The Molokai volleyball team found a good time to come together. With problems fielding a complete team because of grades and disciplinary actions, the Farmers finally had all its members present and eligible at the Maui Interscholastic League Division II tournament.
After finishing the regular season at 3-8, the Farmers found a way to get past Seabury Hall and Lanai on Thursday and Friday to become the MIL tournament champions.
But as the regular season champs, Seabury had one last match against Molokai on Saturday to determine the overall league title and the lone playoff berth from the MIL. Molokai fought hard over four sets but dropped its match to the Spartans, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 31-29.
Only two days earlier, it was the Farmers who were in control against Seabury. Despite dropping two five-set matches to Seabury during the regular season, Molokai, with a full squad, was able to win in straight sets, 25-21, 25-23, 25-20.
The upset on Thursday in the semifinals at Baldwin Gym was led by Molokai’s Dhavin Spencer-Basa with 14 kills and Oli Falealii who had 20 assists and five kills for the fourth-seeded Farmers.
“Nobody seen our 12 players,” Farmers coach Hale Domingo told The Maui News. “We’ve been handicapped the whole season. No one seen our full team like this. Not even me and the coaching staff.”
In the other semifinal, Lanai beat Hana to set up the tournament final between Molokai and Lanai. The two teams had split a pair of matches at Lanai during the regular season.
Friday’s tournament final at Baldwin Gym showed just how even the two teams are. In the first set alone, the match had six ties. Senior Paka Adolpho helped end the first set with a kill and a solo block.
The back-and-forth match ended with Molokai on top after four sets: 25-21, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23. Adolpho had 12 kills while Spencer-Basa finished with 15 kills against Lanai.
Saturday’s match at the Maui High gym was another tight four-setter. Molokai topped Seabury in the first set 25-21 but dropped the next three 25-22, 25-23 and 31-29.
Molokai’s three seniors led the way against the Spartans. Oli Falealli passed out 35 assists along with eight kills while Dhavin Spencer-Basa had 21 kills and Roycee Calairo had 13 kills and 15 assists.