HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL
Kamehameha shakes off rust to sweep Roosevelt
HILO » The rust showed, but even after nine days of inactivity, top-seeded Kamehameha was still too imposing for Roosevelt in a 25-22, 25-20 Division I sweep last night at the 39th annual New City Nissan Girls Volleyball State Championships.
Division I Schedule
At Hilo Civic Auditorium
Match 5: Waiakea def. Baldwin 25-22, 25-14
6: Iolani def. Kamehameha-Maui 25-17, 25-15
7: Kamehameha def. Roosevelt 25-22, 25-20
8: Punahou def. Moanalua 27-25, 25-19
9: Kahuku def. Kamehameha-Hawaii 25-17, 25-16
10: Kalani vs. Mililani, 1:30 p.m.
11: Roosevelt vs. Kamehameha-Hawaii, 3 p.m.
12: Moanalua vs. Kamehameha-Maui, 4:30 p.m.
13: Kamehameha vs. Kahuku, 6 p.m.
14: Punahou vs. Iolani, 7:30 p.m.
Consolation championship: Waiakea vs. W-10, 3 p.m.
Fifth place: W-11 vs. W-12, 4:30 p.m.
Third place: L-13 vs. L-14, 6 p.m.
Championship: W-13 vs. W-14, 7:30 p.m.
A polite audience of about 1,200 at Afook-Chinen Hilo Civic Auditorium saw the Warriors play outstanding defense to stifle the upset-minded Rough Riders. Kamehameha will face Kahuku in a semifinal tonight at 6.
"Roosevelt's a veteran team and they played well. Great defense," Kamehameha coach Chris Blake said. "Our girls have a lot of maturity, and that's got us through. They look out for one another."
The Warriors (20-1) hadn't played since the Interscholastic League of Honolulu title match on Oct. 23. They hit .176 against the resilient Rough Riders and overcame seven service errors. Kanani Herring led two-time defending state champion Kamehameha (20-1) with seven kills, and Alex Akana added six. Herring, bound for UH next season, had a team-high 10 digs.
Emily Maeda paced Roosevelt (13-4) with five kills (.364). As a team, the Rough Riders struggled against Kamehameha's big block and hit just .077, but amassed 32 digs against the power-hitting Warriors, including 10 by Tami Taga and seven apiece by Meleana Yamashiro and Maeda.
"You have to kick butt to be a giant killer. We made some mistakes, but we kept swinging. We just couldn't carry over the energy from the first game," coach Brian Camello said. "Kamehameha's loaded and we're blue-collar kids."
Roosevelt hung tough with Kamehameha, which is ranked No. 5 in the PrepVolleyball.com national rankings. The Rough Riders rallied from four- and three-point deficits; they were within 13-12 after a kill by Leinaala Batalona. However, Bekah Torres went back to serve, sparking the Warriors to a 5-1 run. Jordan Meredith and Herring came up with consecutive digs and Herring finished off the long rally with a kill to push Kamehameha's lead to 18-13.
Roosevelt pulled within 24-22 with the help of Kamehameha hitting errors, but got no closer.
Kamehameha dominated much of the second game as Blake began to play reserves at 13-3. Roosevelt trailed 20-8, but began a rally of eight consecutive points, including three kills by Maeda.
Blake left his starters on the bench with the exception of Tati Santiago, and his reserves staved off Roosevelt's comeback.
Blake noted that the late-afternoon glare peeking into the arena gave both teams trouble in the passing game.
"We were a little rusty, but the sun was brutal," he said.
Iolani 2, Kamehameha-Maui 0
In the first quarterfinal of the day, Leinani Keanini came alive to help the Raiders break open a close first game en route to a 25-17, 25-15 sweep of the Maui Interscholastic League champion.
Keanini finished with eight kills (.375) and added seven digs for Iolani, the runner-up from the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.
Mahina Haina and Chelsea Hardin gave Iolani (18-2) five kills each from the middle, and Malie Yoon tallied 16 assists.
