GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Jacey Tagavilla of Roosevelt rejected a kill by Sarah Robinson of Moanalua last night. The No. 5 Rough Riders defeated the No. 8 Menehune.
Roosevelt takes care of Moanalua again
Roosevelt still has the answers Moanalua is desperately searching for.
In a rematch between the No. 5 Rough Riders and No. 8 Na Menehune, Roosevelt decisively swatted away the morale boost Moanalua received from this week's return of its senior star, Kaleinani Kabalis, and swept the season series with a 25-21, 25-15 decision last night in its own gym.
The red and yellow Rough Riders (7-1 Oahu Interscholastic Association Red East) dominated the same phases they used to win last week -- a 7-1 advantage on service aces and a superior passing game. Moanalua committed 19 attack errors to Roosevelt's nine.
Meleana Yamashiro led the way with seven kills and two aces, while Emily Maeda had four kills and two blocks. Setter Darcie Anderson orchestrated the solid attack with 15 assists.
But it was when Moanalua became unable to deliver the ball to the multitalented Kabalis in Game 2 that the Rough Riders tightened their grasp.
"We didn't know what (Kabalis) was going to do today," Roosevelt coach Bryan Camello said. "We saw her warm up, we didn't know what Coach Tommy (Lake) had going for her. We know she can do multiple things, it's a matter of us making it more difficult for her. That was our goal, and we luckily were able to do that."
With or without Kabalis, the result was the same: a two-game victory by the Rough Riders. The 5-foot-8 hitter missed three games for academic reasons before returning Tuesday.
Moanalua (4-4) dropped its fourth straight match after opening league play with four consecutive wins, while Roosevelt has rallied to win three straight since losing to first-place Kahuku.
Kabalis wasted no time putting her vicious athleticism on display, slamming home the match's first point and grinning wickedly. Two more Kabalis points came at virtually impossible angles, eliciting gasps from the Roosevelt crowd and cheers from the Moanalua faithful.
The smile lasted most of the first game, as she tallied five of her eight kills. But it disappeared for good when the last of Rough Rider freshman Hayley Luke's three aces in Game 1 smacked off the tape, crawled over and fell on the Moanalua side, completing a 4-1 run to clinch the first game.
They now had the hitter, but with no go-to setter -- Na Menehune used four different distributors, including Kabalis, over the course of the match -- Moanalua couldn't develop consistency getting its leader the ball.
"One of our better setters is Carsen (Mata), but she's one of our higher percentage hitters, so we're trying to get her in the offense," Lake said.
Kabalis was held to three kills in Game 2.
As a consequence, Na Mehehune sputtered, allowing Roosevelt to pull away with a 10-4 run and post a 20-11 advantage behind six of Yamashiro's kills.