[ HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL ]
Lady Raiders roll
Even with their top hitter silenced and an odd glitch in the official scoring, the Lady Raiders of Kahuku found a way to win.
Camilla Ah-Hoy drilled nine kills and Lily Latu added eight as Kahuku (12-1) advanced to the final of the Oahu Interscholastic Association girls volleyball playoffs with a 25-21, 25-18 win over previously unbeaten Aiea last night.
Kahuku plays Moanalua winner in the league title match Thursday at McKinley.
A near-capacity crowd at McKinley Student Council Gym saw the Lady Raiders dig deep to overcome the top seed from the West. Aiea, ranked No. 7 in the Star-Bulletin Top 10, dropped to 11-1. Na Alii already secured a state-tournament berth after a win in the quarterfinals.
Lelani Kleman-Maeva led Aiea with 13 kills, an assist and a block. Konae Purcell added eight kills and an ace.
Kahuku coach Mona Ah-Hoy called time out with her team down 6-1.
"I told them to take a deep breath, and start all over," she said.
Kahuku, ranked No. 4 in the Top 10, rallied from an 11-2 deficit as Aiea unraveled with errors.
The Lady Raiders cut the lead to 13-9 when Purcell posted another kill. The score, however, bumped to 16-9 instead of 14-9.
OC-16 statistician Alan Lau and reporters from two newspapers had the score at 14-9. There was no challenge from the Kahuku bench regarding the score.
Nevertheless, Kahuku continued to rally. Four mistakes by Aiea during an 8-1 run helped Kahuku tie the game at 20. Latu, taking advantage of the opening over the middle, put her team ahead 22-21 with back-to-back kills.
The Lady Raiders closed out Game 1 with an ace by Leeann Mapu and two more hitting errors by Na Alii.
Kleman-Maeva, who had six quick kills to start the match, struggled against Kahuku the rest of the way.
"We adjusted our blocks. We sent Ane (Vea) to her side and put (setter) Sachi (Mamizuka) on the outside," Ah-Hoy said.
Camilla Ah-Hoy, the coach's daughter, came alive in Game 2 with seven kills. Kahuku took a 3-2 lead on an Aiea hitting error and never surrendered its advantage. Kahuku committed just three errors in Game 2, and with Ah-Hoy, Latu and Mapu leading the way, took a 19-12 lead en route to victory.
Latu was so dominant one of her kills bounced all the way up to the top row of bleachers at midcourt.
"We were tense at the beginning. I don't know why. We had a good practice yesterday," Latu said. "But we've learned to come together."
The Lady Raiders make it a point to give each other a touch on the court when times get tough.
"It's like medicine," Latu said.
Moanalua def. Kalani 25-22, 20-25, 25-19
Danie Hout pounded 27 kills as the Menehunes (12-1) advanced to the championship match.
Tamari Miyashiro led Kalani (11-3) with 24 kills.
"This is fantastic. We were under a lot of pressure," Hout said of her team, which is ranked No. 3 in the Star-Bulletin Top 10. "Before the game, I thought it would be 50-50, could go either way."
Moanalua jumped to a 14-2 lead in Game 1, forcing Kalani to expend tremendous energy in a comeback. The Lady Falcons eventually won Game 2 behind Miyashiro.
Game 3, however, was dominated by Moanalua. The Menes led 20-11 before Kalani cut the margin to 23-19. Hout drilled a kill, and a hitting error ended the match.