Strong Athletes, Strong Students
The Molokai High School (MHS) girls volleyball season came to an end after this year’s Maui Interscholastic League (MIL) Championships on Oct. 16. Looking back, the Farmers consider it a hard-fought season of determination and improvement on and off the court.
“From pre-season to post-season we’ve definitely improved,” said head coach Mahea Rawlins. “We tried as hard as we could…we stuck together as a team and we fought to the end.”
The girls finished the season with a 9-4 record after competing against Hana and coming up short in the semi-finals of the MILS, according to MHS Athletic Director Hoku Haliniak.
“It just wasn’t our night,” said assistant coach Hale Domingo. “But overall I’m really happy with the girls and I think we had an awesome season.”
Haliniak said the girls showed great teamwork, good attitudes, and took care of their equipment throughout the season. But the team wasn’t just made up of good athletes; she said they were good academic students as well.
“The 14-player team had a 3.2 grade point average, and that is what’s really impressive,” Haliniak said.
Six seniors — Taylor Keliihoomalu, Taylor Tananaha, Heather Place, Rizpah Torres-Umi, Caylee Ledesma, and Shaniah Mollena-Lopez — will be saying goodbye to the team this year. Domingo said these girls “were a big part of the team.”
Rawlins said because of a heightened number of interested players this past season, she is trying to include a junior varsity (JV) squad for the upcoming season. Although they won’t be able to travel with the varsity team, they will be able to compete in JV tournaments off-island.
“Usually there is only one JV [girls volleyball] tournament every season,” said Haliniak. “But next season, there will be four JV tournaments on Maui, and I’m going to fight to bring one of those tournaments to Molokai.”
Looking ahead, Domingo said next year will be an exciting season seeing the returning players and knowing the freshman are going to be a year older.
“Hopefully they’re hungry enough to push their skills next season,” said Domingo. “I think with the core girls we have now…we will be even better.”