Kamehameha advances


POSTED: Thursday, October 29, 2009

For nearly one full set, Aiea had Goliath on the ropes.

That giant, four-time defending state champion Kamehameha, withstood every blow and roared back for a 25-23, 25-18, 25-21 win last night in the Division I opening round of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Girls Volleyball State Championships.

Kamehameha (17-3), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu runner-up, will meet third-seeded Waiakea at Radford's James Alegre Gym, tonight at 7.

“;We'll take it. It's good enough to move on,”; Kamehameha coach Chris Blake said, noting that only two of his current players have state-tourney experience. “;Our kids came out tight, but when it mattered, we made a nice run. Aiea came out on fire and pushed us to the limit. If we cut down on our mental errors, we'll be ready for Waiakea.”;

Talia Jardin-Fermentez led the Warriors with 11 kills and three blocks. Nicole Sniffen, another junior, had a team-high four blocks to go with seven kills, while sophomore Kelci Renshaw dished 27 assists.

“;Definitely, we were kind of nervous, a little bit shaky,”; Jardin-Fermentez said. “;Our starting six and our girls on the bench said, 'just breathe. Relax.' “;

Kelly Leopoldo led Aiea (14-3) with seven kills and eight assists. Danielle Grace (six kills), Melelatu Samisoni (five kills, four blocks), Tiara Fetui (five kills) and Taylor-Marie Fetui (four kills) also contributed.

A crowd of about 800 watched the Warriors struggle against a charged-up Na Alii squad. Aiea, the fourth-place finisher in the Oahu Interscholastic Association, had gone unbeaten in the Red West regular season and drew a tougher foe in Kamehameha (ranked No. 2 in the Star-Bulletin Top 10) than the league's fifth-place team did.

Regardless, Na Alii zoomed to a 15-9 lead in the opening set, but faltered as Kamehameha's attack warmed up. Jardin-Fermentez was unstoppable in the middle, pounding five kills as the Warriors rallied. Sniffen became a factor, too, with three first-game blocks, including consecutive roofs that gave Kamehameha a 22-21 lead.

Aiea tied it at 23-all on a Kamehameha error, but Jardin-Fermentez ended it with a kill and a block.

“;We were tight on our passing,”; Blake noted.

The Warriors asserted control in the second set. Renshaw delivered with precision and the Warriors had five blocks. They led 10-2 and won going away, committing just three hitting errors.

Kamehameha opened an 18-10 lead in the third game, but Aiea kept it interesting by pulling within 19-15 on Ashlei Liilii's block. The Warriors got kills from Cara Rosehill and Misty Ma'a to take a 24-18 lead, but Aiea rallied with three points in a row, including an ace by Kerstyn Randall and a block by Samisoni.

A serving error by Randall, however, ended the match.

“;It was a tough draw,”; Aiea coach Blythe Yamamoto said. “;When you look at them across the net, 5-10, 6 feet, 6 feet, you have no margin for error, but I wouldn't trade any of my kids. They all battled and I'm really happy with how our girls played.”;

Mililani 3, Baldwin 0

No starting setter, no problem.

Shyanne Cossey drilled 15 kills (.407) and Pomai Grube-Hose added nine as the Trojans (10-3) advanced to the quarterfinal round. Mililani was solid even with starting setter Kelsie Cornelio sidelined by an illness. Jenna Wakatake (17 assists) and Kaila Kikugawa (16 assists) filled in, and Kylee Cornelio led a tough back row with 12 digs. Kikugawa added 10 digs.

“;You just pray for the best,”; Mililani coach Val Crabbe said of her starting setter. “;I'm hoping a lot of water and sleep will help her get well.”;

Mililani, the fifth-place team from the Oahu Interscholastic Association, had nine aces with just four service errors. Baldwin had five aces with 12 service errors and hit .160 for the match.

Tupusa Satele led Maui Interscholastic League runner-up Baldwin (9-4) with 22 kills (.250, 52 swings).





        Division I

        » Moanalua def. Kamehameha-Hawaii 22-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-21

        » Farrington def. Roosevelt 25-22, 25-12, 23-25, 25-15

        » Kamehameha def. Aiea 25-23, 25-18, 25-21

        » Mililani def. Baldwin 25-15, 25-20, 25-17

Division II
        » Kailua def. Waimea 25-21, 19-25, 21-25, 25-18, 16-14
        » University def. Honoka'a 25-14, 25-19, 25-16
        » Word of Life def. Hawaii Prep 27-25, 25-17, 25-13
        » Castle def. Seabury Hall 25-23, 25-16, 25-14