Na Alii open with sweep of Bears

Brooklyne Albrecht (left) and Temahh Shaw of King Kekaulike High School defend an attempt by Baldwin’s Haunani Lurendez-Medeiros during the second set of Na Alii’s 25-8, 25-11, 25-12 win over the Bears on Tuesday night at Jon Garcia Gym. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

WAILUKU — To put it simply, Kalena Vaivai was back where she belonged on Tuesday night.

The 5-foot-10 senior setter/outside hitter returned to the Maui Interscholastic League volleyball courts for the first time since she was the MIL Division I Player of the Year in 2016.

The Utah State verbal commit, who sat out last season while recovering from a broken foot, led her impressive King Kekaulike High School team to a 25-8, 25-11, 25-12 sweep of Baldwin at Jon Garcia Gym on the first day of the MIL season — and on the final day of prep sports in the state this week because of the threat from Hurricane Lane.

“It was amazing, I mean I sat out, like, a whole year, so I’ve been waiting for this moment,” Vaivai said after recording 15 assists, eight kills and three aces.

Fellow senior Nina Macphet­ridge was just as excited to have her running mate back on the court. Macphetridge finished with eight kills and three digs.

King Kekaulike’s Kalena Vaivai sets a second-set ball between Annika Stammberger (foreground) and Brooklyne Albrecht on Tuesday night.

“As far as the hurricane, we just called it a bright day — there’s a hurricane outside, we’re in here playing volleyball,” said Macphetridge, who has verbally committed to Alaska-Anchorage. “So, it’s a good day because we’re still able to get on the court and play volleyball together as a team.”

Macphetridge smiled as she looked at Vaivai.

“It’s definitely something I’ve wanted for a long time — she’s a big asset to our team,” Macphetridge said.

Junior Temahh Shaw also returned to the volleyball court after sitting out last season after transfering from Baldwin. She finished with five kills.

“It feels amazing, like, I was waiting all year,” Shaw said. “I just wanted to be with my teammates.”

Hana transfer Nohokula Lind finished with four kills, three digs and an ace for Na Alii.

“I don’t know if there was a distraction,” King Kekaulike coach Al Paschoal said. “I think there was more anticipation. We were hoping to get the game in.”

Baldwin coach Helaman Aiwohi said his young team can develop over the year. The Bears did not keep statistics.

“We are young,” he said. “I think first thing was we didn’t have any preseason time because our girls were playing other sports, but I think we’ll come along. … That was our first real in-game kind of situation. They did all right.”

His impression of the deep Na Alii was simple.

“They are (impressive),” he said. “We can’t judge ourselves playing King K. We’ll see about the other teams.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

MIL Standings

DIVISION I

W L Pct. GB

King Kekaulike 1 0 1.000 —

Lahainaluna 1 0 1.000 —

Kamehameha Maui 0 0 .000 1⁄2

Baldwin 0 1 .000 1

Maui High 0 1 .000 1

DIVISION II

W L Pct. GB

Haleakala Waldorf 1 0 1.000 —

Hana 0 0 .000 1⁄2

Lanai 0 0 .000 1⁄2

Maui Prep 0 0 .000 1⁄2

Molokai 0 0 .000 1⁄2

Seabury Hall 0 0 .000 1⁄2

St. Anthony 0 1 .000 1

Tuesday’s Results

King Kekaulike def. Baldwin 25-8, 25-11, 25-12

Lahainaluna def. Maui High 22-25, 25-13, 18-25, 25-22, 15-11

Haleakala Waldorf def. St. Anthony 25-17, 25-23, 20-25, 14-25, 15-10

Tuesday, Aug. 28

Maui High at Baldwin, 6 p.m.

King Kekaulike at Kamehameha Maui, 6 p.m.

St. Anthony at Seabury Hall, 6 p.m.

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