Aiea sweeps Pearl City


POSTED: Friday, August 28, 2009

Sometimes it takes seniors to see the bigger picture.

Down 14-6 in the second set, Aiea went on a 10-0 run to spark a comeback win and 25-22, 25-22 sweep of previously unbeaten Pearl City last night at the Chargers gym.

“;Pearl City has a lot of good hitters, great defense and a great coach. Our kids kept persevering and it's because of senior leadership,”; Aiea coach Blythe Yamamoto said. “;They don't get upset and they love each other. They keep fighting.”;






» Mililani def. Radford 25-14, 25-13


» Roosevelt def. Kalani 25-21, 25-16


» Kahuku def. Farrington 25-15, 23-25, 15-13


» Aiea def. Pearl City 25-22, 25-22




Setter Kelly Leopoldo had 13 assists and five kills, distributing the ball in a balanced attack.

“;She used to be an outside hitter and now she's a 5-1 setter,”; Yamamoto said. “;It's not easy to give up being a hitter, but the seniors decided to do whatever they had to do for the team.”;

Aiea improved to 3-0 in Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West play. Danielle Grace had a team-high eight kills for Aiea, which had five blocks to Pearl City's two.

Pearl City dropped to 3-1 after yet another heart-breaking loss to Na Alii. Tonisha Buford had seven kills and Nicole Boyer added six for Pearl City, which had more kills than Aiea (17-13). Tabytha Inong added five kills and Marie Fujii dished out 25 assists.

A year ago, Aiea won at Pearl City in four sets, then won the rematch in five sets. The margin of victory in each of those five sets was not more than two points.

This time, Pearl City seemed back on track by taking an eight-point lead in the second set as Keani Passi caught fire with three kills. Melelatu Samisoni, a senior middle blocker, helped Aiea with a block and a tip for a kill. Chargers mistakes helped the visitors, who took a 15-14 lead on a hitting error.

“;We talked and said we just gotta pick it up,”; Leopoldo said of her team's composure. “;We've been playing together for years as a team.”;

Pearl City rallied to take a 21-19 lead after a kill by Tonisha Buford. Aces by Ashlei Liilii and Samisoni tied it at 21, but a kill by Buford gave Pearl City a one-point edge.

Aiea then closed out the set with four points in a row. Kerstyn Randall's back set to Grace for a kill tied it at 22-all, and Liilii soared for a go-ahead kill as Aiea won going away.

In the opening set, Aiea raced to a 16-10 lead. The Chargers got within 17-14 on kills by Buford and Boyer. They were down 21-16 when they made a final push to get within 21-20, but Aiea pulled away with kills by Ayanna Lindborg and Grace.