Despite winning its first state championship last season, Le Jardin had never won an ILH title in girls volleyball.
After losing to Damien in five sets on Tuesday in their first opportunity , the Bulldogs bounced back to take home the league title with a 25-18, 25-20, 24-26, 25-21 victory over the host Monarchs on Wednesday to end the ILH double-elimination tournament.
“Another first for us, right?” Le Jardin coach Lee Lamb said. “We’re just trying to check off the boxes.”
Natalie Piper, who had 17 kills, echoed his sentiments.
“We won states last year, but we didn’t win ILH,” she said. “So here we’re making history and checking all the boxes.”
Julia Fisher added 14 kills and setter Nive Tuileta recorded 42 assists for the No. 7 Bulldogs (13-1).
Tuileta, a freshman, showed great poise in getting favorable matchups for her hitters.
“Being a freshman, as a setter, it kind of put a lot of pressure on me,” Tuileta said. “But the seniors and all the other people really helped me feel comfortable in my situation and made my job a lot easier.”
It appeared Le Jardin was going to record a sweep, but Damien fought back from a 24-21 deficit in the third set. The Monarchs scored the final five points on a pair of kills by Shelby Capllonch, an ace by Rayne Pactol, a block by Julia Tilton and Ilana Sagapolutele and a hitting error.
“It was all character. I told them, ‘Your backs are against the wall and this is where you show what a championship team looks like,’ ” Damien coach Don Faumuina said. “They fought really hard in that third set and we had the momentum, and we thought we had the momentum in that fourth set.”
The Monarchs (11-5) forced the rematch by winning a five-setter the previous night in the double-elimination tournament.
“Damien, they deserved that win,” Fisher said. “They played great. Shelby is an awesome player. But today we were just like, ‘This is ours, this is our game. We’re not going to let them take it from us.’ ”
The Monarchs will play Hawaii Baptist on Thursday to determine the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the ILH. Sacred Hearts is the fourth seed as the league will send four teams to the Division II state tournament.