Sabers break through to finals

Lahainaluna boys also advance at MIL tennis team championships

Lino Yoshikawa of Maui High School hits a first-set return while teaming with Kiyo Christopher for a 6-2, 6-2 win over Baldwin’s Selena Feike and Kendall Taomoto during the Maui Interscholastic League team championship semifinals Thursday at Royal Lahaina Tennis Ranch. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

KAANAPALI — It was a breakthrough day for the Maui High School boys and girls tennis teams in semifinal action at the Maui Interscholastic League tournament on Thursday at the Royal Lahaina Tennis Ranch.

The Sabers girls won a semifinal match for the first time, 5-0 over defending MIL champion Baldwin. It was a dominant performance –Maui High lost just 12 games on the day.

Saturday in the team final that begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Ranch, Maui High will face the winner of today’s Lanai-King Kekaulike match.

“Ever since my freshman year, we got to the playoffs, but we’ve never actually won the first round,” Maui High senior captain Lino Yoshikawa said after teaming with Kiyo Christopher to win the No. 1 doubles match 6-2, 6-2. “This is the first year in school history and for me it’s a first, too. I’m really excited for Saturday and I hope we win.”

The Sabers boys beat nemesis Seabury Hall 3-2 to advance to Saturday’s final against Lahainaluna, a 3-2 winner over King Kekaulike.

Maui High’s Devon Baldwin hits a second-set return during his 6-3, 6-2 victory over Seabury Hall’s Silvan Engert. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

The Seabury Hall boys were the three-time defending MIL champions, having taken down Maui High in the final each time.

“I feel like it’s pretty good for us,” the Sabers’ Hobbes Wilstead said. “The last three years there’s been some times when we didn’t have our best players, they’ve just out-bested us the last three years. Our coach Ian (Cohen), he’s pretty stoked that we finally broke through.”

Kihei Charter School contributes mightily to both of the Sabers’ tennis rosters. Christopher and No. 1 singles player Jessalyn Lopez are from KCS for the Maui High girls.

Among the boys, No. 1 singles player Devon Baldwin, the No. 1 doubles team of Wilstead and Jaymes Christopher, No. 2 singles player Quinn Shapiro and No. 3 singles player Trevor Coronesi are from Kihei Charter.

Wilstead said his Kihei Charter teammates are thrilled at the opportunity to play for Maui High.

Silvan Engert of Seabury Hall hits a return Thursday. • The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

“We love it, the players on Maui High, the people that go to Maui High, they’re great team players,” Wilstead said. “They enjoy us, I hope. I feel like we all work together pretty well considering we’re coming from two different schools.”

Cohen was 0-5 in the playoffs against the Seabury Hall boys, including two years as a Lahainaluna assistant.

“They’ve beaten us in the championship match the last three years, so to get by them is huge for us,” Cohen said. “Definitely, Seabury’s been a thorn in our side for the last three years. We felt like we had a little bit of bad luck. … Last year, they were just better than us.”

Lahainaluna clinched a spot in the boys final by winning the first three matches posted — Kyle Killett won at No. 1 singles, and the Lunas took both doubles matches. The Lunas were the No. 2 seed out of the MIL West Division and took out Na Alii, who won the East Division.

“I’ve got five boys this year that are first year, but they’re doing pretty good,” Lahainaluna coach Mac Pascual said. “The thing that impressed me the most is that they’re implementing some of the plays that we’ve been working on and rehearsing in practice.”

The Sabers boys have taken both matches with the Lunas this season, 4-1 and 3-2.

“I’m just so proud that they were able to loosen up a little bit more and find the plays to make,” Pascual said. “They survived, so we might be as experienced as we wanted to be, but we’ll be here Saturday and that’s what matters.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

***

MAUI HIGH GIRLS 5, BALDWIN 0

No. 1 singles-Jessalyn Lopez, Maui High, def. Kaui Kennedy 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 singles-Hana Yoshikawa, Maui High, def. Kailani Kennedy 6-1, 6-2; No. 3 singles-Sarah Sakakihara, Maui High, def. Zhenni He, 6-1, 6-0; No. 1 doubles-Lino Yoshikawa and Kiyo Christopher, Maui High, def. Selena Feike and Kendall Taomoto 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 doubles-Tori Yamane and Marisa Luna, Maui High, def. Emi Sakamoto and Frances Ibe 6-3, 6-1.

***

MAUI HIGH BOYS 3, SEABURY HALL 2

No. 1 singles-Devon Baldwin, Maui High, def. Silvan Engert 6-3, 6-2; No. 2 singles-Quinn Shapiro, Maui High, def. James Kim 6-4, 6-3; No. 3 singles-Sterling Sandler, Seabury Hall, def. Trevor Coronesi 6-1, 6-2; No. 1 doubles-Hobbes Wilstead and Jaymes Christopher, Maui High, def. Zack Walker and Miles Stone 6-3, 6-0; No. 2 doubles-J.D. Pells and Jacob Keyser, Seabury Hall, def. Kade MacDonald and Mason MacDonald 6-3, 7-5.

***

LAHAINALUNA BOYS 3, KING KEKAULIKE 2

No. 1 singles-Kyle Killett, Lahainaluna, def. Shayne Thompson 6-4, 6-0; No. 2 singles-Rielyn Domingo, King Kekaulike, def. Shane Ramos 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (12); No. 3 singles-Gabe DiBiase, King Kekaulike, def. James Fujii 5-7, 7-5, 6-4; No. 1 doubles-Shawn Abut and Everett Prieto, Lahainaluna, def. Quinton Uradomo and Jaxon Chester 7-6 (8), 6-4; No. 2 doubles-Kekailoa Cajudoy and Alex Rodriguez-Gomez, Lahainaluna, def. Kai Frostad and Isaac Uyesugi 6-4, 7-6 (2).

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