FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kapolei's Tehani Kaaihu hit into the block of Mililani's Candace Soares and Megan Hruby during last night's match.
Mililani sweeps past Kapolei
After last season, Dexter Young wondered what the future held for his team at Mililani.
Today, his Lady Trojans are 3-0 atop the Red West of the Oahu Interscholastic Association, ranked eighth in the state, and have weapons galore. Two of those weapons, outside hitters Allie Elliazar and Candace Soares, were a left-right combo that derailed Kapolei in a 25-21, 25-18 sweep last night.
A jovial crowd of about 250 at Mililani saw Elliazar pound seven kills. The transfer from St. Andrew's also drilled four service aces, mostly off jump serves. Soares, a transfer from Hawaiian Mission Academy, had four kills, and 5-foot-11 middle blocker Olivia Freitas slammed four kills, as well.
Junior Mariah Choo has emerged as a steady setter. The junior had 15 assists and four aces.
Choo and Elliazar played together in the past year with Na Opio volleyball club, and the chemistry was in effect last night.
"This year, she brought her game," Elliazar said.
Marie Nataniela, a hard-hitting junior, blasted 10 kills for Kapolei (0-2). She also had two of her team's four aces.
Mililani amassed 10 aces in all, but started out a bit wobbly. The visiting Hurricanes took a 7-3 lead in the first set, fell behind 13-9, then rallied. The Lady Trojans were ahead 14-12 when Choo served out and promptly was given a seat on the bench for just a moment.
"I know I can do it. (Young) points it out and I can take it," Choo said.
Kapolei battled and took a 17-16 lead on an ace from Nataniela. Down 18-16, Mililani got two aces from Christen Schirmer and pulled ahead. After the 'Canes tied it at 20 on a kill by Tehani Kaaihue, Mililani closed out the set with a 5-1 run. Three errors by Kapolei helped.
Choo dominated the second set with her serving. She had all four of her aces as Mililani scored seven points in a row for a 7-1 lead.
"That was refocusing on her part," Young said of Choo, who once served 25 consecutive points in a JV match.
Nataniela rallied her team back to within 9-7, but Kapolei got no closer.
Elliazar found her groove off perfect sets from Choo as Mililani zoomed to a 22-11 lead en route to victory.