Hilo Sweeps Its Way to State Quarterfinals
In last week’s Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I championship, Hilo watched as Kamehameha-Hawai’i took advantage of every little mistake the Vikings made.
Hilo did the same to Kahuku Friday night, sweeping the Red Raiders to advance to the quarterfinal round of the New City Nissan/Hawai’i High School Athletic Association Division I Boys State Volleyball Championships.
Set scores were 25-23, 25-18, and 25-20.
“That was a totally different team than last weekend at the BIIF championships,” said Pana of his team’s energy in Friday night’s match. “We are all loose. We know it’s a one and done [at the states].”
It was a rough day for Kahuku, missing its 11 a.m. flight from Honolulu and catching a later flight to Hilo. To make matters worse, the Red Raiders volleyball staff had trouble finding the Kamehameha-Hawai’i campus, which is playing host to the Big Island regional rounds.
You would have never known Kahuku had a tough travel day, though. A 6-0 start in the first set, aided by a pair of service aces from Micha Maiava and a pair of Hilo errors. The Vikings slowly narrowed the gap, giving themselves a chance late in the set. A service error by Kahuku’s Jurell Kai tied the set at 23-23, and two more attack errors gave the Vikings the first set.
Service errors were a recurring problem for Kahuku in the match. The third-place representative from the Oahu Interscholastic Association committed a total of 13 service errors in the match, seven in the first set alone.
Hilo (13-3) capitalized on the momentum seized at the end of the first set, starting the second frame on a 4-0 run. The lead grew as big as eight thanks to a Justice Lord ace to put Hilo up 12-4. Trevor Castro, the Vikings’ libero, put the set away with a service ace that went off of the hand of a bewildered Caleb Alexander.
“That boy has been working on serves in practice ever since we lost the BIIF championship game, and we always converse during practice,” said Hilo coach Ben Pana of Castro, who had three service aces. “He told me, ‘Coach, I owe you for what I did in the BIIF championship game.'”
Castro had two service errors in the league championship match last Saturday against KS-Hawai’i.
Kahuku (11-5) found itself in another hole, down 7-2 to start the third set, but battled its way back thanks to Maiava, a junior who plays club volleyball under Kamehameha-Hawai’i coach Guy Enriques, and junior Alaifatu Tito, who combined for six kills to even the set at 11.
A couple of errors by Hilo helped Kahuku even the set back up at 14, but the Vikings would get it together just in time, pulling away for the sweep.
“It’s nice to see the boys win a game in the state tournament,” Pana said, noting that the Vikings have not been in the Division I state tournament since the 1990’s. “We’re just looking forward to tomorrow. Kahuku is a big team. They had some heavy hitters.”
Bradley Comilla and Justice Lord, both seniors, attacked efficiently for Hilo. Comilla led all hitters with 17 kills and hit .346. He also led the team with eight digs.
“He was outstanding tonight, and that’s why he’s our best player,” said Pana. “We have a lot of good players, but when we are in trouble, we always go to that guy, because he is a smart hitter. Over the last couple of weeks, he’s had some minor injuries, but to see him overcome that in such an important game, I gotta feel excited for that guy.”
Lord hit .471, swatting down 10 kills and adding a pair of solo blocks.
Maiava carried the load for Kahuku, picking up 13 kills and hitting .435 for the match. Tito added eight kills with just one error.
Hilo advances to play King Kekaulike on Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinals. Na Alii are seeded fourth in the tournament. First serve is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The match will be broadcast on ESPN Radio (AM 850 Hilo, AM 790 Kona) and streamed at ESPNHawaii.com
Kahuku 23 18 20 – 0
Hilo 25 25 25 – 3
Kalaheo Fends Off Lahainaluna
In the first match of the day at Kamehameha-Hawai’i’s Koai’a Gym, OIA representative Kalaheo held off Lahainaluna in four sets to advance to a quarterfinal match against second-seeded Kamehameha-Hawai’i.
Set scores were 25-16, 25-21, 24-26, and 27-25.
Nai’a Singlehurst crushed 25 kills and hit .362 for the match. Kainoa Peterson added 14 kills.
Lahainaluna led 19-15 in set number two, but a combination of six errors in service and attack allowed Kalaheo to come from behind and take the second set. The Lunas also held a slim lead in the fourth set and fended off a match point, but Peterson’s kill closed the match and kept the Lunas from advancing.
Tomas Drebelbis tallied a team high of 12 kills, four aces, and 14 digs for the Lunas, who will face Kahuku Saturday at Noon in a consolation match. Makoa Filikitonga, an all-state quarterback at Lahainaluna, added 11 kills and 10 digs.
Kalaheo’s quarterfinal match will start at 3:30 p.m. It will also be broadcast on ESPN Radio and streamed at ESPNHawaii.com
Kalaheo 25 25 24 27 – 3
Lahainaluna 16 21 26 25 – 1
2015 New City Nissan/HHSAA Division I Boys Volleyball Championships
Kalaheo 3, Lahainaluna 1 (25-16, 25-21, 24-26, 27-25)
Hilo 3, Kahuku 0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-20)
Waianae 3, Mililani 2 (22-25, 25-22, 28-30, 25-19, 15-11)
Kamehameha-Kapalama 3, Waipahu 0 (25-11, 25-14, 25-19)
at Koai’a Gym
Lahainaluna vs. Kahuku – 12 p.m.
Hilo vs. #4 King Kekaulike – 1:30 p.m.
Kalaheo vs. #2 Kamehameha-Hawai’i – 3:30 p.m.
at Moanalua High School
Mililani vs. Waipahu – 3:30 p.m.
Waianae vs. #1 Punahou – 5 p.m.
Kamehameha-Kapalama vs. #3 Moanalua – 7 p.m.