"It wasn't them," Yoon said of Keanini and Kamehameha-Maui's defense. "It took time for her to get into her groove."
Dreanne Shaw sparked KS-Maui (10-3) with eight kills.
The Warriors were right there with Iolani and led 14-13 after a kill by Shaw, but Hardin tied it with a kill, and then Keanini pounded her first kill. The senior then caught fire and slammed the next five kills in a row for the Raiders in the midst of a 9-1 run.
Service errors derailed KS-Maui, which had nine in the match, including five in Game 2. The set was tied at 13 before Iolani scored six points in a row. Consecutive aces by Aubrey Tatum kept the run alive.
KS-Maui entered the tourney as the No. 3 seed. Iolani was unseeded, but ranked No. 2 in the Star-Bulletin Top 10.
Punahou 2, Moanalua 0
One team was loose and precise, while the other was tight and error-prone. In an hour, Moanalua's state-title dreams dissipated, clenched by the iron first of Punahou's air-tight defense in the Buffanblu's 27-25, 25-19 win.
The Buffanblu, third-place finishers in the ILH, got eight kills from Anuhea Keanini to advance. Punahou (17-3) came up with 29 digs and limited the OIA champions to .082 hitting. Moanalua (10-5) came in as the No. 2 seed overall.
However, in the state rankings, Punahou was ranked third and Moanalua fourth. That set the stage for a tight matchup that was more one-sided than expected.
Kaleinani Kabalis, in a return to her hometown, led Moanalua with 15 kills, but hit just .105.
"I don't know if we ever dug her," Punahou coach Jim Iams said. "But we put up a solid block, and everything starts with that. We need to play good defense to get going."
Punahou middles Lani Fonua and Juliana Behrens made a major difference against the smaller Menehune. Fonua had six kills (.600) and Behrens had four (.375). Diana Hiromoto added four kills and seven digs, and Sydney Yogi anchored the back row with seven digs. Pihana Kea tallied 22 assists and six digs.
Sarah Robinson added five kills for Moanalua.
Kabalis had seven kills and a block in the opening game, but she and her teammates had a multitude of unforced errors. Kabalis, normally, an outstanding server, had two service errors, including one with the game tied at 25. Her swing from the back row was long on the next point, and Punahou took the opener.
In Game 2, the Buffanblu broke open a tight contest with a 5-0 run to seize a 14-7 lead. Moanalua got no closer than four the rest of the way.
Kahuku 2, Kamehameha-Hawaii 0
Leilani Tafuna led the OIA runners-up with 10 kills and added nine digs, and Taeja Afalava tallied nine kills (.533) as the Lady Raiders overpowered the Big Island champions 25-17, 25-16. Kahuku (14-3) will meet Kamehameha in semifinal play today at 6 p.m.
Wikolia Enos led Kamehameha-Hawaii (12-2) with eight kills and added seven digs. Kuulei Kabalis had a team-high eight digs. The Warriors hit .127 as a team.
After six lead changes, the Lady Raiders seized control for good thanks to Warrior mistakes. A service error, a lift and a passing error helped Kahuku start an 8-0 run. Tafuna pounded four kills as Kahuku closed out the game on a 10-1 run.
Game 2 was a carbon copy of the first set. A series of KS-Hawaii miscues sparked a 7-0 Kahuku run. Shanlie Kaulula'au's ace gave the Lady Raiders a 13-5 lead and they never looked back.
Coach Uila Fotu-Vendiola made sure her team's focus was sharp.
"Our preparation started as soon as they got up this morning. I'm sure some of them wanted to sleep in, but we had some things planned, some study time, went to the mall. We kept them busy," she said.
The fixed schedule was a must, the coach said, because they came out flat in the opening round against Baldwin.
"If we'd had a bye yesterday, it would've been different," she said.
Nile Te'o sparked Kahuku's defense with 10 digs.