Star-Bulletin Sports

Sunday, October 21, 2001


Kamehameha boys
move up to 14-0

By Grace Wen

Behind the hitting of Isaac Kneubuhl and the blocking of Willy Melemai, the Kamehameha boys varsity squad remained unbeaten in the second round of Interscholastic League of Honolulu play.

Kneubuhl pounded 23 kills, while Melemai put up a solid wall with 10 blocks as Kamehameha defeated St. Louis 15-7, 15-6, 15-13 last night.

Outside hitter Ricky Estrada added 14 kills and an ace in the all-around effort for Kamehameha.

The Warriors improved to 14-0 and have already clinched one of the ILH's two berths in the state tournament.

Kamehameha coach Pono Ma'a said it was a typical match for his team, which is a blend of juniors and seniors with a sophomore setter.

"We're working to improve," Ma'a said. "Our guys aren't worried about polls and rankings. What's driving this team is improvement."

The Warriors didn't look like they needed to improve as they easily took a 14-2 lead in Game 1. But St. Louis didn't go quietly as it fought back behind the play of Brandon Hanohano. Hanohano helped St. Louis score five more points with four kills and two blocks as the Crusaders capitalized on Warrior errors. But Kamehameha closed out the game on a setting error by the Crusaders.

St. Louis had leads of 6-3 and 9-7 in Game 3, but Kamehameha improved their ball control to go up 13-10. Three consecutive hitting errors by the Warriors knotted the score at 13. But kills by Melemai and Estrada ended the match.

"Kamehameha is so disciplined in their system," St. Louis coach Dexter Young said. "Their substitutes come in and fill the roles. Our trouble all year long is holding leads."

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