OLINDA - This one was not close and both teams knew it would be that way.
Seabury Hall needed just 56 minutes to dispatch Maui Preparatory Academy 25-3, 25-10, 25-3 in a girls volleyball match Wednesday night at the Erdman Athletic Center.
The two-time defending Maui Interscholastic League Division II champions got all 14 players into the match while improving to 7-0. Maui Prep, with just three players who have played the game before this season, took another step toward establishing its program while falling to 0-8.
Seabury Hall’s Gabby Ratte tips a ball at the net as Maui Prep’s Gina Marzo defends during the Spartans’ 25-3, 25-10, 25-3 win over Na Pueo on Wednesday at Erdman Athletic Center.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
Seabury’s Allie Rudow sends a shot past MPA’s Katie Ornelas
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
"You have to keep your focus," Seabury Hall sophomore Bel Cagen said after recording a match-high six kills and five aces. "Since they're a lower level you can't let that distract you and get carried off and sidetracked, so you just have to keep your focus and keep playing."
The Spartans scored the first eight points of the match behind the serving of Sophie Janssen. Kiki Leuteneker, a 6-foot-1 middle blocker, had five kills and four aces, Amy Ozee added two blocks, three assists and three aces and Shayla Hoeft had a pair of blocks.
"The coaches definitely help you on the sidelines, they always give you tips to go over," Cagen said. "They always really help you out, it's really nice. We are all pretty much a family."
Seabury Hall def. Maui Prep 25-3, 25-10, 25-3
Kamehameha Maui def. Lahainaluna 25-14, 26-24, 25-15
King Kekaulike at Lahainaluna, 6 p.m.
Maui High at Baldwin, 6 p.m.
Maui Prep at Hana, 6 p.m.
Hana at Seabury Hall, 6 p.m.
Lahainaluna at Baldwin, 6 p.m.
King Kekaulike at Maui High, 6 p.m.
Seabury, which has just two seniors, has three matches combined against Molokai and Hana in the next 10 days.
The Dragons, who have just one loss this season, and the Farmers, who have two, pose the biggest threats to the Spartans' hopes of a third straight MIL crown.
"We like that kind of run at the end of the season," said Seabury coach Scottie Zucco. "As a coach it gives you a little more time to prepare, but what it all comes down to is what we do on the floor those nights, whether we work our hardest."
Zucco said the Spartans - who advanced to the state final last season, where they surrendered a two-set advantage in a loss to St. Francis - relish any chance to take the floor.
"We approach these matches just like we approach practice, max effort," he said. "You need to do the best you can, be the best you're capable of being. It doesn't matter who is on the other side, a team that is 1-5 or a team that's 5-0. We still do the best we can.
"We can't control who is on the other side of the net. We just tried to come out and do the best we could on our serving effort. Just work our tail off."
The Spartans' roster is solid from top to bottom, and they showed that depth Wednesday.
"Our practices are electric," Zucco said.
Maui Prep has three seniors.
"Every time we come out we are getting better, we are a very green team," said first-year coach Kristen Metzger. "A lot of girls coming out who have never played before. The first part of the season was rough, but we have always been enthusiastic and willing to learn. Look at our stats then and now, leaps and bounds."
Metzger said Na Pueo look at playing the Spartans as an opportunity.
"We love playing Seabury, it's so fun and the girls are such good sports," Metzger said. "It's nice to see what they have come from and what they could become. I heard a lot of our girls saying, 'How do they do that?' or 'Look how good their sets are.' It's nice to see them, instead of becoming discouraged, looking toward the future and working together."
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org