Warriors secure state berth

Four-set win over Maui High gives Kamehameha regular-season MIL title

Kamehameha Schools Maui’s Hinano Long goes up to attack the ball during the Warriors’ four-set victory over Maui High on Tuesday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

PUKALANI — Last season, the Kamehameha Schools Maui boys volleyball team won the Maui Interscholastic League Division I title for the first time since 2009.

The Warriors still have work to do, but they are guaranteed one thing — they will be going back to the state tournament after a 25-17, 24-26, 25-21, 25-21 win over Maui High on Tuesday night at Kaulaheanuiokamoku Gym.

Rafael Adolpho, a 6-foot-1 senior outside hitter, led the Warriors (10-0), although the team did not keep statistics in the match. Kamehameha Maui nailed down the MIL Division I regular-season title with the victory.

“It’s pretty big for us, coming back a second year, trying to fight for the MIL title and show what we can do at states,” Adolpho said.

Kamehameha Maui rallied from a 15-8 deficit in the third set to help secure the victory over the Sabers (4-6), who played perhaps their best match of the season.

Maui High’s Trent Takara (right) and Matthew Hirose block a second-set shot by Kamehameha Maui’s Noa Vierra.

“I expected that — Maui High is getting better and better,” Warriors coach Robert Brede said. “They earned a lot of their points, we made a lot of errors. That second set when they won, it was because of our errors. We couldn’t pass the ball, we’re getting caught off-guard because they’re coming at us.”

The Warriors broke away from a 9-9 tie in the first set with a 12-4 run. Keoni Rosete had two kills, Adolpho had a kill and two blocks, and Iverson Dudoit had a kill and a block in the run. Kamalu Segundo’s kill down the middle of the court ended the set.

The second set was a back-and-forth battle. A kill by Adolpho gave the Warriors a 19-17 lead, and a well-placed roll shot by Jon Aunese gave Maui High a 22-21 lead.

Trent Takara gave the Sabers a 25-24 lead and a hitting error ended the set, only the second frame that Kamehameha Maui has dropped in MIL play.

Maui High took control with a 7-0 run to take a 15-8 lead in the third set, which began with seven ties on the way to 8-8. Adolpho ended the run with back-to-back kills — off an overpass and a quick-set in the middle from Austin Peters.

“At that point we all came together as a team and we knew we had to change something,” Adolpho said. “We have to make ourselves better. Without our passers, without our defense, there is no me, so I give credit to everyone.”

Kills by Adolpho and Dudoit brought the Warriors within 16-14 and prompted a timeout from Maui High coach Kenny Houpo. Dudoit’s down-the-line kill made it 16-15 and Adolpho tied it with a middle kill.

A block by Tyson Haupu gave the Warriors a 17-16 lead and another Haupu putback made it 20-18. A kill by Haupu made it 23-19 and an ace by Brennan Mendez ended the set.

The Sabers took a 14-12 lead in the fourth set on a left-handed kill by Matthew Hirose. Two Kamehameha hitting errors gave Maui High a 16-13 lead before Dudoit’s kill started a 6-0 Warriors run.

Maui High closed within 19-18 on a dink by Takara, but Peters smacked a second-hit kill to make it 20-18. Maui High went on a 3-0 run and took a 21-20 lead on a kill by Julius Benavidez.

A Sabers’ service error, a kill by Adolpho and a combined block by Adolpho and Peters gave the Warriors a 23-21 lead.

Adolpho’s kill wrapped up the match.

The Sabers were led by Aunese’s 10 kills and Denniel Carreon’s 30 assists.

“We’re still young in the game — they have never been at this point,” Houpo said. “When it comes down to the ending part when it’s 20, 21, it’s the first time for them, so we just have to keep working. We’re almost there. The (MIL) tournament is coming around and we’ll be ready.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

MIL Standings

Division I

W L Pct. GB

x-KS Maui 10 0 1.000 —

Lahainaluna 9 2 .818 1 1⁄2

Maui High 4 6 .400 6

King Kekaulike 3 8 .273 7 1⁄2

Baldwin 0 10 .000 10

Division II

W L Pct. GB

Molokai 8 2 .800 —

Seabury Hall 7 3 .700 1

Hana 3 5 .375 4

Lanai 0 8 .000 7

x-clinched regular-season championship

Tuesday’s Results

Kamehameha Maui def. Maui High 25-17, 24-26, 25-21, 25-21

Lahainaluna def. King Kekaulike 25-20, 26-24, 23-25, 18-25, 15-13

Friday’s Matches

Kamehameha Maui at Baldwin, 6 p.m.

Maui High at King Kekaulike, 6 p.m.

Hana at Lanai, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Match

Hana at Lanai, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, April 17

Lahainaluna at Kamehameha Maui, 6 p.m.

Baldwin at Maui High, 6 p.m.