The assault came from every conceivable angle.
Top-ranked Kamehameha spread out a deadly attack from the talented hands of freshman setter Alohi Robins-Hardy to put away St. Francis 25-12, 25-12 in about 45 minutes last night at Kekuhaupio Gym.
Robins-Hardy had 17 assists and a few timely dump shots and generally ensured the Warriors offense was operating at maximum efficiency as her team departs today for the Durango Volleyball Classic in Las Vegas, where it’ll be tested at a different level.
Though Kamehameha has won the last five state titles and is 11-0 in Interscholastic League of Honolulu play, the Warriors, as usual, have managed to keep things grounded under coach Chris Blake.
"We felt great. We work hard in practice every day, and we’re progressing every game," Robins-Hardy said. "Right now, we are on the low, but we’re going to be better."
St. Francis (6-4), a contender among ILH Division II teams, played evenly with its host through the first 10 points of both sets, then simply gave way under a barrage of Kamehameha heaters. But no one person went off; the Warriors got just about everyone involved, with kills from nine different players. Power swings from the left, backsets to the right, quicksets to the middle and the occasional back-row attempt. All worked.
Junior hitter Pua Mo’okini-Oliveira had six kills and senior middle Talia Jardin-Fermantez five to lead Kamehameha.
Blake credited his behind-the-scenes players, the back row, with delivering on-point passes to keep things running smooth.
"It’s a great team win for us, as far as everybody contributing, not only because it’s there (on the court), but because we’ve been leading up to and looking at hitting our midseason stride," Blake said. "St. Francis is a good team. Looking at the things that I saw in them, I don’t think the scores are indicative of the team that they are."
Perhaps the scariest thing is the Warriors seem to have found their setter of the present — and the future — in Robins-Hardy. Blake noted last year’s starter, junior Kelci Renshaw, is helping guide Robins-Hardy into the threat she’s become.
"We’re looking at her skills and what she brings. She’s pretty good size (6-foot-1), she has a great volleyball IQ," Blake said. "We’re fortunate enough to have two very talented setters."
St. Francis is in the midst of its toughest portion of the schedule, with back-to-back losses to University and Kamehameha and upcoming matches with Punahou and ‘Iolani.
"We had nothing to lose, and if we can, shock the world. That was the goal," Saints coach Sonja Samsonas said. "It was poorly executed, but I can’t say we didn’t try. … Talking is something we have to work on, no matter what."
Angel Savea and Kalei Mau had three kills each to lead the Saints.