Sweet revenge for Coach Mac and the girls team as they prevailed over King Kekaulike for the Girls Championship in a rematch of finalists from last year, which was won by King Kekaulike.
The Lunas only loss came when No. 3 singles Miyana Wagner badly injured her ankle in the second set, up 1 set to none and was forced to retire.
With the championship sewn up, the girls and boys gathered to watch the last match – No. 2 doubles with Jasmine Garde and Ezra Baccar. The rest of the team decided not to tell TEAM BAGARDE that they had already clinched, leading them to believe that the championship rested on their match. Naturally, the match went to 3 tension and stress-filled sets. Ezra in particular was feeling the pressure, calming her nerves and asthma issues before every serve. In the end, they won and celebrated like crazy! Until they found out the team had already won without them! The reaction was priceless!
Getting it together to pull out the win for the team was reflective of the team philosophy throughout the year. Lacking the dominant player like Kaila Nip from last year, they team had to rely on each other to take care of business. This team truly pushed each other to higher levels of achievement and competition, resulting in a dominating season as champs. Well-deserved! This team brought back the title to Lahainaluna where it belongs!
I hung around to shoot the team some more. The Maui News reporter Lehia Apana was interviewing Mac and then Melissa Taketa. Meanwhile, the team, both boys and girls, wanted to take a team photo. Alec and Miyana were missing from it, because they left to get MIyana treatment for her ankle. And Melissa was missing from the photo because she was getting interviewed.
I felt badly about Melissa not being in the team photo, especially since she was right there watching us as she’s getting interviewed, so I suggested they all get behind Melissa, as she’s getting interviewed, and take another group shot. That was fun! We even included the reporter, too! I really had fun shooting this team. They got along well together – boys and girls – and were really supportive of each other. This was true for the past teams I covered, but more so this year.
LAHAINALUNA 4, KING KEKAULIKE 1
No. 1 singles-Melissa Taketa, Lahainaluna, def. Kaelyn Okuhata 6-2, 6-2.
No. 2 singles-Paige Pasion, Lahainaluna, def. Michaela Thompson 6-2, 6-2.
No. 3 singles-Makenna Anderson, King Kekaulike, def. Miyana Wagner 1-6, 4-2, ret.
No. 1 doubles-Chantelle Baclay and Nicole Aceret, Lahainaluna, def. Kisa Giebink and Riley Calvan 6-0, 6-1.
No. 2 doubles-Ezra Baccar and Jasmine Garde, Lahainaluna, def. Tamra Takemoto and Kayla Uyesugi 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-4.
Next week is another long weekend: Thursday-Friday-Saturday MIL Tennis tournament for individuals qualifying for the HHSAA state tournament to be held on Oahu. Good luck to the individual Lunas and hopefully I’ll be shooting some on championship Saturday.
For Maui News article, click here.
For more photos, click here.