By Paul Honda
One year is a long time to wait for a second chance.
The ‘Iolani Raiders made the best of it, fighting off Hawaii Baptist 27-25, 23-25, 25-22 last night before a crowd of about 250 at the Raiders’ gym.
Mahina Haina’s 17 kills led No. 5-ranked ‘Iolani and Alissa Youart had eight of her 12 kills in the final set as the Raiders beat the Interscholastic League of Honolulu’s top D-II volleyball team. HBA upset ‘Iolani last year at the Eagles’ gym.
This season’s Raiders are more confident.
“We have more passion this year. Everyone’s on the same page,” said Youart, a 5-foot-11 senior. “We think we should be at the top. We feel we belong there. This helps us get ready for Kamehameha and Punahou.”
Freshman Loxley Keala added seven kills, middle Kamea Chock had five and Mali‘e Yoon dished 35 assists for ‘Iolani, now 7-1.
Sarah Palmer had 18 kills, three aces and 13 digs for No. 6 HBA (6-2). C’era Oliveira added 11 kills and eight digs, and setter Kayla Kawamura had 32 assists and 12 digs. Libero Taryn Bohan had a team-high 15 digs.
“I really wanted to win. We should have when we had the lead,” Kawamura said.
“We played hard,” Palmer added, “but we didn’t make the plays when we needed them.”
The final set had eight lead changes and 15 ties. HBA trailed by two, but came back to tie it at 21-all on an ace by Krystal Oyasato.
A cross-court kill by Palmer tied it for the last time at 22-all, but a net violation gave the lead back to ‘Iolani. Youart then put the match away with back-to-back kills off blocks over the middle.
“We can play with a defensive team,” Raiders coach Jenic Tumaneng said. “All of our back row got in digs. On offense, we stayed aggressive and didn’t make too many hitting errors. It just came down to execution. We still have a shot (to win) the first round.”
HBA, the two-time defending Division II state champion, also pushed D-I powerhouse Punahou hard last week but lost in two close sets.
“A few plays here and there, we could’ve executed better,” Eagles coach Myles Shioji said. “‘Iolani played well and we did, too. Hat’s off to them.”
HBA had seven aces and five service errors. ‘Iolani had one ace and seven service errors.
The taller Raiders hit .256 (15 hitting errors) to HBA’s .141 (16 hitting errors).
The opening set swung back and forth. ‘Iolani used an 8-4 run to take a 12-8 lead, but HBA rallied to take a 16-15 edge. The Eagles had a 24-23 lead, but hitting errors by Palmer allowed ‘Iolani to tie it at 25-all. A kill by Haina and a roof by Youart on Palmer ended the set, which had 15 ties and four lead changes.
The second set was in HBA’s control with a 12-6 lead, but the Raiders rallied to take a 16-15 lead on a Haina kill. It was tied up at 23 when a hitting error by ‘Iolani gave HBA a one-point lead.
Palmer then had a great hustle play on a ball that looped to the bench followed by two digs before Oliveira sent down a kill to give the Eagles the game.
The final result, though, was similar to a preseason match a month ago. The Raiders won that match in the Ann Kang Invitational 25-20, 22-25, 16-14.
‘Iolani def Hawaii Baptist 27-25, 23-25, 25-23
Kamehameha def. Hanalani 25-15, 25-13
La Pietra def. St. Andrew’s Priory 25-15, 16-25, 25-17
Maryknoll def. Christian Academy 25-20, 25-11
Sacred Hearts def. Mid-Pacific 19-25, 25-22, 25-19
St. Francis def. Lanakila Baptist 25-8, 25-16
University def. Island Pacific 25-12, 25-21
Word of Life def. Hawaiian Mission 25-1, 25-9
Kahuku def. Moanalua 27-25, 25-17
Kalaheo def. Kalani 25-19, 15-25, 15-10
Mililani def. Leilehua 25-12, 25-18
Pearl City def. Waianae 25-22, 25-14
Farrington def. McKinley 25-21, 25-27, 15-8
Kalani def. Kalaheo 25-11, 24-26, 15-10
Mililani def. Leilehua 25-13, 25-9
Moanalua def. Kahuku 25-14, 25-9
Waianae def. Pearl City 19-25, 25-20, 15-6
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