Photographs courtesy of James Miura and Deren Oshiro.
For the fourth time in four years, HBA’s varsity boys volleyball team captured the HHSAA Division 2 State Championship title.
The match, held on Saturday, May 10, at the Neil Blaisdell Center, secured HBA’s sixth state championship in seven years. The Eagles beat Seabury Hall’s Spartans 21-25, 26-24, 25-12, 25-20. After finishing the regular season 10-2, they were unable to capture the ILH Championship due to two losses to Punahou II. Following the regular season, the Eagles turned their attention to the state tournament featuring teams from four different divisions: ILH, OIA, BIIF, and MIL. Head coach Teoni Obrey said, “Our goals [for the tournament] were to have fun and continue to work on our execution.”[one_third]
“Our goals [for the tournament] were to have fun and continue to work on our execution.”
Head coach Teoni Obrey[/one_third]
HBA entered the tournament unseeded, which was a new experience for the team. Sophomore opposite hitter Isaac Liva said, “It meant that we had something to prove coming into this tournament; we had to show everyone what we are made of.”
The tournament began on Thursday at Farrington High School where the Eagles soared past fourth-seeded Kailua in three sets, winning 25-12, 25-13, 25-12. In the semifinal match, HBA played Honoka’a, a team from the BIIF, and won in straight sets again, 25-20, 25-21, 25-12.
At the championship match, the first set the opponent’s way. The Spartans prevailed with a .226 hitting percentage to the Eagles’ minus .051. Sophomore outside hitter Caleb Fisher, who had 28 kills and 14 digs, said, ”The team needed to get some nerves out, but after that we played well.”
Initially, the next set seemed to mirror the first as the Spartans took a comfortable 19-12 lead. However, freshman Nicolas Caballes’ serves helped narrow the gap to 19-18, with the Eagles still trailing. Senior libero Matthew Kishaba, who contributed 22 digs, said, “Once Nic went on a serving streak, and we started swinging in, everything started to click.”
After that, the Eagles and Spartans traded blows, but sophomore opposite Isaac Liva made back-to-back kills to finish the set and even the match at one set apiece. Obrey recalled, “Coming back to win Set 2 allowed us to relax and gain much needed momentum and confidence going into Set 3.”
This momentum carried the Eagles in the third set, as they out-hit the Spartans .300 to .081. In the fourth set, the three-time defending champions looked to have the match in the bag, leading 21-14, but the Spartans didn’t back down. They narrowed the gap to 21-17, forcing the Eagles to call a timeout. After that, the Eagles went on a 4-3 run, and with a double block from sophomore middle Brett Miller and senior outside Jordan Kauwe, the Eagles sealed the match to capture their fourth state championship. Obrey said, “It feels great! I am just happy for our seniors. Nothing like going out a State Champion.”[one_third]
“It was a big relief. I was just glad we won.”
Senior libero Matthew Kishaba[/one_third]
Junior setter BJ Hosaka, Fisher, Kishaba, and Liva were named to the all-tournament team. Fisher was also named Most Outstanding Player in the Division 2 tournament.
Obrey said that the team improved the most “not only with their on-court play but also in the areas of team chemistry and personal growth.” Kishaba said after the win, “It was a big relief. I was just glad we won.”
#1 Kane Verity (’14)
#2 BJ Hosaka (’15)
#3 Ryan Chang (’14)
#4 Joshua Kishaba (’15)
#5 Samuel Nishimiya (’16)
#6 Matthew Kishaba (’14)
#7 Jordan Kauwe (’14)
#8 Kyle Kadomoto (’14)
#9 Nicolas Caballes (’17)
#10 Caleb Fisher (’16)
#11Davin Miyahara (’15)
#12 Kellen Takatsuka (’17)
#13 Christian Pingree (’14)
#14 Brett Miller (’16)
#15 Isaac Liva (’16)