For years, Hawaii Baptist ruled the roost of Division II girls volleyball.
Now, the Eagles are still a powerhouse, though the days of their dynasty have waned. Or have they? With a 25-12, 25-8, 25-16 sweep of Kohala Wednesday night, HBA has thrown its hat into the ring. The Eagles are now in the quarterfinals of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Girls Volleyball D-II State Championships.
Coming into the tourney as the second-place team out of the ILH did nothing to diminish their aura. The Cowgirls struggled to outlast the Eagles in rally after rally. Only in the third set did Kohala seem to get its footing.
“They might have been shell-shocked,” Kohala coach Nick Lorenzo said. “Hawaii Baptist was second (in states) last year and the champs the year before. Myles (Shioji) has a great program.”
Kohala had no resistance against HBA outside hitter Kallie Langford in the opening moments. The senior had six kills and two aces as the Eagles took command with a 12-3 lead. Langford finished the night with 16 kills.
Any momentum Kohala gained — Zaz Matsu was a sparkplug in the back row — was offset by HBA in the second set thanks to seven aces. Asja Deai, Riyana Werny and Maya Nakasone had two aces each as the Eagles stymied the Cowgirls.
“We had an idea who we wanted to serve,” Shioji said.
Now the Eagles take on No. 3 seed Konawaena, the Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion.
“I know they still have a Molina (Cherilyn) and a Ventura (McKayla),” Shioji said. “They upset HBA, and I know they always dig a lot.”