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Kamehameha, Waiakea to meet in semis

By Paul Honda


PUKALANI, Maui » Chelsey Keoho and Faith Maafala drilled four aces each as five-time defending state champion Kamehameha held on for a 25-17, 23-25, 25-10, 28-26 win over third-seeded Kahuku last night in the quarterfinals of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Division I Girls Volleyball State Championships.

The Warriors will face unseeded Waiakea, which knocked out second-seeded Kamehameha-Maui, in tonight's semifinal round.

Keoho, a libero, and Maafala, a freshman, were integral in a match that had myriad momentum swings. Kamehameha (20-2) finished with nine aces and just five service errors. Kahuku (14-3) had just three aces and nine service errors.

Misty Ma'a pounded 13 kills, including two in the final stretch on plays down the middle. Trailing 23-22 in the fourth set, the Warriors called time out.

"Coach said to 'Relax, calm down and take it one point at a time,' " said middle blocker Talia Jardin-Fermantez, who finished with 10 kills and five of her team's eight blocks.

They went to a rarely-called play. Setter Aloha Robins-Hardy faked to Jardin-Fermantez in the middle, then fed Ma'a, who roared in behind Jardin-Fermantez to put down a kill and tie the set.

Down 25-24, Kamehameha went to Ma'a again with the same play to tie it, and Jardin-Fermantez gave the Warriors a 26-25 lead with a block of Kahuku's Elizabeth Blake.

A serve out by Maafala followed, but Brit Kalepa sent her kill off a Kahuku block, and a bad connection between Lady Raiders setter Teuila Nautu and Lepeka Kalulu-Sugai led to a hitting error, ending the match.

Waiakea 3, Kamehameha-Maui 1

To overcome the aura of a University of Hawaii recruit, the Waiakea Warriors stayed true to their roots.

The unseeded Warriors, runner-up from the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, turned a stalemate into a rousing 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-14 victory over No. 2-seeded Kamehameha-Maui.

KS-Maui (14-1) got 18 kills from UH-bound Ginger Long, but Waiakea's resilient defense never let her get untracked after the second set. Long, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter, had 12 kills in the first two sets and just six after that against a block led by Ashia Joseph.

"We're excited. We're ready to play tomorrow," Joseph said of the semifinal matchup with Kamehameha. "We wanted it so much. It's the first time a Big Island team has been in the semifinals."

The undersized visitors from Waiakea (17-1) got 19 kills and five aces from Morgan Rapozo.


At King Kekaulike
Moanalua def. King Kekaulike, 23-25, 25-13, 15-5
Kaiser def. Kamehameha-Hawaii 25-23, 17-25, 25-18, 25-19, 15-12
Punahou def. Mililani 25-21, 25-11, 25-20

At Kamehameha-Maui
Pearl City def. Castle, 27-25, 25-16
Kamehameha def. Kahuku 25-16, 23-25, 25-10, 28-26
Waiakea def. Kamehameha-Maui 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-14


At King Kekaulike
Kamehameha-Hawaii vs. Mililani, 5 p.m.
Kaiser vs. Punahou, 7 p.m.
At Kamehameha-Maui
Kahuku vs. Kamehameha-Maui, 5 p.m.
Kamehameha vs. Waiakea, 7 p.m.

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