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Na Alii sweep improved Bears

King Kekaulike enters first-place tie with Kamehameha; DeCambra leads way for third-place Baldwin

King Kekaulike High School’s Annika Stammberger (left) and Julia Wagner reject a second-set shot by Baldwin’s Kayla Tuaoa during Na Alii’s sweep of the Bears on Tuesday night at Jon Garcia Gym. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

The Baldwin High School girls volleyball team was swept by defending Maui Interscholastic League champion King Kekaulike on Tuesday night in Jon Garcia Gym, but the Bears have the attention of the unbeaten Na Alii.

“They’re doing very well,” King Kekaulike coach Al Paschoal said of the Bears after the 25-17, 25-20, 25-18 match that was a battle throughout. “They played Lahainaluna well, they took a set off Kamehameha (Maui) — we came in knowing that they were going to play some good ball.”

The result lifted King Kekaulike (5-0) into a first-place tie with idle Kamehameha Maui, while Baldwin (3-4) is firmly planted in third place, an important spot for the MIL tournament seeding to avoid the play-in game that sends the winner to face the regular-season champion.

The Bears — who already have more regular-season wins than they had all of last season — were led by senior outside hitter Sienna DeCambra, who had 13 kills and 21 digs. Daesha Soares had 15 assists, three kills and two aces, Avei Silifaiva had five kills and five digs, and Elizabeth Richardson added eight digs.

The Bears were hampered by 12 service errors.

Tuaoa goes up for a second-set kill. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

“I think we’re getting better,” Baldwin coach Helaman Aiwohi said. “Tonight we had a lot of little mistakes that we could have fixed that could have helped us keep momentum on our side, but all in all, progression is all you can ask for. Little steps.”

Baldwin went on a 6-0 run in the second set to take a 17-14 lead — the final point of the run was a resounding kill by DeCambra.

“Sienna is our horse, when we need a point we run her, but we try to get everybody involved,” Aiwohi said. “When we need a sideout, everybody knows where the ball is going to go. The other girls supported well, but just our passing was a little off.”

Aiwohi knows how important the third seed in the MIL tournament would be. He knows King Kekaulike will be formidable.

“They’re a tough team, they’re always sound the way they play their defense, they’re a well-oiled machine,” Aiwohi said.

Baldwin’s Monique Pante digs the ball in the first set against King Kekaulike on Tuesday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Montana DiSegna had seven kills and two aces to lead Na Alii, while Eva Rueter added four kills and a block. Lauren Albrecht had 27 assists, four kills and three aces, and Julia Wagner added four kills.

Paschoal knows the stretch run into the MIL tournament will be tough, especially with an improved Baldwin team threatening to make noise near the top of the standings.

“They play scrappy ball and when you have Sienna on your side it’s tough,” Paschoal said. “She does everything, but the supporting cast is playing strong too. The MIL tournament is going to be a barnburner — if you don’t show up you might be going home early.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

MIL Standings

King Kekau­like’s Lauren Albrecht celebrates a first-set point. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

DIVISION I

W L Pct. GB

Kamehameha Maui 5 0 1.000 —

King Kekaulike 5 0 1.000 —

Baldwin 3 4 .429 3

Lahainaluna 2 5 .286 4

Maui High 0 6 .000 51⁄2

DIVISION II

W L Pct. GB

Molokai 6 0 1.000 —

Seabury Hall 4 0 1.000 1

Hana 5 2 .714 11⁄2

Haleakala Waldorf 2 3 .400 31⁄2

Lanai 1 3 .250 4

Maui Prep 0 5 .000 51⁄2

St. Anthony 0 5 .000 51⁄2

Tuesday’s Results

King Kekaulike def. Baldwin 25-17, 25-20, 25-18

Lahainaluna def. Maui High 25-17, 27-25, 25-23

Today’s Matches

Maui Prep vs. Seabury Hall at Lahaina Civic Center, 6 p.m.

St. Anthony vs. Haleakala Waldorf at War Memorial Gym, 6 p.m.