HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL
Kalaheo boys earn tough sweep of Kahuku
What started as an all-out battle turned into a rout as No. 6 Kalaheo defeated No. 9 Kahuku 27-25, 25-16 last night at McKinley High School gym.
Outside hitter Mana Guerreiro led the Mustangs with a match-high 10 kills to help the Kalaheo boys stay on top of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red East division with a 9-1 record. The Red Raiders fell to 8-2.
In what was the first meeting between the two teams this season, Guerreiro said his team was pumped for the match, which would give the winner some momentum heading into the last few matchups of the regular season.
"We were fired up because we knew Kahuku was going to be on it," said Guerreiro, who's excitement during the match left him with a scratchy voice. "We knew that the only way we would win would be to try real hard."
The two teams traded blows in the first game, with neither team getting more than a one-point lead. That was until 11-9, when Kahuku's Charles Bell put down a kill without an approach from the back row. The 6-foot-2 senior slammed a team-high nine kills in the match.
"He was up for both games, but the team just couldn't surround him and draw off of him," Kahuku coach Howard Kaululaau said.
B.J. Yeager added seven kills for the Red Raiders, while Elias David had six for the Mustangs.
The Red Raiders continued to control the game, but lost the lead at 24-23, when Bell hit a ball long. However, the Red Raiders continued to go to Bell, who helped Kahuku fight off two game points with kills from both sides.
But Kahuku was called for a net violation after two Red Raiders tried to attack an over-passed ball, giving the Mustangs a third game point. And even though the Mustangs had committed six service errors, David sealed Game 1 with a service ace.
"One of the keys to the game was to serve tough," Kalaheo coach Sivan Leoni said. "I think either they were too nervous to give a tough serve, or they tried to give a tough serve and it just never went in."
The Mustangs recorded 13 service errors and four aces compared to Kahuku's two errors and no aces.
"I don't think we've ever served that bad in our careers," Guerreiro added.
While inconsistent serving may have played a factor in the first game, it had no effect in the second as uncharacteristically sloppy play by Kahuku allowed Kalaheo to jump ahead 8-1.
"The first game, we gave it away," Kaululaau said. "Just in the basics, they faltered. Then in the second game, it was an attitude problem."
The Red Raiders did not register a kill until past the midway point of the game at 17-9. Up until then, most of their points had been from Kalaheo errors, including four service errors.
"When they play good, they're really good," Leoni said of Kahuku. "But then when they're down, they lose a lot of points and it's hard to get back."
The Mustangs stayed in control for the remainder of the match, which ended with a kill by Guerreiro that went off the Kahuku block and out of bounds.
Guerreiro, a 5-foot-10 senior, added a block assist and committed just one hitting error in the match. Leoni said that it's Guerreiro's versatility that makes him so important to the team.
"Mana's been tremendous for us all year long," Leoni said. "We've moved him around a few times, and he's also our back-up setter. He can do every position on the court and do it well."
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kalani's Kim Cabuyadao tried to put a kill past Kahuku's Ane Vea and Lily Masina Latu last night.
No. 4 Kahuku def. Kalani 25-18, 25-16
The Red Raiders came from down three points in the early portions of the match to take Game 1 by going on a 13-6 run after the teams were tied at 12-12.
Senior Camilla Ah-Hoy was nearly unstoppable, slamming down kills from all over the court. She was the go-to player when the Red Raiders needed a kill as she closed out Game 1 with a tip from the middle.
In the second game, Ah-Hoy continued her streak, pounding six kills, and teamed with middle Lily Masina Latu on back-to-back blocks midway through the game.