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.