Pearl City drops Hilo 3-2 to advance to state volleyball quarterfinals

Oct 31, 2012 | PC Sports


A combination of leadership and the will to win advanced the Pearl City Lady Chargers to the quarterfinals of the 2012 HHSAA State Division I Girls Volleyball Championship Tournament after defeating Hilo 3-2 on Tuesday at Kaimuki High School.

The Lady Chargers found themselves down 2-0 to the Lady Vikings of the BIIF in their first round championship tournament match up but came back to win the next three games for the 3-2 victory (22-25, 24-26, 25-19, 25-23, 15-12).

Pearl City advanced to today's quarterfinals and will play OIA Red Division Champion and #2 seed Kahuku at Kaimuki High School with the first serve scheduled for 5:00pm.

Pearl City Lady Chargers Head Coach Kory Toyozaki was faced with a bit of adversity on Tuesday against Hilo after being forced to make adjustments to her line up, but the girls came through in a big way.

"With a lot of line up changes we needed the girls to just play their game," said Toyozaki. "We had two girls with school engagements so they were coming late. We started with eight. We didn't practice that, so they had to adjust and did a good job. Hats off to Hilo because they're very scrappy as well."

After falling behind 2-0 to Hilo, Coach Toyozaki needed to make the right adjustments to tackle the challenge ahead of winning the next three games in a row for the win and to stay alive in the tournament.

"We had to control on our side of the net," Toyozaki said. "We noticed we had a lot of errors so we just got the jitters out and concentrated on what we had to do. We minimized the errors and it became a better game."

Pearl City once again played their hearts out on defense with outstanding performances from the Lady Chargers starters and from the bench.

"That  was always our bread and butter, Toyozaki said. " Our libero is unbelievable and I think everybody stepped it up. We had our middle blocker with some digs in the back row and everybody was just stepping up and covering. Kaya had a lot of nice digs too."

Pearl City's Kaya Chong led all scorers with a match high 20 kills, with 17 digs and 2 blocked shots. Kacie Chinen matched Chong from her libero position with 17 digs along with 4 service aces. Johnnai Kapua had  9 kills and 4 blocked shots. Courtney Mersberg finished with 7 kills and McKayla Apo had a strong performance from the service line with 3 service aces.

Hilo's Amanda Loefer led the Lady Vikings with 17 kills and 4 service aces followed by Evalani Toledo, 13 kills, 2 service aces and Leilani Smith 6 kills, 4 service aces.

                                                              Photo by Barry Villamil |

Pearl City libero Kacie Chinen works the back court for the Lady Chargers. Chinen finished with 17 digs in the match against Hilo.

                                                              Photo by Barry Villamil |

Johnnai Kapua goes up for a kill in game 5. Kapua had 9 kills in the match for the Lady Chargers.

                                                             Photo by Barry Villamil |

Courtney Mersberg fires away at the Hilo defense in game 2. Mersberg recorded 7 kills in the match.

                                                              Photo by Barry Villamil |

Lady Viking #2 Amanda Loefer runs the ball past Pearl City's Taylor Inong for a kill in game one. Loefer finished the match with 17 kills.

                                                              Photo by Barry Villamil |

Hilo's #21 Leilani Smith drills the ball past the reach of #9 Janelle Fuamatu and #10 Johnnai Kapua in game 2. Smith finished with 6 kills in the match.

                                                              Photo by Barry Villamil |

Lady Chargers come together after winning game four 25-19 to force a game five for the match.

                                                              Photo by Barry Villamil |

Lady Chargers celebrate after Kaya Chong nailed the final kill to win game five 15-12 and take the match 3-2.

                                                              Photo by Barry Villamil |

The Lady Chargers are guided by a special nucleus of coaches, led by Head Coach Kory Toyozaki, who have successfully instilled within the girls to play with your heart and compete to win.

Go Lady Chargers!