HBA soars, roars, rallies past Damien in ILH semifinal win

Hawaii Baptist came back for a three-set semifinal win over Damien in the ILH girls volleyball playoffs on Tuesday. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser.

There is no state tournament for sports in 2020-21 in Hawaii, but the Hawaii Baptist Eagles are playing with a postseason fury.

The third-seeded Eagles went to second-seeded Damien on Tuesday and rallied for an 18-25, 25-15, 25-20 win to secure an opportunity for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu girls volleyball championship. HBA will visit Maryknoll on Thursday. The Spartans outlasted fourth-seeded Hanalani 25-21, 21-25, 25-16 in the other semifinal on Tuesday.

Hayley Taka led HBA (10-3) with 13 kills, three blocks and an ace. Lia Yamamoto added five kills. The spirited Eagles filled Damien’s empty gym with full volume on every play after losing set one.

“Damien is a really good team. We just brought the energy tonight because we really need it. There’s no spectators this season, we need to dig into ourselves and cheer as a team together,” libero Asja Deai said.

Kody Wengler had 17 kills for Damien (11-3), the 2019 Division II state champion. Randy Wong and Del Kalulu-Sugai had five kills apiece.

Deai is one of five Eagle seniors.

“The leadership position that the seniors, all of us, have to take on is a big one. We have to lead these girls, these underclassmen. They’re going to be the future of Hawaii Baptist Academy,” she said. “In the beginning , we were gentle, but as the season progressed, we needed to get on them a little more because we want that win in the end.”

Asja Deai is one of five seniors on the Hawaii Baptist roster. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Baptist and Maryknoll split their regular-season matches. Maryknoll won at home 28-30, 25-15, 25-23, and HBA won its home match 25-20, 25-18.

“It’s definitely something we wanted all season. That’s the goal. We want to win. Tomorrow, we have practice. The next day we have the game. We’re going to bring it all,” Deai said. “Coach (Myles Shioji) says we have to play for each other. If we don’t play for each other, we have no purpose, so we have to stick as a team and stay together.”


  1. Aiea Mom May 12, 2021 10:12 am

    Let’s go Eagles!!!🦅🦅🦅💪🎉

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