Warriors sweep Lunas

LAHAINA – Despite spending only 58 minutes on the court Tuesday night, the lessons continued for the young Kameha-meha Schools Maui girls volleyball team.

The Warriors, who have one starter back from last year, rolled to a 25-11, 25-12, 25-16 win over Lahainaluna at the Lunas’ gym in the Maui Interscholastic League opener for each team.

For the first time in his career, Kamehameha coach Bala Spencer produced four college players in one class last season.

Bobbi-Lin Kalama is at Siena, Anuhea Kaiaokamalie is at Chico State, Sienna Davis is at Hawaii-Hilo and Leimana Kane is at Chaminade after they rolled up a 56-1 MIL record and four league crowns.

“It has been difficult trying to replace those girls, but it’s a fun group that we have coming in – a lot of energy,” Spencer said. “They are growing every day and they listen to exactly what we tell them to do.”

The Warriors’ returning star-ter, senior Taylor Awai, has moved from libero to outside hitter and is the team captain.

“Our chemistry this year is really close,” Awai said after matching fellow senior Patty Batoon with a team-high four kills. “All the girls, we are really close. We do stuff outside of volleyball, outside of school together. It’s all working good.”

Awai learned from the Warriors’ previous standouts.

“Throughout my years of volleyball they were always the girls that I was looking up to,” she said. “They have always taught me that I have to put my hard work in to improve and I need to do things that other girls aren’t doing other places to get to where I want to be. Now, I am trying to provide some leadership.”

Spencer opened his bench in the third set and the Lunas led 11-10 before the Warriors scored 10 of the next 11 points.

Shalia Kamakaokalani, who saw a lot of playing time for the Warriors last season, finished with two aces, and Batoon added four blocks.

Middle blocker Kaira Davis, a 6-foot sophomore and the younger sister of Sienna, was a force at the net all night.

“She has got a lot to learn as far as being a middle and being ready,” Spencer said. “She is different in the fact that she likes to have a little bit of fun. Sienna was always business, all the time.”

The Lunas got four kills from Faave Galoia and six assists from Lithe Pokipala-Waiohu.

“They have a great program up there (at Kamehameha), a great coaching staff,” Lahai-naluna coach Lei Nakamura said. “We are young a little bit, we lost a big bunch of seniors last year. We are still trying to work some things out over here.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com