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Kamehameha silences Waiakea with sweep

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HILO >> Over the course of an hour, a rollicking crowd of nearly 1,000 at Waiakea High School had less and less to cheer about. At the end, all you could hear were the coqui frogs.

Kamehameha demoralized Waiakea, the previously unbeaten Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion, and the hometown fans with a 25-18, 25-15, 25-16 sweep last night in the quarterfinals of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Boys Volleyball State Championships.

The Oahu Warriors (19-3) advanced to today’s 7 p.m. semifinal against No. 2 seed Moanalua (17-0) at Keaau High School.

The Waiakea Warriors (16-1) came out confident in their own gym, but it soon became apparent that the home-island advantage and rocking home crowd would only go so far against the Interscholastic League of Honolulu runner-up.

Kamehameha senior hitter Micah Christenson put down 11 of his 21 kills in Game 3, countering Waiakea’s only significant lead of the match. The 6-foot-6 USC-bound star hit .472 and got major help from 5-foot-11 senior Daylan Chock, who opened up the floor for his teammate by putting down 11 kills.

“On their home court, we wanted to come in extra focused and extra prepared. We knew they were a great team and they brought a great home crowd,” Christenson said. “We knew it was going to be a tough road. We’re ready to win four games in four days.”


At Keaau
>> Leilehua def. Waianae 25-19, 25-23

>> KS-Hawaii def. Baldwin 25-15, 19-25, 25-13, 25-23
>> Punahou def. Pearl City 25-16, 25-14, 25-17

At Waiakea
>> Waipahu def. Mililani 25-15, 20-25, 15-13

>> Moanalua def. King Kekaulike 25-13, 25-18, 25-17
>> Kamehameha def. Waiakea 25-18, 25-15, 25-16

At Keaau
>> Pearl City vs. Baldwin, 1:30 p.m.
>> King Kekaulike vs. Waiakea, 3 p.m.

>> Punahou vs. Kamehameha-Hawai, 5 p.m.
>> Moanalua vs. Kamehameha, 7 p.m.

At Keaau
Consolation: Leilehua vs. Waipahu, noon
Fifth place: Friday’s consolation winners, 1:30 p.m.
Third place: Semifinal losers, 3 p.m.
Championship: Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.

With losses only to fellow elite Interscholastic League of Honolulu teams Punahou and ‘Iolani in the regular season, Kamehameha was the unseeded team no one wanted to face.

But Waiakea coach Ecko Osorio was confident his Warriors could hang with the crew from Kapalama, adding it was the loudest home crowd he’d heard.

“We had a lot of energy, and sometimes a little too much energy,” Osorio said. “We dug a lot of hard-driven balls, but weren’t able to cash in on our second contact. … Kamehameha was tough. Micah affects the game in so many ways.”

Waiakea came out with high energy and the enthusiastic hosts matched the Oahu Warriors point for point halfway through the first set. In the end, Kamehameha hit .393 to Waiakea’s .087.

“They were very respectful of us coming in here to play them,” Kamehameha coach Kainoa Downing said. “Big match, and good for them, they played hard, they played good.”

Once Kamehameha established Chock (five early kills) on the right side, it gave Christenson greater room to operate. Waiakea found itself in a situation it hadn’t faced all season — down a game after one.

Kamehameha surged ahead at the outset of Game 2 with leads of 8-4 and 15-8, and unforced errors mounted for the hosts. Things got very quiet, and the visiting Warriors took the frame with ease.

Two aces off the tape early in Game 3 by freshman Mamane Namahoe brought the energy right back, and Waiakea surged to an 11-6 lead.

Then Christenson took over, dominating during a 19-5 run to close it out. He served nine straight points and put down two aces during that span.

No. 2 Moanalua 3, King Kekaulike 0

Behind 15 kills from senior hitter Richard Harpole, Na Menehune swept past Na Alii, 25-13, 25-18, 25-17, and into the semifinals against Kamehameha.

Harpole hit .320 and added five aces as Moanalua (17-0) posted advantages of .333 to .086 in hitting, 13-3 in aces and 35-12 in digs to win comfortably.

“The guys came out very loose; they played how we expected them to play,” Moanalua coach Doug Hee said. “I was worried about (King K), because watching them, they’re fighters. … I’m just happy we prevailed today.”

Senior hitter Javon Swain led King Kekaulike with five kills.

Kamehameha-Hawaii 3, Baldwin 1

Evan Enriques hammered 20 kills as the Warriors defeated the Bears 25-15, 19-25, 25-13, 25-23.

Kaehu Kaaa followed with 11 kills and a team-high 11 digs for Kamehameha-Hawaii (14-4). Timothy Pang and Kealii Pacheco recorded 11 and 10 kills each for Baldwin (13-3).

The Big Island Warriors will play Punahou today at 5 p.m. at Keaau gym.

Punahou 3, Pearl City 0

The No. 1 Buffanblu made quick work of the Chargers in a 25-16, 25-14, 25-17 win.

Sean Gruebner and Kupono Fey led Punahou (20-0) with 10 kills each. Gruebner also served three of his team’s seven aces.

Sean Chang finished with seven kills for Pearl City (9-10), followed by Jerry Gallardo with six.


Waipahu 2, Mililani 1

Duketoa Tili had a match-high 16 kills as the Marauders edged the Trojans 25-15, 20-25, 15-13. Tili hit .394 and added two aces for Waipahu (11-7). Joshua Lenchanko led Mililani (10-9) with nine kills and 11 digs.

Leilehua 2, Waianae 0

Ezek Suivaaia put away nine kills to lead the Mules (16-4)  over the Seariders 25-19, 25-23. Siope Osai added six kills with no errors for Leilehua (16-4). James Rosa led Waianae (9-10) with eight kills.

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