Warriors get past Sabers as East teams roll in MIL semis

Kamehameha Schools Maui’s Kaelyn Kato hits a first-set return while teaming with Kayleen Lau to defeat Maui High’s Erica Gumboc and Jenna Payba at No. 1 doubles Thursday during the MIL team championship semifinals at the Royal Lahaina Tennis Ranch. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

LAHAINA — It was 2-2 between the Kamehameha Schools Maui and Maui High girls tennis teams before the Warriors’ Kaitlyn Ralar stepped on the court at Royal Lahaina Tennis Ranch.

Ralar came through for her squad, capturing the decisive point as the Warriors edged the Sabers 3-2 in their Maui Interscholastic League team championship semifinal Thursday afternoon.

Kamehameha, the No. 2 seed from the East Division, will face off against East No. 1 Seabury Hall for the MIL girls team title on Saturday in Lahaina. The Spartan girls earned their spot in the final with a 4-1 win over West No. 2 Lahainaluna.

“I definitely felt (the pressure) a little towards the end, but it was good,” Ralar said after her 6-3, 6-2 win over Hie Luna-Beamer of Maui High at No. 1 singles. “I’m excited. I was really hoping we would pull through today so that we could play on Saturday.”

Ralar was laser-focused going into the second set — so much so that she did not notice the crowd gathering to watch her match, which happened to be the last of semifinals day.

Ralar

“She’s able to troubleshoot as the match is building and all good players do that,” Kamehameha Maui coach Kathy Kanemitsu said. “I think she went in with an initial plan and realized she had to adjust it. … She is a firecracker.”

With a little bit of wind picking up towards the end of the second set, Ralar powered through, something she envisions her team doing during the MIL championship.

“Hopefully, we can all come together as a team,” she said.

Kanemitsu added that even though her players are confident after their performances, they usually take each game one at a time.

“I will have to say, it was a close match,” she said. “As the sun goes down, we wash it out and we’re going in with nothing behind us. Whatever we’ve done today, it’s pretty much done. We have to go into the next one with a whole new mindset.”

Nikki Fernando of Seabury Hall follows through on a shot during her win over to Lahainaluna’s Hailey Killett at No. 1 singles.

The girls team finalists have played twice this season, with the Warriors taking the first meeting 3-2 and the Spartans winning the second 4-1.

In the boys team semifinals Thursday, Hobbes Wilstead jump-started Kihei Charter’s 4-1 victory over Maui Prep with his 6-0, 6-0 win over Na Pueo’s Makana Boote.

The Tiger Sharks, the No. 1 seed out of the East, let up one team point by defaulting their second doubles match. They will face a familiar opponent in the Spartans for the MIL title on Saturday — Kihei Charter beat Seabury twice in the regular season by scores of 3-2.

On Thursday, the Seabury Hall boys earned an unexpected 5-0 sweep of West No. 1 Lahainaluna in their semifinal, which was highlighted by Miles Stone’s 6-3, 6-1 win over the Lunas’ Shawn Abut at No. 1 singles.

“They’re first in the West, so I thought it was going to be harder, but the girls were pretty much harder than I thought,” said Spartans coach Jan Waechli. “But I’m happy with how they did. … They will fight hard.”

Kihei Charter’s Devon Baldwin (from left) and Zack Fernando shake hands with Maui Prep’s Harrison Cramond and Noah Schwartzlow after Baldwin and Fernando posted a 6-0, 6-1 win Thursday at No. 1 doubles.

The results mean all four MIL team finalists will be from the East Division for the first time since the start of the team playoff era, according to Kihei Charter coach Ian Cohen.

* Dakota Grossman is at dgrossman@mauinews.com

KAMEHAMEHA GIRLS 3, MAUI HIGH 2

No. 1 singles—Kaitlyn Ralar, Kamehameha, def. Hie Luna-Beamer 6-3, 6-2. No. 2 singles—Hana Yoshikawa, Maui High, def. Berylin Lau 6-1, 6-1. No. 3 singles—Ariana Rios, Kamehameha Maui, def. Meilani Kong 6-4, 2-6, 6-1. No. 1 doubles—Kayleen Lau and Kaelyn Kato, Kamehameha Maui, def. Erica Gumboc and Jenna Payba 6-0, 6-0. No. 2 doubles—Marisa Luna and Leanne Osorno, Maui High, def. Jayda Lum Lung and Leeana Kanemitsu 6-2, 6-2

SEABURY HALL GIRLS 4, LAHAINALUNA 1

No. 1 singles—Nikki Fernando, Seabury Hall, def. Hailey Killitt 6-0, 6-1. No. 2 singles–Chiemi Powell, Seabury Hall, def. Ana Rodriguez-Gomez 6-0, 6-1. No. 3 singles—Kehealani Garcia, Lahainaluna, def. Michelle Tasaki 7-6 (2), 6-1. No. 1 doubles–Jessica Griffiths and Alexa deCrinis, Seabury Hall, def. Challys Pascual and Deolian Domawa 6-1, 6-2. No. 2 doubles—Elena Hickey and Linda Schmitt Seabury Hall, def. Ziri Lapus and Ariana Pacleb 6-2, 6-4.

KIHEI CHARTER BOYS 4, MAUI PREP 1

No. 1 singles–Hobbes Wilstead, Kihei Charter, def. Makana Boote 6-0, 6-0. No. 2 singles–Quinn Shaprio, Kihei Charter, def. Isaac Hessel 6-0, 6-0. No. 3 singles–Trevor Coronesi, Kihei Charter, def. Alejandro Prieto 7-5, 6-1. No. 1 doubles–Devon Baldwin and Zack Fernando, Kihei Charter, def. Noah Schwartzlow and Harrison Cramond 6-0, 6-1. No. 2 doubles–Nolan Brown and Jacob Jerome, Maui Prep, win by default.

SEABURY HALL BOYS 5, LAHAINALUNA 0

No. 1 singles–Miles Stone, Seabury Hall, def. Shawn Abut 6-3, 6-1. No. 2 singles–Sterling Sandler, Seabury Hall, def. Joshua Calaoagan 6-0, 6-1. No. 3 singles–Kazu Iinuma, Seabury Hall, def. Adricx Lapus 6-1, 6-1. No. 1 doubles–Zack Walker and Evan Lipetz, Seabury Hall, def. James Fujii 6-2, 6-0. No. 2 doubles–Josh Foley and Jacob Keyser, Seabury Hall, def. Charles Jimenez and Noa Bauchman 6-1, 6-0.

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