After a 2-1/2 hour, five-set match, the Molokai girls volleyball team lost in the regular season for the first time since 2007.
On Friday evening in Olinda, Seabury Hall came back from a 2-1 set deficit to beat Molokai by a score of 23-25, 25-17, 19-25, 25-17 and 15-10.
It’s always difficult for the defending state champs to drop a match, but Head Coach Matt Helm remembers that his team is building experience, having lost five starters from last year.
“We really have a young squad,” Helm said, in an interview with The Maui News. “I have a first-year setter, two first-year middles, both of my outsides are returning, but Natalia is a converted outside who is still trying to work for that comfort of being outside. Leenell did awesome tonight and Seabury is a tough team.”
Leenell Hernandez, one of two returning starters, had 19 kills against the Spartans. Natalia Levi, the other returner, had 13 kills and 16 digs in the exciting, seesawing match. Also for Molokai, Taylor Keliihoomalu finished with nine kills, Heather Place passed out 37 assists and Carol Kahee had 16 digs.
The loss drops Molokai to 4-1 in the MIL, while Seabury is at 7-0. Even with the one loss, Molokai still appears to be an improving team that has a good chance to still be around for the state championship tournament.