The girls volleyball team. Back row, L-R: Brienna Nishimura, sophomore; Hana Jardon, junior; Keri Lum, senior; Kallie Langford, junior; Cameron Hema, sophomore; Britney O'Donnell, junior; and Kaimi Duncklee, freshman. Front row, L-R: Ally Wada, junior; Kailey Young, senior; Maya Nakasone, sophomore; Katie Nakagawa, junior; Naya Fujikawa, sophomore; and Rachel Nakata, freshman. Photo by Deren Oshiro.
The HBA girls varsity volleyball team took its game to the prestigious Durango Fall Classic September 16-17 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Nike-sponsored invitational tournament, widely considered the top girls volleyball tournament in the country, was held at four different sites – Durango High School, Palo Verde High School, Green Valley High School, and Coronado High School.
Most of the schools in the 64 team field were from California. However, there were also teams from Arkansas, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, and New Mexico.
HBA – the defending Division 2 State Champion here in Hawaii – got the opportunity to play against some of the best players and teams.
This was HBA's first ever invitation, so it was an honor just to participate. Tournament organizers attempt to seed all 64 teams. The Eagles were seeded 34th and finished in 42nd place, so they acquitted themselves respectably.
Here are the match results:
- HBA def. Desert Hills (UT) 25-18, 16-25, 25-23
- HBA def. Branson (CA) 25-21, 25-18
- Walton (GA) def. HBA 26-24, 25-15, 25-23
- Valley Christian (CA) def. HBA 25-16, 25-19, 25-8
- Palo Verde (NV) def. HBA 27-25, 27-25
- Clovis West (CA) def. HBA 25-23, 22-25, 25-18
One of the highlights of the tournament was the Eagles' match against Walton High. The Raiders from Marietta, Georgia entered the tournament ranked #2 in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com, #4 in the nation by MaxPreps.com, and was the tourney's 2nd overall seed. Their top outside hitter has committed to play at Ohio State, their setter has committed to the University of Miami, and their libero has committed to Auburn University. However, HBA used terrific ball handling and solid defense to earn two set points in the opening set 26-24 and also narrowly drop the third set (25-23). Walton went on to finish 5th in the tourney, defeating Kahuku High 25-17, 22-25, 25-19 along the way. Kahuku and Kamehameha-Kapalama finished 8th and 12th, respectively.
The team failed to close several other sets, but also rebounded to nearly win their Challenger Pool on the final day of the tournament.
The team was coached by Myles Shioji '94, Jared Gandia '04, and Taryn Bohan '10.