Posted: October 16, 2012 - 9:37pm
Mililani, Kahuku advance in OIA Red tournament
Division champions Kahuku and Mililani advanced in the winners' bracket of the O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red girls' volleyball tournament.
The Eastern Division champion Red Raiders swept Castle 25-7, 25-18, 25-16 and Western Division champion Trojans squeezed past Moanalua 25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 25-21, in Tuesday night's winners' bracket matches at McKinley's Student Council Gymnasium..
Kahuku and Mililani will meet next Tuesday at McKinley. The winner is assured of second place in the tournament and would be a win away from the Red title.
Meanwhile, Castle and Moanalua advance to Thursday's consolation bracket of the modified double-elimination tournament. Na Menehune will play Pearl City at 5 p.m. to be followed by the Knights against Kalani at Farrington. The losers of this bracket play for fifth place of the tournament on Oct. 23.
The winners stay alive to a shot at either Mililani or Kahuku, or they wind up playing for third.
The Trojans won their match Tuesday with trial by fire, while the Red Raiders won theirs with the firery jump serves of Penina Snuka.
Looking to match up better with their opponents in postseason, Trojans' coach Val Crabbe brought up sophomore outside hiiters/middle blockers Sarah Legalley and Kristen Miguel from the JV when its season ended. Before their call-ups, the Trojans' tallest player was 5-foot-10 senior middle blocker Samantha Fischer. At 5-9 and 5-8, respectively, Miguel and Legalley became the second- and third-tallest players on the team.
"We played with a totally different line that we played with all season," Crabbe said. "All the teams we're going to be playing are going to be tall. So we brought up (Legalley and Miguel) from the JV."
Their previous varsity experience was one rotation last week against Kalani, Crabbe said.
"I probably could've brought them up (from the start of the season) to play with us, but I like all of our teams to be strong and they were the catalyst for the JV team, so once their playoffs were done, we brought 'em up. They've been good for us."
The matches were close. Moanalua led 20-19 at one juncture of the first set before falling 25-23.
Na Menehune led 16-14 in the second set before Jordyn Keamo served seven unanswered points that included two aces and three kills by Inoa Fields to give the Trojans a 21-16 lead. Na Menehune would pull within two twice, only to see Fields' kill win the set, 25-22.
The third set was tied at 18 before Johanna Kruize's kill gave Moanalua the lead that was padded with consecutive points with Anuhea Paiva serving. Silerolia Gaogao had two kills in that span to give Moanalua a 22-18 lead. Na Menehune hung to take the set, 25-21.
Na Menehune led 19-18 in the fourth set before a service error tied the set. From there, the Trojans disposed of Na Menehune with a 6-2 run.
"Their club probably has a little more experience than us," Moanalua coach Tommy Lake said. "We're a little younger than them and it kind of showed in the critical parts of the game, where we couldn't keep the ball in play. But credit to them. They hit a lot of shots. They did a lot of off-speed and then started swinging. Even the loose plays, they always got the ball back over."
Meanwhile, Kahuku was dominated in all phases. Adora Anae led with nine kills followed by Sina Tonga's eight. Middle blocker Mariah kamakeeaina had seven blocks and Snuka had five of the team's eight aces.
The Red Raiders trailed only twice, 1-0, in the first two sets. Otherwise, the closest the Knights got was tying the second set at 8.
At one point in the first set, Pati Anae served 11 consecutive points to give Kahuku a commanding 24-5 lead en route to a 25-7 win.
In the second set, when the Knights tied it at 8, Adora Anae's kill led to side out and Snuka five points in a row to allow the Red Raiders to pull away. Appropriately, Snuka served the final three points, including an ace at set point.
With the match tied at 1 in the third set, Snuka served six consecutive points and later three in a row that included two aces.
Snuka's jump serve not only gets over the net with high velocity, but sinks just before the end line. Several times the Knights' back row would let Snuka's serve go, thinking it would sail out of bounds, only to see it drop inside the line.
Castle coach Grant Tolentino said his team practiced against Snuka's serving, but to no avail.
"We watched her play against Kaiser," Tolentino said. "Tough, tough, tough, tough serve."
Kahuku coach Camilla Ah-hoy said Snuka only started jump serving about two or three matches ago. She saw her doing it at practice and asked her to try it in matches.
"We've seen her doing it at practice and ask her, 'Why aren't you doing that?'" Ah-hoy said. "'It's your senior year, go all out.' I don't really mind it because it's aggressive."
Last year, the Trojans reached to unbeaten bracket, only to lose to Kahuku. But Mililani won the overall title match to end Kahuku's three-year reign as OIA Red champions.
October 16, 2012
The Mililani double block of Jayierra Kapowai and Kristen Miguel turn back a Moanalua attack. Sean Nakamura | SL
Jordyn Keamo's kill attempt passes Moanalua's Daisge Smith and Analise Austin. Sean Nakamura | SL