LJA’s Under Dogs: From Koolaus to Cali

2016 SEPTEMBER 27 SPT - HSA Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/crussell@staradvertiser.com Le Jardin Academy teammates celebrated a roof against Hawaii Baptist Academy during the second set of Tuesday's match. Le Jardin won 25-23 in both sets.
2016 SEPTEMBER 27 SPT – HSA Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/crussell@staradvertiser.com
Le Jardin Academy teammates celebrated a roof against Hawaii Baptist Academy during the second set of Tuesday’s match. Le Jardin won 25-23 in both sets.

The rising program at Le Jardin Academy has become a presence in the prep volleyball world.

While most fans statewide are starting to get acquainted with the school that rests in a picture-perfect spot at the foot of the Koolau Mountain Range in Kailua, the Bulldogs are in the Star-Advertiser Girls Volleyball Top 10 — at No. 9 — once again. That’s what a two-set sweep of perennial Division II state champion Hawaii Baptist can do.

The Bulldogs are in the thick of the battle in a very competitive Interscholastic League of Honolulu D-II regular season. That isn’t quite enough for them, though. Coach Lee Lamb and his team are in San Diego, Calif. this week.

Lamb messaged back home after an inquiring reporter found out about the team’s midseason voyage to the continent.

“We’re playing in the Nike California Challenge that’s hosted by Torrey Pines High School,” he wrote. “Our day 1 pool consists of Torrey Pines, Bishop Gorman and La Jolla Country Day. It begins on Friday. Should be fun.”

#3 Daniella Miranda-Johnson, Fr.
#5 Halle Hatzler, So.
#6 Kailee Lyons, Jr.
#7 Natalie Piper, Jr.
#8 Nina Krupa, Sr.
#9 Lily Kelly-Jervis, Jr.
#10 Kailey Suezaki, So.
#11 Arianna Lunow-Luke, Jr.
#13 Ka‘imionalani Cobb-Adams, Sr.
#15 Kassidy Naone, Sr.
#20 Julia Fisher, Jr.
Head coach: Lee Lamb
Assistant coaches: Chris Spalding, Jon Franquez, Larry Tuileta Sr., Briana Amian

The Challenge is comprised for 32 teams and will conclude on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (5-1) come from one of the smaller schools in the islands, but the program has been steered by Lamb into challenging waters. Lamb, who has been a longtime coach with Ka‘uluokoa Volleyball Club, entered Le Jardin into the top preseason tournament in Hawaii, the Ann Kang Invitational, in August. The Bulldogs went 3-4 in pool play, including a three-set win over Newport Harbor (Calif.). They also edged OIA powerhouse Moanalua.

Le Jardin fell to Santa Margarita (Calif.), Sage Hill (Calif.), Boswell (Calif.) and eventual champion Santa Margarita.

Not bad for a school with an enrollment of 845 students from kindergarten to grade 12.



  1. Fa'a Tautele October 6, 2016 2:00 pm

    Good to see a couple guys who couldn’t handle the “natives” coaching successfully at a place more up to their style. Kahuku and Kailua ran those 2 out! Good for them. They were good, but clearly at the wrong place.

  2. AllHail October 6, 2016 6:39 pm

    Faa – Why you would assume that they were run out? Maybe it was just a better fit for them to go. I don’t think Lamb lives in Kahuku the drive to practice must have been a killer compared to where he is now.

  3. Kaniala October 7, 2016 8:31 am

    AllHail, I know that at Kailua, Spalding quit in the middle of the season. My niece was on the team and said it was very ugly. He was a yeller and the girls couldn’t handle it and were not having it. You sound right about Lamb. The drive was far, and I believe he just had his daughter. I’m just glad they have a steady coach there in Big Red Country. Look what a steady coach can bring. The #1 team in the state now!

  4. AllHail October 7, 2016 12:56 pm

    Kaniala – Understood, my post says “they” but it was Lamb’s situation that I was thinking of. Whatever Kahuku is doing… its working. Totally different team from previous years.

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