Le Jardin wins its first ILH girls volleyball title

Le Jardin’s Natalie Piper attempted to put down a kill past Damien’s Mikeila Beazley (21) and Julia Tilton in a game on Tuesday. The
Le Jardin’s Natalie Piper put down a kill past Damien’s Mikeila Beazley (21) and Julia Tilton in a match last week. The Bulldogs moved up one spot to No. 6 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10. Damien checked in to the poll for the first time this season -- at No. 10. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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.


  1. Terrible coach October 19, 2017 7:19 am

    I was at the game last night where Le Jardin beat a tough Damien team who almosy battled back to win the 4th set. At the end of the match Coach Lee Lamb did something that made the excited crowd go crazy. He gestured like he was sticking the finger to the entire stands. It was on video and complaints were made to the school and league. This was a total disrespect to the players and parents from Damien and this coach should be fired or at least be suspended and removed from coaching. I hope that this is addressed and is given consequences for his actions.

  2. Iponohea October 19, 2017 6:15 pm

    Coaches should always be held to a higher standard. Players face consequences for inappropriate and disrespectful behavior and so should coaches. Championship games bring much excitement and intensity that’s shared with every participant from fans, to players and yes coaches. However, regardless of the importance of the game or the title your competing for Coaches should be the first to show restraint as you are a direct reflection of your team, school, and program as a whole.

  3. Terrible fans October 20, 2017 6:31 am

    Le Jardin’s Head Coach Lee Lamb celebrated winning the tough match like he has done countless times before, with a fist pump into the air! 💪🏼

    Interestingly it took the fans of the Monarchs a whole 15-20 minutes after the game to come up with their interpretation of what Coach Lee’s gesture meant to them and show their anger.

    Let’s not forget the total disrespect shown to the ILH refs & Coach Lee by the Monarch fans at both Tuesday & Wednesdays matches, where they chanted “sit down already” and “you suck” when a call was made against them.

    I’m disappointed by the Monarch administration, coaches and parents to allow such behavior at sporting events. They definitely we not “cheering with Aloha” as the IHL reminds all spectators at each event!

  4. NotNasti October 20, 2017 12:19 pm

    Seems like it was “no class” on both sides. What are we teaching the kids?

  5. Keep it real October 20, 2017 12:20 pm

    I was at this game and I clearly saw a gesture from coach Lee that wasn’t a ‘fist pump’. That’s a good cover up. I believe the anger was not from the Damien ‘Ohana but from the frustrated Le Jardin team that underestimated the Monarchs.

    Also, to address the ‘cheering with aloha’ comment, I recall many non-aloha cheers from the Le Jardin fans.

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