Kahuku keeps busy winning matches


POSTED: Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Another trip, another step forward.

The Kahuku Red Raiders have been on the road as often as a tour bus from Waikiki to the Polynesian Cultural Center, but they don't mind at all.

The fourth-ranked Red Raiders swept Kalani 25-11, 25-22 last night before an enthused crowd at Kalani High's Earl C. Holmer Gymnasium. Amanda Tonga led the way with eight kills and two blocks, and Elizabeth Blake added four kills, three aces and 10 assists.




        Kamehameha 3-0
        Punahou 3-0
        Maryknoll 2-0
        'Iolani 2-0
        Sacred Hearts 2-0
        Mid-Pacific 2-1

        Hawaii Baptist 3-0
        Christian Academy 1-1
        Le Jardin 1-1
        Word of Life 1-1
        Hanalani 1-2
        Island Pacific 1-2
        La Pietra 1-2
        University 0-2
        Hawaiian Mission 0-2
        Lanakila Baptist 0-3
        St. Andrew's 0-3
        St. Francis 0-3


        Moanalua 4-0
        Farrington 3-1
        Kahuku 3-1
        Kalaheo 1-1
        Roosevelt 1-2
        McKinley 0-3
        Kalani 0-4


        Aiea 4-0
        Mililani 3-0
        Pearl City 4-1
        Waianae 3-1
        Radford 1-4
        Leilehua 0-4
        Campbell 0-5


        Castle 3-0
        Waipahu 2-0
        Kaiser 2-0
        Kailua 1-1
        Kapolei 1-1
        Kaimuki 1-2
        Nanakuli 1-2
        Waialua 0-2
        Anuenue 0-3


Kahuku improved to 3-1, winning its third straight since a league-opening loss at Moanalua. Since then, the Red Raiders traveled nearly every day to 'Iolani for the Ann Kang Invitational, won a pair of league home matches, and then played at Kamehameha's Hawaii Invitational over the weekend.

“;We've had great opportunities to get more competition the last two weeks. We're where we need to be at this point in the season,”; Kahuku coach Uila Fotu Vendiola said. “;Kalani definitely had a lot of heart there at the end. They played with a lot of energy. They're very scrappy.”;

Chelsie Vea led Kalani (0-4) with four kills.

“;That last 10 to 15 points was a great effort,”; Falcons coach Kane Respicio said. “;We could've used that earlier. It takes a little longer for our girls to get going. Hopefully, we'll play all our matches the way we finished.”;

The visitors were effective in the opening set, using six aces - two each by Michaela Afoa, Tara Domingo and Blake - to win handily. Tonga, a 6-foot-1 middle, was especially tough on quick sets from Blake off free balls.

Kahuku began rotating reserves into the match late in the first set, but had no trouble rolling on. An ace by Blake gave the Red Raiders a 6-2 lead in the second set, but Kalani got an ace from Reina Fujiwara and benefited from a series of errors by Kahuku to pull within 7-6.

Kalani was within 14-11 after a kill by Keaton Oshiro, but Kahuku went on a 7-2 run with three decisive kills by Tonga over the middle.

Down 21-13, the Falcons chipped away with kills by Vea and Puamana Danielson. Vea added a kill and Chelsea Suzumoto had her only kill from the right side to keep the rally alive. After Tonga hit the ball long on a lengthy rally that featured multiple digs by both teams, Kalani was within 23-20.

An ace by Danielson plus a hitting error by Kahuku brought Kalani within 23-22. However, the ensuing serve by Danielson went long, and Ho'onani Apo's ace closed out the win for the Red Raiders.

“;We were kind of awkward at first, but once we got going, the connection got stronger,”; Blake said. “;We got different lineups and got everybody reps.”;