Farmers bounce back after tough start

Molokai High goes 2-7 at Ann Kang Invitational
By Dan Murphy

The Molokai High girls’ volleyball team got off to a rocky start last weekend, going 2-7 at the Ann Kang Invitational Tournament on Oahu. The Farmers dropped their first six matches before regrouping and finishing with some success.

“We really beat ourselves,” Molokai head coach Matt Helm said. “We made a lot of errors the first couple days. It was just preseason; it was them learning how to play with each other and getting used to playing against top competition.”

The Ann Kang Invitational featured some of the best teams in the state as well as powerhouse schools from the mainland. The Farmers jumped in head first with matches against Mater Dei School from California and Punahou from Oahu. Punahou ended up going 8-1 and finishing second overall in the tournament.

After two quick losses, Molokai seemed to be turning things around late in the first day against Kaiser High School from Honolulu in their final match of the day. The Farmers were leading late in both games, but could not close out either and fell to 0-3.

“That was just a game where the girls learned they had to finish. We had that game and let it get away,” Helm said.

The team lost three more in the next two days of the tournament before Helm sat everyone down for a meeting.

“I told them in a very stern way that while we want to gain experience, we can play with these teams. We came all the way here to win and they need to stop playing so tentatively,” Helm said.

Afterwards, the girls held a team meeting of their own. Whatever they said, it worked. Later that afternoon, the Farmers cruised to a win over Mid-Pacific and were placed in the bronze bracket.

The Farmers won once more before falling to Maunaloa with scores of 25-14 and 25-18 in the finals of the bronze bracket.

Helm said the team learned a lot during the tournament and now has a better idea of what they need to work on to improve. The team will now have two weeks to make adjustments before the regular season gets started. Helm said they will be ironing out their playbook while continuing to work on individual skills during that time.

“There was a lot of confusion on the court at times, so we need to take care of that,” he said.

The Farmers open up their regular season on Sept. 3 when they travel to Maui for the weekend to take on Maui Prep, Seabury and Ka’ahumanu.

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