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Kahuku hangs on to take Red title


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POSTED: Friday, October 23, 2009

Maria Tonga pounded 19 kills and her cousin, Amanda, added 10, as Kahuku downed Moanalua 27-25, 25-20, 26-28, 25-18 to capture the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference girls volleyball title last night.

A crowd of about 1,200 endured a sweltering night at McKinley Student Council Gym to see third-ranked Kahuku (15-1) complete an unbeaten run through the postseason tournament. Kahuku will have a first-round bye at the HHSAA state tournament, which tips off Wednesday.

Moanalua (15-3) had already secured a state berth, but needed a win last night to force a winner-take-all match. That wasn't to be with the Tonga cousins pounding relentlessly from all angles. Setters Teuila Nautu (33 assists) and Elizabeth Blake (11 kills, 17 assists) were virtually flawless all night. Ho'onani Apo added nine kills and middle Natallia Cravens had eight for Kahuku, which hit .375 and had just 11 hitting errors in 136 swings.

Gabby Matautia led Moanalua with 21 kills and sophomore Erin Perez tallied 15. Carsen Mata finished with 12 kills and 28 assists, while Courtney Uyeda added 20 assists. Na Menehune got a big boost from freshman middle Analise Austin, who had five blocks, mostly on Amanda Tonga at the middle.

The teams split their two matches during regular-season play.