Warriors take 10th straight league crown
LAHAINA – The Kamehameha Schools Maui girls volleyball team has no fingers left to count the number of consecutive Maui Interscholastic League Division I titles it has won.
Patty Batoon had 13 kills and Kaira Davis added seven as the Warriors claimed their 10th consecutive league championship with a 25-20, 20-17, 20-17 victory over King Kekaulike in the final of the MIL D-I tournament Friday night at the Lahainaluna gym.
“We wanted to come in with ball control on our mind,” said Kamehameha coach Bala Spencer. “We know if we can control the ball on our side of the net, it just opens up our offense a lot. We want to establish our middles, Patty Batoon and Kaira Davis.”
As Kamehameha players and coaches posed for pictures after the match they each held up all 10 fingers.
“It’s like a legacy our school has,” said the Warriors’ Taylor Awai. “It’s very important to keep it going.”
Kamehameha (13-1), which won for the 82nd time in its last 84 MIL matches, will represent the league in the state tournament, which begins on Oct. 29 on the Big Island.
“I think we’re ready,” Batoon said. “If we keep working hard in practice and keep our focus and energy we should be fine.”
King Kekaulike (9-5) and Maui High will meet today to decide the league’s second state berth.
“They’re young, they’re strong and they have a lot of heart, so hopefully they’ll be ready to strap it up one more time and put everything on the line,” said Na Alii coach Al Paschoal.
Awai and Shalia Kamakaokalani are the only members of this year’s Kamehameha team to have four MIL titles.
The Warriors lost four players from last year’s team who are now playing collegiately.
“When that happens we hear lot of doubters ‘Can’t do it, can’t do this,’ ” Spencer said. “For a team averaging 5 feet, 5 inches, that just fired them up.”
Davis, a sophomore, has one title. Her sister Sienna Davis, now at Hawaii-Hilo, has four.
“My sister, she worked hard to get her titles, so I worked my hardest to keep the tradition,” Kaira Davis said.
Awai and Charity Sadang each added six kills for Kamehameha as setters Victoria Kunishi and Danielle Brown did a nice job spreading the wealth.
“They’re pretty steady, they play well,” Paschoal said. “If you make any mistakes, they’ll be that consistent team that will always capitalize. That pretty much was the case tonight. We pretty much handed a lot of points to them. They were just the more consistent team.”
Na Alii’s Jamie Gomes and Brennalye Rodrigues missed the match due to illness, according to Paschoal.
Treyanna Freitas had 12 kills and six digs for King Kekaulike, Kalia Aguera had 25 assists and Sirinya Yothawong had 11 digs.
* Kyle Sakamoto is at email@example.com