Warriors extend state streak
Kamehameha has earned tournament spot in each of program’s 14 seasons
PUKALANI — The Kamehameha Schools Maui volleyball girls volleyball program is in its 14th season.
Thursday night at the King Kekaulike gym, the Warriors clinched their 14th trip to the state tournament.
Behind dominant performances by frontline players Talia Leauanae, Kimani Fernandez-Roy and Kylee Yamashita, Kamehameha swept Maui High 25-21, 25-20, 25-21 in the semifinals of the Maui Interscholastic League Division I tournament.
“The girls that came before us tried really hard to establish our great volleyball program,” Yamashita said. “So we kind of just want to keep the legacy going” Yamashita had nine kills, several on quick sets from Aliah Ayau.
“All of the girls have been putting in a lot of hard work and so now it feels like it’s finally starting to pay off,” said Yamashita, a 6-foot-1 senior middle blocker who has verbally committed to play at Central Washington University.
The Warriors (10-3), who won 10 consecutive MIL Division I titles from 2004 to 2013, will face Upcountry rival King Kekaulike in the tournament final tonight. Na Alii have won the last two league crowns and have a pair of Kamehameha transfers on their roster.
“I think that having this little rivalry has definitely just positively impacted both teams, in more ways than one,” Yamashita said. “We’re just very fortunate to have them to compete against so when we go up to states then we kind of have an idea what to expect.”
Leauanae had eight kills and 11 digs, while Fernandez-Roy finished with 10 kills.
“The girls like to work hard, there’s a tradition that started way back 14 years ago, that first class, and the girls are just working on it,” Kamehameha coach Bala Spencer said. “They work to keep living up to that tradition.”
The Warriors won 10 of the last 16 points in the first set — Yamashita had three kills and an ace in the final stretch. Maui High held an 18-16 lead in the second set before Leauanae had four kills the closing run. The third set was tied at 16-16 before back-to-back kills by Fernandez-Roy started a decisive rush to the finish.
The Sabers ended their season with a 6-7 record.
“That’s one good team that we lost to,” said first-year Maui High coach Kenny Houpo. “We’re after the level they’re at. Our team still has lots to learn.”
At King Kekaulike
King Kekaulike def. Lahainaluna 25-13, 25-12, 25-10
Kamehameha Maui def. Maui High 25-21, 25-20, 25-21
Kamehameha Maui at King Kekaulike, 6:30 p.m.
Hana def. Lanai 25-20, 25-15, 25-17
Molokai def. Seabury Hall 25-20, 23-25, 25-23, 19-25, 17-15
Hana vs. Molokai, 6:30 p.m.