Kahuku tops Moanalua
POSTED: Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The Kahuku Red Raiders are in La-La Land.
Lavinia "Lala" Latu came up with her finest clutch effort of the season to lift Kahuku over Moanalua 25-23, 25-18, 12-25, 25-19, 15-12 last night in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red playoffs.
Kahuku (15-0) is the lone unbeaten team in the double-elimination tourney and sitting in the driver's seat—one win away from the crown.
Moanalua (11-4) faces Farrington (11-6) in an elimination match tonight at the Governors gym. The winner faces Kahuku, again at McKinley Student Council Gym, tomorrow. If the Farrington-Moanalua winner manages to beat Kahuku, a single game to 25 immediately follows the match to determine the OIA Red championship.
For now, the road-weary Red Raiders can rest for a day thanks in part to Latu, a left-hander who delivered four of her team's seven aces. Nile Te'o added 10 kills and two aces, and Taofi Sanft, Elizabeth Blake and Tialei Wesley added six kills each.
Blake had a match-high 41 assists. Amanda Tonga tallied four kills and five of Kahuku's 10 blocks.
Moanalua, which pushed Kahuku to five sets in their previous regular-season match on the North Shore, was led by Lahela Kaili-Laroya, who had 17 kills after a slow start. Carsen Mata amassed 12 kills, 28 assists and a match-high six aces with a lethal jump serve. Kaylee Ponce (nine kills) and Courtney Calicdan (eight) also contributed to a substantial effort by Na Menehune.
Latricia Taifane had four of Moanalua's six blocks.
Moanalua had a 4-1 lead in the final set when the Red Raiders called timeout.
"I just told them to play your game and get the ball back," Kahuku coach Uila Fotu Vendiola said. "Maybe they were thinking too much, trying to do too much."
Kahuku followed suit with a 6-0 run to take the lead, but four more lead changes followed. The Red Raiders took a 13-12 lead on a Moanalua hitting error, and a kill by Te'o off a block made it a two-point lead. Latu then put the match away with her final kill.
"Our girls get a little too anxious. Sometimes they want to win too quickly," Moanalua coach Tommy Lake said. "There were some questionable calls, but we had our chances. We just didn't take advantage."
Now Na Menehune, whose match ended at 10:40 p.m., will have to face Farrington, which swept Moanalua recently.
"We should be all right," Lake said. "We've been subbing in a lot of girls."
Farrington 3, Mililani 2
Fraustina Sagapolu had eight kills and two aces off the bench to spark the Governors to a 15-25, 25-27, 25-14, 25-23, 15-9 win over 10th-ranked Mililani in the early match.