Every match, coach Eden Scanlan wants valuable intangibles from her Pahoa girls volleyball team: composure, consistency and perseverance. Each part was needed for the Daggers to topple Kohala 25-15, 25-10, 20-25, 25-11 in the quarterfinals of the Big Island Interscholastic Division II tournament Wednesday night at the Daggers Gym.
Pahoa (8-7) next plays BIIF regular-season champion Konawaena (12-2) in the semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Koaia Gym on Kamehameha’s campus.
If the Daggers win, they’ll get their first berth to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state tournament since 1997. Earlier in the season, the Wildcats swept Pahoa in three sets. If the Daggers lose, they will play in a third-place match at 4 p.m. Saturday. Konawaena already clinched the first of the league’s three spots to the Division II state tournament.
The season is over for Kohala (6-10), which lost at home to Pahoa earlier. The Cowgirls last went to states in 1999. (Statewide classification was added in 2005.)
“We did a good job with all three goals,” Scanlan said. “We worked on our serving and defense. I told them offense is nice and looks good, but defense wins games.”
Serving tough and bringing offensive balance helps, too.
The Daggers had more aces, 17-4, and much better firepower with 42 kills to the Cowgirls’ 31 kills in a match that started an hour late because Kohala’s bus got stuck in traffic.
In the first set, Christine Colobong served three aces during an opening 5-0 run. That was an early sign that Pahoa’s serves were going to be deadly all night long.
Maxine Block started Game 2 behind the service line and ripped two aces to get the Daggers off to another good start with a 6-0 lead.
In the third set, both teams made thrilling comebacks. The Cowgirls led 20-15, but the Daggers tied it 20-20, highlighted by two Block kills, and one Block block. Then Kohala scored five straight, capped by Naai Solomon-Lewis’ kill.
The Cowgirl sophomore had 12 kills to lead the visitors while Mohala Kaholoaa-Kumukoa added nine kills.
The late start didn’t bother Pahoa middle blocker Block at all. The 5-foot-9 senior smashed 16 kills to lead the offense, knocking down five from the back row, including match point. She also added four aces.
“Kohala was hungry, but we were hungrier,” Block said. “We showed a lot of consistency tonight. My kills are due to our setters (Colobong and freshman Daecee Subia). When they give me the ball in a perfect spot, the best thing to do is put it away.”
Erleen Oguma had five aces, and added 11 kills while setter/outside hitter Colobong contributed eight kills, getting a lot of good feeds from libero Dely Laguardia.
In Game 4, Colobong stepped to the end line with her team trailing 2-1. Then she served tough and the Daggers reeled off five straight points to grab a 7-2 lead and never looked back. Pahoa’s three key players are all seniors: Block, Colobong and Laguardia. Before the match, Scanlan asked her team captain to step up.
“Maxine is a captain this year,” Scanlan said. “I talked to her before the game and told her to lead the team, and do whatever it takes.”