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Spartans sweep past Na Pueo

Jardine, Conley help Seabury improve to 5-0 in MIL D-II play

Seabury Hall’s Ella Connor directs a kill against the block of Maui Prep’s Natalie Smart during the third set of the Spartans’ 25-7, 25-18, 25-11 victory over Na Pueo on Wednesday night at Erdman Athletic Center. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

OLINDA — The Seabury Hall girls volleyball team had a chance to stretch the bench on Wednesday night at the Erdman Athletic Center.

The Spartans took advantage and swept Maui Prep 25-7, 25-18, 25-11.

Seabury Hall — the two-time defending Maui Interscholastic League Division II champion –moved to 5-0, right behind 6-0 Molokai.

“We play them right at the end of the season and that will be the most exciting game of our regular season,” Seabury Hall coach Brian Connor said. “We’re really looking forward to it.”

Connor has stepped in for longtime head coach Scott Zucco, who is on personal leave from the team.

The Spartans’ Anu Akeo attempts a third-set shot as Na Pueo’s Jolene Munch goes up to block. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

“The program is a program that he built,” said Connor, who was an assistant to Zucco for three years. “And we are just continuing that. … Nothing really has changed.”

The Spartans were led by sophomores Bella Jardine, who had eight kills and three aces, and Skylar Conley, who had six kills. Senior Sevilla Leuteneker and junior Ella Connor — both regular starters — each had five kills. Connor added seven digs and freshman Mercedes Winicki dished out 17 assists and had seven digs.

“Our bench impresses me every time they get on the court — they do it in practice and every time they have a chance in the game,” Connor said.

After the first set ended in about 20 minutes, Na Pueo took an 8-6 lead in the second set before the Spartans went on a 5-0 run to go ahead 11-9. Maui Prep’s Sydney Snyder smacked a kill to stop Seabury Hall’s run.

“They had a lot of good servers from behind the line,” Brian Connor said. “And they played some amazing defense tonight. They kept a lot of balls up. They kept coming again and again. They really are improving as a program.”

Seabury Hall’s Sevilla Leuteneker sends a shot past Maui Prep’s Lusy Taufa during the second set Wednesday night. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

After the Spartans pushed the lead to 17-10, Na Pueo again battled back. A kill by Emma Geng made it 17-13, and a block by Snyder made it 19-15. Na Pueo closed within three twice, but would not get any closer in the second set.

The third set was tied 5-5 before a hitting error gave MPA a 6-5 lead. Conley smoked a kill down the line to tie it again and spark a 13-1 Spartans run that ended on a Snyder block. The match ended on a dink by Anu Akeo.

Na Pueo fell to 0-6, but showed the program has made strides. Geng led Maui Prep with five kills, Jolene Munch had four aces and Keana Villamar collected 13 digs.

“We have four juniors and four freshmen with one senior,” Na Pueo coach Bula Mahiai said. “It’s been a welcoming year for our freshmen because they are kind of put to the test. It’s interesting, it’s going to be interesting in upcoming years. Maui Prep will hopefully be setting a new standard for (MIL) D-II.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

MIL Standings

DIVISION I

W L Pct. GB

Kamehameha Maui 5 0 1.000 —

King Kekaulike 5 0 1.000 —

Baldwin 3 4 .429 3

Lahainaluna 2 5 .286 4

Maui High 0 6 .000 51⁄2

DIVISION II

W L Pct. GB

Molokai 6 0 1.000 —

Seabury Hall 5 0 1.000 1⁄2

Hana 5 2 .714 11⁄2

Haleakala Waldorf 3 3 .500 3

Lanai 1 3 .250 4

Maui Prep 0 6 .000 6

St. Anthony 0 6 .000 6

Wednesday’s Results

Seabury Hall def. Maui Prep 25-7, 25-18, 25-11

Haleakala Waldorf def. St. Anthony 25-16, 25-14, 21-25, 25-20

Today’s Matches

Lahainaluna at Kamehameha Maui, 6 p.m.

Maui High at King Kekaulike, 6 p.m.

St. Anthony vs. Maui Prep at Lahainaluna,

6 p.m.

Friday’s Matches

Hana at Molokai, 7 p.m.

Seabury Hall at Lanai, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Matches

Hana at Molokai, 11 a.m.

Seabury Hall at Lanai, 11 a.m.