POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 31, 2012
The last thing Mililani wanted Tuesday night was a fight.
The Trojans got their wish, sweeping Castle 25-20, 26-24, 25-18 in the first round of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Division I Girls Volleyball State Championships at McKinley on Tuesday night. The Trojans move on to play unbeaten Kamehameha-Hawaii in the quarterfinals today at 5 p.m. at McKinley.
The Trojans needed five sets to beat Castle in the OIA tournament last year, something that made their championship that year more memorable. But they weren’t after memories in the first round of states.
“I’m glad it wasn’t like last year,” Mililani coach Val Crabbe said. “We played (Castle) and lost the two sets and we had to come back and battle to win. I did not need to do that tonight.”
The Knights kept each game close, but the Trojans always had an answer. In the third set, Mililani led 19-18 when Jordyn Keamo unleashed the last of her match-high 11 kills and then went back to serve.
Keamo’s serve, which had a King Kekaulike player in the stands exclaim ‘Oh, my God!’ when she first heard Keamo’s mitt hit the ball early in the match, forced Castle into three straight errors before she put an ace on the line for a 24-18 lead.
“I was just hoping my toss was good so I can place the ball well,” Keamo said. “I was aiming for the middle of the court (on the ace), but it just went on the side of the court, so we got the point.”
Keamo’s final serve put Castle out of system again and Sarah LeGalley ended it with a duck of a kill that rolled along the tape before falling on Castle’s side.
Keamo, who had three aces to go with three service errors, only recently began using the jump serve in games, another wrinkle for a Mililani team that went unbeaten in the OIA regular season before switching offensive schemes.
“Awesome, it was awesome for us,” Crabbe said. “At the beginning, she didn’t jump serve, but we did it in practice and I am glad she has been able to do it during the playoffs.”
Expect to see it again today against Kamehameha-Hawaii. Crabbe and Keamo both say they saw the Warriors in the preseason, but don’t remember much about them. They were focused on Castle and nothing else.
“I think they gave us a hard time, I’m not sure,” Keamo said. “But Castle helped us prepare for them by pushing us; now we have to stay there and post those blocks.”
Castle hung with Mililani in all three sets, taking a 19-18 lead in the first set on a kill by Shaney Tiumalu before imploding. Tiumalu followed her kill with successive errors. A kill by LeGalley and finally a net violation forced Castle coach Grant Tolentino to call a timeout. He was greeted with another net violation after the break, and Shaylin Sueda put the Knights out of their misery with an ace.
Mililani just plain beat Castle in the second set, responding to a 24-24 score with a kill from Inoa Fields that Qaire Pua‘auli-Puahi touched in the back row but couldn’t lift before Pua‘auli-Puahi hit long on the next point to give Mililani a 26-24 win and a commanding 2-0 lead. Castle plays King Kekaulike today at 3:30 at McKinley in the consolation bracket.
“Mililani found their shots and they dropped,” Tolentino said “All in all, I am happy with the way my girls played. They showed up and hung in there. Unfortunately, we couldn’t pick up any wins to make it more interesting. But we will be here tomorrow. King Kekaulike should be a good match for us.”
No. 6 Moanalua 3, King Kekaulike 0
Na Menehune could have used a tougher test heading into a match against Punahou, rolling up King Kekaulike 25-12, 25-15, 25-19 in the first round.
Analise Austin led the way for Moanalua with 14 kills and four blocks and Joy Kurosawa had eight digs. Na Menehune had the luxury of getting at least one point from 10 of their 15 players.
Taylor Fernandez led King Kekaulike with 11 kills, but the Warriors managed only two blocks on the bigger Moanalua squad.
Na Menehune move on to play top seed Punahou at 7 p.m. today at McKinley.
Hana 3, Kamuki 2
Pakalani Helekahi-Cass led the Dragons to a 26-28, 25-18, 27-25, 19-25, 15-10 win with 28 kills at the Kalani High gym.
Waimea 3, Kailua 1
Mariyah Oliver had 18 kills to lead the Menehunes to a 27-25, 16-25, 25-19, 25-21 win at Kalani.
Hawaii Prep 3, Hawaii Baptist 1
Gabbie Ewing had 20 kills to power Ka Makani past the Eagles 25-21, 24-26, 28-26,
25-20 at the Farrington gym.
La Pietra 3, Konawaena 2
Carmen Sharkey had 50 assists and Ariana Sattler had 26 kills for the Panthers in a 25-23, 25-18, 19-25, 23-25, 15-12 win at Farrington.