OLINDA - The Seabury Hall-Molokai girls volleyball rivalry may be the most intense in the Maui Interscholastic League, in any sport.
The schools have dominated the MIL from the Division II level since it was added in 2005 and in recent years have been the top teams in the league - outside of Kamehameha Maui - regardless of division.
They put on another 2 1/2-hour show Friday night at the Erdman Athletic Center as the Spartans ended the defending state-champion Farmers' MIL winning streak, which dated to 2007, with a 23-25, 25-17, 19-25, 25-17, 15-10 victory.
Seabury Hall teammates (from left) Lena Fox, Carly Wright, Regal Deen-Jackson and Brooke Sturdevant celebrate a point during the first game of the Spartans’ 23-25, 25-17, 19-25, 25-17, 15-10 win over Molokai on Friday at Erdman Athletic Center.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
The Spartans are now 7-0 in MIL play, while Molokai fell to 4-1.
"I tell you, everybody in the Erdman Athletic Center got their money's worth," said Seabury coach Scotty Zucco. "It was really a match to watch, it was great."
Each time one team seemed to have control of the match, the other would come storming back.
The Farmers, who lost five starters from last season's team - the first from the MIL to win a girls volleyball state title - rolled out to a 15-10 lead. The Spartans tied it at 22, but three Seabury errors in the next four points ended the first set.
The other four sets all followed the same pattern.
"Any time you are playing Molokai, with their wonderful athletes and their wonderful coaching staff, they are going to be tough," Zucco said. "They always do a wonderful job of preparing them for battle. They have a young team but they have come so far since we last saw them a month ago. I can't say enough about (Farmers coach) Matt Helm and the job he has done so far. They have come light-years since the preseason tournament."
Brooke Sturdevant had 20 kills and a block for the Spartans, while Lena Fox had 14 kills and three blocks, Regal Deen-Jackson had 11 kills and three blocks and Ariana Emde had five kills and a block.
Seabury has five seniors on its roster, two more than Molokai, which said goodbye to four players now competing in college volleyball - and last season's MIL D-II Player of the Year, Kalei Vaivai, who transferred to Baldwin for her senior season.
Zucco had big praise for Leenell Hernandez and Natalia Levi, the only starters back from the state-title team.
"They made some fantastic plays all night long," Zucco said.
Hernandez had 19 kills. Levi had 13 kills and 16 digs, Taylor Keliihoomalu had nine kills, Heather Place dished out 37 assists and Carol Kahee had 16 digs.
"It was seesaw all the way," Helm said. "Whoever was on the other side of the court won the points on that one side, so whatever it was - the moon and the stars lining up - it seemed like all of the points were scored on the one side. It really was a great match."
Even after undergoing so many changes from 2010, the Farmers look like a contender for the state tournament again.
"We really have a young squad," Helm said. "I have a first-year setter, two first-year middles, both of my outsides are returning, but Natalia is a converted outside who is still trying to work for that comfort of being outside. Leenell did awesome tonight and Seabury is a tough team."
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seabury def. Molokai 23-25, 25-17, 19-25, 25-17, 15-10
Lanai def. St. Anthony 25-8, 25-15, 25-19
Baldwin at Kamehameha Maui, noon
Maui Prep vs. Molokai at Lahaina Civic Center, noon
Lanai at Hana, noon
King Kekaulike at Baldwin, 6 p.m.
Kamehameha Maui at Lahainaluna, 6 p.m.
Lahainaluna at King Kekaulike, 6 p.m.
Maui High at Kamehameha Maui, 6 p.m.