Kahuku, Moanalua Advance in HHSAA VB Tourney
Kahuku head coach Tehani Fiatoa believed that her Red Raiders girls volleyball team had a renewed sense of focus after losing two straight matches at the end of the OIA Red tournament.
That focus was tested by a gritty Hilo squad who, for portions of each set, stood stride for stride with Kahuku. When it mattered, however, Kahuku was able to pull away, winning its three set match over the Vikings in the opening round of the New City Nissan / Hawai`i High School Athletic Association Division I Girls Volleyball Championships.
Set scores were 25-14, 25-16, 26-24.
Hilo (14-3) stood toe-to-toe with the OIA’s third best team early on, staying even through the first 16 points of the match. A kill from Talia Afalava, one of nine for the senior, started a 7-0 scoring run that pushed Kahuku to a 15-8 lead. That would serve as enough cushion for the Red Raiders to cruise to a first set victory.
After an easier second set, Kahuku rode the arm of Afalava early in the third. Afalava scored three consecutive kills to put the Red Raiders up 8-4 and held that cushion through most of the set.
The Vikings would not give in, however, when facing match point at 24-20. Hilo fought off all four match points, thanks in part to three Kahuku errors, to even the match at 24. The Vikings comeback drew Big Island volleyball fans to raise their volume level at Ko`aia Gym, countering a solid Kahuku traveling contingent decked with signs, inflatables, and unmistakable Red Raider shirts.
Fiatoa called a timeout to re-focus her team, and got the desired results. Kills by Mariah Berard-Kamakeeaina and Sina Tonga closed out the match.
Adora Anae, who has verbally committed to the University of Utah, led Kahuku with 19 kills and hit .441. Kahuku, who improved to 14-2, hit .253 for the match while adding five service aces and three blocks.
Hilo’s hitting percentage finished at .000 after putting up 23 kills and 23 errors for the match. The Vikings hit in red numbers in the first two sets before attacking at a .079 clip in the final frame to even things out.
Senior Evalani Toledo led Hilo with 10 kills. Amanda Loeffler added five.
Kahuku will face Kamehameha-Kapalama, the tournament’s top seed, tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Kamehameha-Hawai`i. Hilo will take on Leilehua at 3:30 p.m. in the consolation bracket.
Moanalua eases into quarterfinals
In the opening match of the day at Kamehameha-Hawai`i, Oahu Interscholastic Association runner up Moanalua cruised by fellow league member Leilehua in straight sets to advance to the quarterfinal round.
Set scores were 25-13, 25-7, 25-11.
Leilehua (9-7) opened the first set with a 5-1 advantage, which Moanalua quickly erased before finishing the set on a 13-3 run.
“They got a little out of control in the first part of the game, but they settled down,” said Moanalua head coach Tommy Lake. “That was the main thing I was impressed with. They were steady. Not too high or too low.”
After a service error by Leilehua to open the second, Moanalua’s Silerolia Gaogao served for the next eight points while Na Menehune went on an 8-0 run. Moanalua used a pair of 5-0 scoring runs in the set to help run away from the Mules in the second.
After a tight start to the third set, Moanalua crafted a 7-0 scoring run, aided by two service aces from Marina Adolpho, cousin of University of Hawai`i standout Kalei Adolpho, to lead 15-7. An ace from Bryanne Yasui, the fifteenth of the match for Na Menehune, completed the clean sweep.
Gaogao led Na Menehune with 12 kills, five aces, and a .476 attack percentage. Moanalua, who improved to 13-2 on the season, hit .274 for the match.
Kayla Kilaulani, who will play volleyball at Western Texas College after graduation, tallied four kills for Leilehua. The Mules hit -.152 with 10 kills and 20 errors.
Division II update
Big Island Interscholastic Federation runner-up Konawaena advanced to the quarterfinals of the New City Nissan / HHSAA Division II Girls Volleyball Championships with a straight set victory over Hana High.
Scores were 25-17, 25-12, 25-21.
Meanwhile, Pahoa High School fell in straight sets to Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion Waimea High. Set scores were 25-15, 25-12, 25-18.
Maxine Block led the Daggers with eight kills and an ace. Christine Colobong and Erleen Oguma added five kills. The Daggers fell to 9-9 on the year.
New City Nissan / HHSAA Division I Girls Volleyball schedule
Leilehua vs. Hilo (consolation) – 3:30 p.m.
Moanalua vs. #4 Kamehameha-Maui – 5:00 p.m.
Kahuku vs. #1 Kamehameha-Kapalama – 7:00 p.m.
Farrington vs. King Kekaulike (consolation) – 3:30 p.m.
Aiea vs. #2 Mililani – 5:00 p.m.
Punahou vs. #3 Kamehameha-Hawai`i – 7:00 p.m.
New City Nissan / HHSAA Division II Girls Volleyball schedule
Pahoa vs. Hana (consolation) – 3:30 p.m.
Konawaena vs. #1 University – 5:00 p.m.
Waimea vs. #4 Radford – 7:00 p.m.
Hawai`i Baptist vs. Kalaheo (consolation) – 3:30 p.m.
Roosevelt vs. #3 Hawai`i Preparatory Academy – 5:00 p.m.
St. Francis vs. #2 Seabury Hall – 7:00 p.m.