HONOLULU — Pahoa relied on balanced firepower and steady libero play from Kukui Mesa-Serrano to gain a measure of revenge against Seabury Hall, the tough Maui Interscholastic League team that ruined the Daggers’ dream three years ago.
Nick Fisher and Isaac Ekau pounded 15 kills each, and Caleb Woo O’Brien added 13 kils to lift the Daggers over the Spartans 25-19, 19-25, 25-19, 25-14 in the semifinals of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II volleyball state tournament on Friday at Moanalua High.
No. 3 seed Pahoa (13-5) plays No. 1 seed Hawaii Baptist at 5 p.m. today at Blaisdell Arena for the state championship.
When Pahoa and Seabury Hall (11-3) clashed before at states, the Daggers fell to the Spartans in four sets for the state championship in 2010, when Fisher and Mesa-Serrano were freshmen starters.
The Daggers didn’t qualify for states in 2011, but they returned last season, falling to McKinley in the first round. But at least, the experience was sprinkled throughout Pahoa’s lineup, which is loaded with seniors and includes Ekau, Jarrett Kamaka, Tanner Dipert, Woo O’Brien and setter Joseph Lefiti, as well as Fisher and Mesa-Serrano.
In the first set, Pahoa started off on the wrong foot, falling into an 0-4 hole. But Lefiti spread the ball, feeding Fisher for six kills and Ekau and middle blocker Woo O’Brien for four kills each. Fisher played the part of closer, nailing the final two points on a tip shot and one off the block.
The Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion Daggers tripped over themselves with 15 unforced errors (hitting, serving and ball-handling) in the second set. The Spartans were far more efficient with only three giveaway points.
The third set was tied 14-14, and from there Pahoa outscored Seabury Hall 11-5, stringing together several three-point runs. The Spartans committed 13 unforced errors, compared to Pahoa’s nine giveaway points.
Seabury Hall couldn’t shake itself out its error-prone skid in the fourth set, handing Pahoa five consecutive giveaway points down the stretch. It was suddenly 24-14, and Fisher put the match away with his 15th kill.
c Hawaii Prep def. Farrington 25-20, 22-25, 15-13: Jevin Ching came through with 10 kills and Jovan Crnic added eight as Ka Makani reached the fifth-place match by edging the Governors at their gym.
BIIF No. 2 seed HPA (12-4) will end their season against Campbell or Waialua at 10:30 a.m. today at Blaisdell Arena.
Tyler Liana led the way for Oahu Interscholastic Association champion Farrington (9-6) with 17 kills.
c Waiakea and Kamehameha-Hawaii both won in consolation play in Waipahu, Oahu, to set up a rematch of their BIIF final.
Mamane Namahoe put down five kills and Maika’i Gahan added four as Waiakea beat Leilehua 25-19, 25-17.
Earlier, Evan Enriques’ 10 kills paced Kamehameha while Emmett Enriques and Isaiah Laeha each added seven in a 25-19, 21-25, 15-6 victory against Baldwin.