Posted: September 6, 2012 - 10:48pm
Moanalua sweeps past Roosevelt, 25-21, 25-12
A new offensive set and a fresh face in the rotation seemed to provide some welcome spark for Moanalua in a 25-21, 25-12 victory over Roosevelt in front of crowd nearing 200 at Moanalua Gymnasium Thursday night.
Coming off of a three-set loss to Farrington just two days earlier, Na Menehune (4-1) started off a bit slowly, but seemed to hit their stride both offensively and defensively in the latter stages of set one against the Rough Riders (3-2), and rode that momentum in a resounding win in the second set.
"We changed things up a little bit, we went to a 6-2, with two setters." said Moanalua head coach Tommy Luke. "In our other lineup we were putting a lot of burden on one of our hitters and we really needed to spread out to using both sides of the antenna... so it worked out better for us."
Another change for Moanalua was the insertion of 6-foot middle blocker Alexis Burton, a senior transfer from Virginia playing in her first game as a Na Menehune. Burton put down two kills in the game but more importantly, provided some much appreciated size up front.
"We're able to play her in the 6-2 because have two (outside) hitters and we don't have to go to her (offensively), but she's a big block for us so that works out really well." added Luke.
Working really well for Moanalua was their serve game, to the tune of 12 aces in the match, with three each from Anuhea Paiva and Joy Kurosawa and four by outside hitter Silerolia Gaogao, who served up back-to-back aces late in the first game to help Na Menehune seize control of the set that looked very much up-for-grabs up to that point.
"It's a big advantage to have good serves." said Moanalua setter Kaitlin Kamoe, who added two aces of her own in the match. "The tougher our serves are the harder it is to pick up. Serving tough is a big factor in the game of volleyball."
Down a set but far from out, Roosevelt started off set two much like they did in the opening game, keeping things close early, and would lead 6-3 on a spike by Chelsea Wong, and again at 8-7 on an ace by Ashelyn Jones.
The advantage was short lived however, as three straight errors propelled Na Menehune to 10-8 advantage, and the ensuing Roosevelt timeout did little to stop the momentum, as Gaogao followed a Paiva kill with another pair of aces to push the lead out 13-8.
Down the stretch, the Moanalua lead shrank to no smaller than eight, and Paiva's ace at 24-12 was followed up by a miss-hit ball on match point to end it.
As well as Na Menehune served against the Rough Riders, Luke had high praise for his team's effort on defense, in particular senior DS/L Kasse-Ann Dela Cruz.
"Kasse, our defensive specialist played incredible." he remarked. "Covered the ball, passed, whenever they tried to tip she was all over it."
Up next for Roosevelt is a trip to Kahuku to face the unbeaten Red Raiders next Tuesday, while Moanalua travels to Kaimuki.