Warriors remain unbeaten
PUKALANI — For the Kamehameha Schools Maui girls volleyball team, the challenge often comes from within at this point.
The Warriors found the will once again Tuesday night at Kaulaheanuiokamoku Gym, remaining undefeated with a 25-23, 25-23, 25-22 sweep of determined but short-handed King Kekaulike.
Kamehameha (10-0) had already clinched the Maui Interscholastic League Division I regular-season title and state tournament berth that goes with it.
“It’s more of a mental match for us right now,” said Warriors coach Alex Akana. “It’s hard to maintain that zero (in the loss column). And we talk about it a lot. It’s one of those things: Stay humble, but stay hungry. Like I said, that zero is hard to maintain. It’s very hard to maintain and we have a big target on our back because of that.”
King Kekaulike, the three-time defending league champion, fell to 5-5 and is battling for the second seed in the MIL tournament.
Alea Cervantes finished with 11 kills for Kamehameha, and Kimani Fernandez-Roy had 10 — her kill and block on consecutive points ended the first set. A kill by Brooklynne Albrecht and two hitting errors by the Warriors got Na Alii within 24-23 in the second set before a dink by Aliah Ayau ended it. Fernandez-Roy’s final kill finished the match.
Kamehameha’s Logan Spencer had seven kills, Talia Leauanae finished with six and Ayau had 34 assists. Inez Garcia had 12 digs and Jasmine Corn added 10.
“We’re not going to hold anything back the rest of the season,” Fernandez-Roy said. “We want to play against everybody’s hardest team. We expect a hard match every game. We give credit to the players that had to fill in for them tonight.”
Na Alii’s Chandler Cowell, who will play next year at St. Mary’s College in California, and Shaina Rapanot-Uyechi, who has given a verbal commitment to Air Force, were on the bench with injuries, along with last season’s MIL Player of the Year, Kalena Vaivai, an Nina Macphetridge.
Cowell said she plans to start practicing again today as her injured shoulder heals. Vaivai is out of the cast on her broken foot and has a doctor’s appointment Monday at which she says she hopes to be cleared to play. Rapanot-Uyechi said she has a torn anterior cruciate ligament and is out for the season. Macphetridge will be re-evaluated soon for a concussion, according to her father.
Cymbree Trent, a senior middle blocker for Na Alii, suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury near the end of the final set.
“What can you say?” King Kekaulike coach Al Paschoal said. “All year, everybody has just kind of been waiting with bated breath for the big dogs to show up, but you know, I got my team. My team is on the court and they are in the gym every single day.”
Albrecht finished with 10 kills and four digs. Montana Disegna had seven kills, Daniella Wittenberg had four and Trent had two blocks and three digs.
“I’m so proud of what they did tonight, how they stuck it out, grit,” Paschoal said. “They came to battle.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
W L Pct GB
x-KS Maui 10 0 1.000 —
King Kekaulike 5 5 .500 5
Baldwin 5 6 .455 5-1⁄2
Lahainaluna 4 6 .400 6
Maui High 2 9 .182 8-1⁄2
W L Pct GB
Seabury Hall 9 0 1.000 —
Hana 7 1 .875 1-1⁄2
Molokai 6 4 .600 3-1⁄2
Lanai 3 4 .429 5
Maui Prep 3 7 .300 6-1⁄2
St. Anthony 2 7 .222 7
Haleakala Waldorf 1 8 .111 8
x-clinched regular-season championship
Kamehameha Maui def. King Kekaulike 25-23, 25-23, 25-22
Baldwin def. Maui High 25-15, 23-25, 16-25, 20-25
Maui Prep def. Haleakala Waldorf 25-22, 25-4, 25-14
King Kekaulike at Lahainaluna, 6 p.m.
Baldwin at Kamehameha Maui, 6 p.m.
St. Anthony at Molokai, 7 p.m.
Haleakala Waldorf at Hana, 7 p.m.
Seabury Hall at Lanai, 7 p.m.