[ HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS ]
Iolani shows off skills
in sweep of University
In the end, it came down to serve and pass as No. 2 Iolani remained undefeated with a 25-21, 25-13 win over University last night at the Raiders' home gym.
Lauren Minkel and Leilani Keanini led the Raiders with seven kills each, while Laurie Tau and Brennan Clark each had five kills for University.
"I know the papers have us ranked near the top, but it's a spot we feel we have to earn yet," Iolani assistant coach Lee Lamb said. "We have a pretty good staff of kids, but we've still got a lot of work to do."
Serving was an area that Iolani (3-0) had obviously worked on. The Raiders collected nine service aces in the match with four errors. Minkel led Iolani with four aces, two of them back-to-back, to give the Raiders a 10-5 lead in Game 1.
And while the Raiders served tough, the Jr. 'Bows had trouble passing. The result was University setter Justine Jeremiah having to chase down errant passes all over the court.
"Iolani always has a tough-serving team, and they took us out of our system," University coach Marci Miyasaki said. "Justine had to run down a lot of balls, so it made our outside hitters work a lot harder."
Iolani lengthened its early 11-7 lead with a 6-0 run in the middle of Game 1, capped by a solo block by middle Megan Burton. Burton contributed mostly on offense in the match, tallying six kills, four of them in the first game.
The Raiders took their largest lead at 22-12 when the Jr. 'Bows tried to rally. University went on an 8-2 run on three Jr. 'Bow aces. But University ran out of points as a service error gave Iolani the first game.
The Raiders jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second game and kept at least a three-point cushion for the rest of the match. Keanini helped the Raiders increase their lead to 10 as she picked up a kill and an ace and created an overpass that resulted in a Burton kill during a 5-0 run.
"We played OK. We didn't execute as well as we should have," Lamb said.
Despite her squad dropping to 0-3, Miyasaki said she was happy with her team's performance.
"I was really proud of our team," Miyasaki said. "We struggled in the past couple of games and practices, but we came out here today and they played really hard. We're really proud of them."
In the earlier match, No. 10 St. Francis made quick work of Lutheran to improve to 3-0. The Troubadours, led by senior Kawena Otineru, out-hit the Lions 25 kills to just four in the 25-14, 25-9 win.
Otineru slammed a match-high 12 kills, six in each game, and made three errors. The senior hit from all positions on the court, everything from a runner from the middle to a crosscourt shot from the left side.
But like the later match, the most telling statistic involved serving. The Troubadours collected nine aces in Game 1, 14 for the match, compared to one for Lutheran. But eight Troubadour service errors is something St. Francis coach Eric Perry said is a point of emphasis.
"They do need to work on their serving, believe it or not," Perry said.
Samantha Lau left Lutheran diggers puzzled, posting five of her six aces in Game 1. With her floating jump serve, Lau used both power and location to rack up points for the Troubadours. Four of her aces came on five points near the end of Game 1.
The match started on a down note for St. Francis. Three consecutive hitting errors by the Troubadours gave the Lions a small lead. But six straight points by St. Francis gave the Troubadours the lead for good. The run was highlighted by two Kanani Perry aces and two Otineru kills.
"They were a bit overanxious," Eric Perry said.
A kill by outside hitter Kylie Harrington at 5-8 started a 16-1 run for the Troubadours in the second game. Harrington finished with six kills and two errors.