Na Alii rally for win over Bears
WAILUKU – Al Paschoal won his inaugural match as the King Kekaulike High School girls volleyball coach, with a familiar face and a first-year setter helping lead the way.
Treyanna-lee Freitas had 18 kills and Kalia Aguera added 40 as-sists as Na Alii defeated Baldwin 19-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-23 in both teams’ first Maui Interscholastic League competition of the year Tuesday night at the Bears’ gym.
“What a battle, both teams, unbelievable,” Paschoal said. “Both teams didn’t want the ball to hit the floor tonight. Just a spectacular showing defensively by both sides.”
Paschoal and Freitas, a sophomore, both were at St. Anthony last season. After Paschoal took the job with Na Alii, Freitas soon followed.
“I’m very happy she came as well. It was a nice surprise,” Paschoal said.
Freitas said she wants to play volleyball in college and playing for a Division I high school team should help her achieve that goal.
Aguera, a senior, had only played outside hitter and libero in high school, including her first two years at Seabury Hall.
“I didn’t expect to set this year, so I’m really happy with what I’m putting out there so far,” Aguera said.
In the opening set, Baldwin led 22-15 after a hitting error. Na Alii got as close as 23-19, but two more hitting errors ended it.
“They know how to execute, but it’s tough when you’re in someone else’s gym,” Paschoal said. “Baldwin played a really good game that first set.”
Kawehi Mahoney had six kills in the second set for King Kekaulike, which used a 9-4 run to take a 17-12 advantage.
The Bears got off to a 6-0 lead in the third before Na Alii caught them at 9-9. The set was tied at 22-22 before a rotation error and a kill by Freitas led to set point. After a service error, Freitas ended it with a kill – she had eight kills and one error in the set.
“At that point, you’re down 6-0, you’ve got to try to pull on some type of staple that you run in practice and it’s one point at a time – pass, set, kill,” Pas-choal said. “They fought every step of the way tonight. I’m really proud of the girls.”
The fourth set had three lead changes and 10 ties. Baldwin led 23-22 after a hitting error, but King Kekaulike closed it out on a hitting error and kills by Freitas and Mahoney.
“It took a while to get our momentum, but we came back after that first set,” Aguera said.
Na Alii had 15 aces, with Shirley Dudoit recording four and Aguera and Mahoney each getting three. Mahoney finished with 10 kills.
Gabby Cordoba provided eight kills and 24 digs for the Bears. Milan Yasso had nine assists and Kamakani Dudoit added seven.
“I think our girls need to narrow down on their errors,” said first-year Baldwin coach U’i Tanaka, an assistant the previous 12 seasons. “We tried to let them know where all the spots are open and stuff, but once (King Kekaulike) picked it up, they covered everything and basically just sat on our hits. They’re very well-coached as well.”
* Kyle Sakamoto is at email@example.com