Seabury Hall rolls to win

Seabury Hall's Akeo Anu (from right) and Ella Conner defend a second-set shot by Haleakala Waldorf's Mileina Sniffen. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

OLINDA — Now is the time for Isabel Bennett to step up for the Seabury Hall girls volleyball team. The 5-foot-7 senior outside hitter is doing just that.

She had 13 kills and three digs in a 25-8, 25-7, 25-7 sweep of Haleakala Waldorf School on Tuesday night at the Erdman Athletic Center.

It was an interesting contrast of the veteran, perennial prowess of the Spartans vs. the second-year program at Haleakala Waldorf.

“It’s just focusing on what we know how to do, not what the other team knows how to do,” Bennett said. “Haleakala Waldorf keeps getting better every time we play them.”

Indeed, Waldorf came into the match 1-0 in Maui Interscholastic League Division II play after a season-opening win over St. Anthony. Seabury Hall improved to 3-0 with the victory that took less than an hour to complete.

Seabury Hall’s Akeo Anu attempts a second-set shot against Haleakala Waldorf's Lillian Palmore Mahinalani Schwarz and Nora Barnett. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

The Spartans have five seniors, two juniors, one sophomore and five freshmen on their roster. Ella Connor had 17 assists, Kii Rilveria had seven digs, and Skylar Conley added two blocks for Seabury Hall.

“We’re just trying to get better on our own side, get better with the ball each time,” Bennett said. “It’s kind of a lot on us (seniors), but the freshmen are really hard-working this year. They want to get better and play to the best they can.”

Seabury Hall coach Scott Zucco sees the MIL D-II ranks getting better and better.

“It’s always a challenge belding freshmen and the upper classmen,” he said. “It was a tough preseason — we traveled a little bit — but little by little they’re getting better. It always helps when the freshmen are pulling their weight. We definitely have our work cut out this year.

“I think I see a growth in volleyball overall in Maui County. I haven’t every single squad yet or both divisions, but you can see it. There’s more kids sitting on the benches, there’s more kids in middle school leagues, so it’s definitely growing.”

Seabury Hall’s Madee Dougherty prepares to set a pass on Tuesday. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

That is certainly true for HWS, which dressed nine players on Tuesday. At times last year, they were forced to play matches with four on the court.

“They have gotten so much better, just the quality of play,” Zucco said. “They’re actually playing cleaner volleyball, they’re putting up regular blocks — it looks good.”

Sophomore Mileina Sniffen led HWS with three kills.

“We’re getting there — it’s a process,” Haleakala coach Scott Sniffen said. “It’s just the beginning of the season. … The girls, they’re working through it. A lot of them have never played volleyball.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

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KING KEKAULIKE 3, MAUI HIGH 0

Na Alii swept the Sabers 25-8, 257, 25-23 to run their record to 4-0 in MIL Division I play.

Nina Macphetridge had seven aces and three kills, Nohokula Lind had seven kills and two aces, and Kalena Vaivai had 19 assists, three kills, three blocks, and two aces for the victors.

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LAHAINALUNA 3, KAMEHAMEHA MAUI 0

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