Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, November 16, 2001


Kauai's Tiana Lum-Tucker puts a spike past Kalani's Nara
Fujita and Keri Hee (not pictured). Kauai swept Kalani
15-8, 15-3 to advance in the girls state volleyball tournament.

Kauai shows some gusto

By Tim Crouse

Kauai chalked up last year's state volleyball tournament as a learning experience.

But the Kauai Interscholastic Federation champions made themselves right at home in the opening round of this year's Nissan Girls State Volleyball Tournament by sweeping their pool play matches in impressive fashion.

A senior-laden Raiders team played near-flawless defense and used the sharp hitting of Tiana Lum-Tucker to beat Seabury Hall 15-10, 15-9 and Kalani 15-9, 15-2 at McKinley High School gym yesterday.

"(Last year) let us know we belong here, that we could do it," Lum-Tucker said.

Kauai, which played competitively but didn't get out of pool play a year ago, meets St. Joseph in the quarterfinals today at the Blaisdell Arena.

"Last year was huge for the coaches too. It was our first time there," Kauai coach Richard Roberts said. "It made a difference in our preparation for this year. The girls are definitely coming in more confident.

"They set their goals early in the preseason and this is where they wanted to be," he said. "They're a tough group of girls. They know each other, they trust each other."

Defending state champion Punahou didn't play their best, but had enough to beat St. Joseph and Kahuku in three games each to win its pool and advance to a meeting with a young Kalani squad.

The Buffanblu got past scrappy St. Joseph 15-6, 12-15, 15-8. It marked the first time since 1999 that Punahou lost a state tournament game.

HHSAA State Championship

At Kamehameha

Hilo def. Lanai, 15-4, 15-2
Pearl City def. HPA, 15-9, 16-14
Waianae def. Lanai, 11-15, 15-12, 15-5
Iolani def. Hawaii Prep, 15-9, 15-7
Hilo def. Waianae 15-6, 15-6
Iolani def. Pearl City 15-6, 15-10

At McKinley

Kauai def. Seabury Hall, 15-10, 15-9
St. Joseph def. Kahuku 15-13, 12-15, 15-13
Kauai def. Kalani, 15-9, 15-2
Punahou def. St. Joseph, 15-6, 12-15, 15-8
Kalani def. Seabury Hall, 15-13, 4-15, 15-5
Punahou def. Kahuku 15-5, 11-15, 15-9

The Buffanblu jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the third game and the closest the Cardinals could get was 12-8. Freshman Aneli Otineru had six of her match-high 19 kills and an ace in the game. Senior Michelle Look added 15 kills and three aces in the match.

Punahou fought off OIA champion Kahuku 15-5, 11-15, 15-9 in the last match of the day to bring a disappointing end to the Red Raiders' season.

Kalani -- which has five freshmen and sophomores and only three seniors -- survived in an elimination match with Seabury Hall 15-13, 4-15, 15-5. Freshman Tamari Miyashiro led the way for the Falcons, getting a kill and an ace to finish off the Spartans in the first game and contributing three more aces in the third game.

The Kauai squad has nine seniors who have been playing together for several years, including Lum-Tucker and setter Tiare Toulon.

"(Lum-Tucker) is one of the best passers in the state, from what I've been told," Roberts said. "Our (defensive specialists) were digging (everything) in the back and our middles were connecting well with our setters. The whole team clicked well together."

In the opening match against Seabury Hall, Kauai held an 8-7 lead before scoring four of the next five points to take control. The Raiders went on a seven-point run in the second game with Kehaulani Regidor at the service line to take an 8-2 lead. Seabury Hall rebounded to take a 9-8 lead on a Shauntei McFarlin ace, but couldn't score again.

Kauai put the match away with the help of an ace, block and kill from three different players.

Kauai sealed a place in the quarterfinals by routing OIA runner-up Kalani.

Lum-Tucker buried 21 kills and added two blocks in the two matches. The balanced offense also got support from Erin Garlie, who had nine kills and three blocks.

"We had good energy, it was fun out there," Lum-Tucker said.

Lauren Powley paced Seabury Hall in its contest against Kauai with six kills, four blocks and a pair of aces.

Behind a balanced offensive attack and strong serving, St. Joseph defeated Kahuku 15-13, 12-15, 15-13, before falling to Punahou in three games.

In the match against the Red Raiders, the Cardinals got 12 kills from sophomore Lindsey Lee, who is generously listed at 5-foot-6 in the media guide but didn't hesitate to go for shots in the middle.

"(Lee) is one of our younger players but she has a great vertical and she does do a lot of the blocking for us in the middle," St. Joseph coach Rachelle Hanohano said.

Jazmin Paakaula added two aces and 11 kills against Kahuku, with the final two kills coming on a sideout and match point. St. Joseph had five aces in the match.

Red Raiders star Michelle Peters struggled much of the match, but finished with 14 kills and two blocks.

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