Warriors overcome Lunas

Vierra helps defending champions remain undefeated with four-set victory

Kamehameha Schools Maui’s Austin Peters and Iverson Dudoit defend a shot by Lahainaluna’s Carter Stockham in the third set Tuesday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

LAHAINA — Noa Vierra is from Lahaina, so he knew what to expect when his Kamehameha Schools Maui boys volleyball team took on Lahainaluna in the Lunas’ gym on Tuesday night.

“I love when we play in Lahaina, it’s like my home town and all my family comes to watch, so I’m happy that I played pretty all right,” said Vierra, a senior outside hitter who collected a team-high eight kills in a 25-18, 28-26, 22-25, 25-23 win for the Warriors.

The result left the defending champions on top of the Maui Interscholastic League Division I race after one full round of play — the Warriors are now 4-0, while the Lunas fell to 3-1.

Vierra smiled when asked how many of the Lunas he knows personally.

“Mostly all,” he said. “Everybody in Lahaina knows each other. I grew up with those guys.”

The Warriors’ Parker Awai hits against the block of the Lunas’ Leovigildo Amby.

After the Warriors won the first set easily, the next three sets were battles to the end. Each team had two set points before a Vierra kill ended the second set to give his team a 2-0 lead.

The Lunas led 23-18 in the third set before the Warriors pulled within 23-21 on a double block by Vierra and Raphael Adolpho. A kill by Nicholas Gayagoy gave the Lunas set point and a kill by Tekoa Sonognini ended it.

“We actually look forward to the good teams because it pushes us harder to achieve our goal for states,” Vierra said.

The Lunas led 20-17 in the fourth set before the Warriors ended the match on an 8-3 run. Vierra had back-to-back kills to tie the set at 20-20, and an ace by freshman Sheldon Dudoit-Caban gave Kamehameha a 21-20 lead.

A block by Lahainaluna’s Carter Stockham — who finished with nine kills and three solo blocks– brought the Lunas within 24-23, but a long serve ended the match.

Lahainaluna’s Tekoa Sonognini and Ko‘i Kekona defend a shot by Kamehameha Maui’s Noa Vierra.

Austin Peters finished with seven kills and 15 assists for the Warriors.

“We kind of took things for granted, we started to slow our tempo down,” Kamehameha coach Robert Brede said. “Our passing wasn’t there. Bad passing took us out of our system and we started making errors. We were left with only one option and we struggled to get the ball over the net.

“They played tough, they picked up everything, they find it. They find that ball and they keep it in play.”

Ko’i Kekona added eight kills and Matt Jess Domingo had 13 digs for the Lunas.

Lahainaluna coach Daniel Schultz is looking forward to the next two regular-season meetings with the Warriors, and possibly another in the MIL tournament.

The Lunas’ Jonah Damasco hits a shot.

“I think we are pretty close — I think that they’re a better defensive team,” Schultz said. “They serve really aggressively. My guys are just not used to when they get into those pressure situations, so they’re not converting all of them. I think overall we had more opportunities to win, but we didn’t make more of our opportunities and Kamehameha did, so they were better today.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

MIL Standings

Division I

W L Pct. GB

Kamehameha Maui 4 0 1.000 —

Lahainaluna 3 1 .750 1

Maui High 2 2 .500 2

King Kekaulike 1 3 .250 3

Baldwin 0 4 .000 4

Division II

W L Pct. GB

Hana 2 0 1.000 —

Molokai 3 1 .750 —

Seabury Hall 1 3 .250 2

Lanai 0 2 .000 2

Tuesday’s Results

Kamehameha Maui def. Lahainaluna 25-18, 28-26, 22-25, 25-23

Maui High def. Baldwin 25-15, 25-13, 25-18

Friday’s Matches

King Kekaulike at Baldwin, 6 p.m.

Maui High at Lahainaluna, 6 p.m.

Seabury Hall at Lanai, 7 p.m.

Hana at Molokai, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Matches

Seabury Hall at Lanai, 10 a.m.

Hana at Molokai, 10 a.m.