HHSAA BOYS VOLLEYBALL
Kalehuawehe-Valentine, KS-Maui stop McKinley
Mr. Valentine broke some hearts last night.
Kamuela Kalehuawehe-Valentine pounded 10 kills, had six roofs, four assists and an ace to rally Kamehameha-Maui past McKinley 22-25, 25-20, 25-22 in the Division I first round of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Boys Volleyball State Championships.
The Warriors (5-5), runner-up from the Maui Interscholastic League, will battle Oahu Interscholastic Association champion Roosevelt tonight. Match time is 7:30 p.m.
Kamehameha-Maui overcame some nerves in the opening game, but settled down in time to control the net against the smaller Tigers. Ryan Mountcastle tallied seven kills, two roofs and two aces for the Warriors. In all, they amassed a 12-3 edge in blocks.
Kalehuawehe-Valentine had five kills, two roofs and an ace in the deciding set.
"I said to my team, 'Give me the ball,' " he said.
Jefferson Pou, a 5-foot-9 senior, led McKinley (8-9) with 11 kills and one roof. Senior Oliver Diguc added 10 kills, a roof and two aces. The Tigers will play Pearl City today, 4:30 p.m., at McKinley.
For KS-Maui, this is their second trip to the state tourney in three years.
"We had some great blocks tonight. Our footwork was key," coach Robert Brede said. "Kamuela, that boy has a lot of talent. If you put him in only one position, you limit him."
The former outside hitter is, technically, a middle blocker, but his variety of skills make him a valuable part of the Warrior attack.
Brede and Kalehuawehe-Valentine also credited the bench.
"The focus is on them. If our bench is in the game, we stay in the game," Brede said.
"The bench is constantly cheering. They picked us up," Kalehuawehe-Valentine said.
After committing seven hitting errors to go with six kills in Game 1, Brede was clear and direct with his team.
"It was pretty much the jitters. I told them to put their hearts into it. You put your heart into it, you won't be nervous," he said.
KS-Maui also made adjustments to handle McKinley's long floater serves, Brede added.
The Warriors led 22-20 in Game 1 before committing three errors to allow five consecutive points by McKinley.
"Coach said, it was just three points, so cut down on the mistakes," Kalehuawehe-Valentine said.
McKinley miscues helped turn KS-Maui's three-point margin into a 22-14 lead in Game 2.
After finishing off that set, the Warriors went flat for a spell as McKinley zoomed to a 6-2 lead in Game 3. Diguc, a 6-footer, pounded three kills to spark the Tiger run. The Warriors regrouped and took control. Erwin DeCoite's kill gave KS-Maui a 21-18 lead, but McKinley tied it at 21-all after Diguc had a kill and a roof to spark a mini-run.
KS-Maui's heartbreaker, though, took command. Kalehuawehe-Valentine delivered two kills and a roof, and a McKinley serving error ended the match.
Kamehameha 2, Pearl City 0
Jordan Inafuku drilled four aces and Clifton Asuncion led the Warriors with five kills in a 25-14, 25-9 sweep of the Chargers.
Kamehameha will face its sister school, Kamehameha-Hawaii, in today's quarterfinal round at McKinley Student Council Gymnasium. Match time is 6 p.m.
Inafuku added four kills for Kamehameha (16-3), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu runner-up.
Coach Guy Kaniho couldn't single out any of his players for a hot performance.
"All of our guys played well," the first-year head coach said. "We lost to Kamehameha-Big Island in August, so we're looking forward to the match. They're well-coached, well-disciplined. We're not the same team now, and neither are they."
Pearl City (12-4) will meet McKinley at 4:30 p.m. today in a consolation match. Jonathan Fukui led the Chargers with four kills.
"Our fundamentals broke down, and theirs kept them in the whole game," Pearl City coach Dayne Teves said of the two teams. "For some odd reason, on TV, we're a whole different team than we are at practice."
Matches at McKinley will be televised live by OC 16 tonight. The station will also broadcast the semifinal at Punahou tomorrow and the Division I and II championship matches from the Stan Sheriff Center on Thursday. ... Starcomm Sports Radio will air the Division I semifinal match at McKinley tomorrow on 1180-AM. Starcomm will also air the D-I championship match on Thursday.