little bit of an illness and injury bug," said HBA coach Myles Shioji. "The girls that normally wouldn't get a chance to play have done really well in practice."

Senior Leina Chu and sophomore Kate Iida were the two setters in the Eagles' 6-2 offense. Chu is just returning to the lineup after sitting out in the latter part of the preseason while Iida, a softball standout, is getting more opportunities with junior setter Tablytha Yee sidelined.

Hawaii Baptist setter Kate Iida puts up a set in the third stanza against Le Jardin. Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

"Leina is coming off an injury, we're trying to work her back a little bit at a time," said Shioji. "Season is long and this is a great opportunity for Kate to get some really great reps. We have that opportunity to bring Leina back a little slower."

HBA dominated the opening set thanks to a strong service game. Libero Katelynn Albano had two of her three service aces in a 5-0 run that helped the Eagles take a 11-5 lead in the first set that forced a timeout.

Brennan also had a strong stretch late in the opening period. An overpass off her serve led to a kill by Wong and miscommunication on the following serve-reception resulted in an ace that made the score 24-8.

The second set was a different story.

Both teams traded leads and ties until HBA took its largest lead of the set at 19-16. Three consecutive kills by Sydney Kennedy with Alyssa Courchene at the service line helped the Bulldogs tie it at 19. The score would get tied again at 20 before Le Jardin started to pull away.

A hitting error by HBA gave the Bulldogs set point at 24-22. Brennan won a joust at the middle of the net for the next point to cut the deficit to one, but before Brennan could go back to the service line, Shioji called timeout.

After the stoppage, the Eagles put in Emerson Sisco at the line in Brennan's rotation. Sisco's tough serve led to a hitting error that tied the set at 24. Nakata got a kill form the back row and Wong ended the frame from the left side to give HBA a commanding 2-0 set lead.

Shioji credited assistant coaches Jared Gandia and Taryn Wells with the serving substitution.

"Jared and Taryn, that was their idea…but Emerson, she's a gamer," he said. "She's still young, but she'll get a chance to show what she's capable of doing in the future."

Emerson Sisco (6) celebrates after the Eagles took the second set, 26-24. Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

Le Jardin had an advantage for most of the third set and took a 5-2 lead on a Kennedy kill. The Bulldogs would hold the lead for most of the frame until a service error tied it at 13. The two teams would tie it again at 16 before a Wong kill and an ace by Jaclyn Miyazawa put the Eagles up by two points.

Then Nakata took over the match.

The junior outside hitter had four kills and a block for five of the Eagles' final six points of the match to end the contest in straight sets.

"I just had to do my part," said Nakata.

Courchene and Sydni Gardner each had eight kills and eight digs to lead the Bulldogs in the loss. Courchene also added 11 assists and two aces for a solid overall performance.

HBA will host Mid-Pacific (2-0) next Thursday while Le Jardin will take on Kamehameha (2-0) next Saturday.

Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].

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