Trojans Win Girls Volleyball OIA D1 White Championship

Maya Hirano, Copy Editor

     On Oct. 8, the Trojan white girls volleyball team competed against Kapolei for the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) Division 1 White Championship. The game was held at Radford High School, with MHS winning both sets with scores of 21-15 and 21-16.

     “To my coaches and my team, I just want to say thank you for an amazing season one that I will never, never forget. I’m so proud of all of us and how much we pushed through this season,” said libero Senior Katie Shimaura.

     Team captains Shimaura, Senior Kaila Aiwohi and Senior Jazlyn Quenga seized the opportunity to end their high school careers with a championship win. Additionally for many of the girls, this was their first OIA title. “I think just the feeling, for all of us, especially me and Kaila and Jaz all the seniors it was really a special feeling because we wanted this so badly,” said Shimaura. Libero Junior Teah Takahata added, “I really, really, really wanted to win, so bad, especially for our seniors on the team. I wanted the win for them.”

     Team bonding was a key factor for the team during the season. Head coach Brandi Pascua-Aipa and assistant coach Kala Leopoldo Jr. made sure to organize times for the girls to get to know each other outside of practice. “With all the seniors and the freshmen because we didn’t have any sophomores I really did feel my bond get closer to them and I got to know them better,” said setter Junior Bethany Ballesteros. Shimaura added, “Just the chemistry between all the girls was so different. We were so much closer this year than all my other years here.”

     In the process of preparing for the championship, the team had experienced multiple challenges. One of these challenges was an unexpected complication in the semifinal OIA game against Kahuku, where the officials required the last point of the game to be replayed. “Just as JV was going to start warming up, we were told that we have to put our shoes back on because they were recalling a play and everyone needs to get back on the court,” said Ballesteros. “It was just the energy was so high. Kahuku’s fans were yelling, our fans were yelling, both JV teams and the varsity teams were yelling to chant and support us.”

     Despite the minor setback, the Trojans won back the final point and soon won the title. For the girls, the OIA championship also came with the fulfillment of a “bet” with their two coaches, who have been engaged for multiple years. “In the beginning of the season, they told us if we won OIAs, then they would get married and they would let us be the flower girls. We kind of forgot about that in the midst of preparing for playoffs and championships, but now we’re very excited to announce that they will be getting married, they said before we graduate,” said Takahata. 

     The girls thank their coaches and supporters for believing in them throughout the season. Takahata has also requested to include the statement, “She’s really good,” as a tribute to her teammates and their bond this season.