HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL
Roosevelt keeps alive hopes for No. 1 seed
Kahuku drew first blood against Roosevelt this season, and the Rough Riders remembered.
The fifth-ranked Riders needed a win last night to stay in the hunt for a first-place finish in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red East division, and dealt a decisive loss to No. 4 and previously unbeaten Kahuku, 25-23, 25-17 in the Red Raiders' gym.
Roosevelt (9-2) needs to win its last game against Kaiser on Thursday, and needs help from Moanalua and Kailua to knock off Kahuku (9-1) to have a shot at the top seed in the OIA playoffs.
"Destiny is not in our hands. We need some help," Roosevelt coach Bryan Camello said. "But I told them it's an opportunity for us to come out and possibly host a first-round game."
Meleana Yamashiro had a match-high eight kills, including the final two to put the match away, and Emily Maeda added seven to lead the Rough Riders.
Another efficient offensive outing from setter Darcie Anderson (15 assists) put Roosevelt in a position to avenge the midseason loss. Roosevelt also had four blocks to none for Kahuku.
"That was part of our motivation," Maeda said. "I think most of it was that we lost the first time, and one of our goals that we set was to beat them at their home gym."
Maeda said she noticed the team was far more consistent in all phases, and that they'd grown since losing that tight match in three games.
Deadly serves helped Kahuku pull away last time, but Roosevelt out-aced the Raiders 5-2 last night. Maeda and Yamashiro had two apiece.
Kahuku coach Uila Vendiola felt the Raiders' offense was stagnant early, so she subbed in Tajana Santiago to run the offense late in Game 1 and place a greater emphasis on getting middle blocker Tialei Wesley the ball. It almost worked; Santiago fed Wesley three times for kills and Nile Te'o two more to knot things at 23. But a Yamashiro crosscourt slam and an attack error by Kahuku left a 9-4 run just short.
After things were tied at 7 in Game 2, Roosevelt attacked from all angles and went on an 11-6 run en route to the win.
Afterward, Vendiola consoled her team, telling the Red Raiders that they were still in control. If they win their final two games, the Red East is theirs.
"Absolutely," she said. "We're focusing on one game at a time. We just need to be getting better at this point, (but) our performance tonight just did not show the team what we're capable of. We learned from our mistake tonight. We have two more games to look forward to, then the postseason."
Te'o finished with six kills, while Leilani Tafuna added five and Alayna Galeai four to lead Kahuku.