Farmers sweep Spartans to claim D-II overall title

Molokai High School players celebrate after winning the second set of Saturday’s MIL D-II overall championship. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

OLINDA — When Kaina Adolpho slammed home the final kill in Molokai High School’s sweep of Seabury Hall in the Maui Interscholastic League Division II boys volleyball championship match Saturday, Uso Seumalo broke out another one of his huge smiles.

The Farmers’ sophomore middle blocker was a thorn in the Spartans’ side all match long in the 25-23, 28-26, 25-17 victory at the Erdman Athletic Center.

“It was difficult, they are a good team,” Seumalo said with a gold medal around his neck. “It was a real fight, it was a battle, but we worked hard as a team and we played to the best of our ability.”

The Farmers were loose all match long, starting the festivities at 11 a.m., about 15 hours after they were forced to the winner-take-all match with a four-set loss the night before.

The team was dancing to music as they listened to coach Hale Domingo during timeouts, and Chevy Augustiro donned sunglasses and did a few pushups before he stepped up to accept his medal.

Molokai’s Kaina Adolpho hits against the block of Seabury Hall’s Ethan Preseault in the second set Saturday. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

As usual, Molokai stayed in the gym overnight.

“It was everybody today, Kaina, Nainoa (Kahale), the other middle Kaya (Alcon),” Seumalo said. “It was hard to get up, but we did it.”

The Spartans opened up a 17-12 lead in the second set before the Farmers started a 10-4 run with a kill by Kahale and a block by Seumalo. After fighting off three set points, a kill by Adolpho ended the marathon second set.

In the third, a kill by Kainalu Kubo gave the Spartans a 9-7 lead before the Farmers took total control with a 10-4 run to take a 17-13 lead. The Spartans would not get closer than three the rest of the way.

“Oh man, it’s tough, man, coming back less than 24 hours after losing in four,” Domingo said. “We came right back and just had to do it again. Nothing changed. I told them, ‘Just play hard. It’s that simple.’ Seabury’s a great team and they are going to be great for many more years to come.

The Farmers’ Uso Seumalo (from right) and Chevy Augustiro defend a second-set shot by the Spartans’ Kainalu Kubo. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

“Like I said, I told them, ‘Play for the (Molokai) name on the back of your jersey, play for your bloodline.’ That’s all I told them.”

Both coaches lamented the fact that the MIL gets only one team to the Division II state tournament next week on Oahu. The Farmers lost in the state semifinals last year — the MIL champion has played in six of the last eight D-II state finals.

While Molokai did not keep statistics, the Spartans were led by Noah Bigelow’s 11 kills and six blocks, Kubo had eight kills, Kalai Anderson had five kills and a block, and Ethan Preseault had four kills and six blocks.

“We battled, especially in the first and second sets — they could have gone either way and they happened to fall Molokai’s way,” Seabury Hall coach Josh Kulhavy-Sutherland said. “It was a good battle. It’s frustrating (to finish second), especially when the MIL has done so well at the state tournament the last few years. It’s frustrating that we only get to send one.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

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