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Warriors rally past Lunas to stay unbeaten

PUKALANI — Every point was critical Thursday night at Kaulaheanuiokamoku Gym as the undefeated Kamehameha Schools Maui girls volleyball team battled a Lahainaluna squad that has just two wins this season.

Despite a first-set setback, the Warriors finished out with a 23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-21 victory on their home court.

“It was definitely unexpected and a mentally challenging match for us,” Kamehameha Maui coach Alex Akana said. “We just didn’t execute and we didn’t execute on crucial times, we made a lot of errors, simple errors, and we could’ve controlled that.”

Hoala Alapai and Logan Spencer had 14 and 13 kills, respectively, to lead the Warriors, who improved to 6-0 in Maui Interscholastic League play. Destiny Labuanan added five aces and Taylor Morita had 13 digs.

Lahainaluna fell to 2-6.

The Warriors tied it up 10 times but were held off throughout the first set, which ended with an ace by Lahainaluna sophomore Kalolaine Pasikala.

The Lunas were down 8-3 in the second set after a few net violations and kills by Kamehameha’s Spencer and Jhene Saribay. But the Lunas came back, eventually taking a 21-19 lead after Pasikala’s block and a Warriors net violation.

It was tied again at 23 until a dink by Alapai and an error finished the set.

“I think we just need to play more as a team and the first two sets were kind of separate, but we’re definitely working on it so I think we did good overall,” Spencer said.

The third set was tied at 17 before Kamehameha went on a 5-0 run as Spencer smacked three kills and Shyra-Mae Dudoit-Caban added two aces.

“We worked a lot on shots and getting balls to zones instead of whacking every ball,” Akana said.

An error by the Lunas finished the frame.

As it was in the first three sets, the fourth was up for grabs late, with the score tied at 20. A net violation and an error pushed the Warriors ahead 22-20. Lahainaluna’s Vaelei Long tried to close the gap with a kill, but Spencer and Alapai had back-to-back kills to hold off the Lunas.

An ace by Labuanan provided the winning point.

“I think we just hit a few rough spots but I think we got it,” Spencer said. “We want the MIL championship back, that’s all I have to say.”

Long and Alana Koa each had nine kills to lead the Lunas. Koa added five blocks and Aulani Casco-Deleon had three kills.

“It was more than what I expected,” Lunas coach Trixy Nuesca said. “It was great, Kamehameha came out and played at their top, and I think we played at our top, so it was a great game on both sides.”

* Dakota Grossman is at dgrossman@mauinews.com

MIL Standings

DIVISION I

W L Pct. GB

Kamehameha Maui 6 0 1.000 —

King Kekaulike 6 0 1.000 —

Baldwin 3 4 .429 31⁄2

Lahainaluna 2 6 .250 5

Maui High 0 7 .000 61⁄2

DIVISION II

W L Pct. GB

Molokai 6 0 1.000 —

Seabury Hall 5 0 1.000 1⁄2

Hana 5 2 .714 11⁄2

Haleakala Waldorf 3 3 .500 3

Lanai 1 3 .250 4

Maui Prep 1 6 .149 51⁄2

St. Anthony 0 7 .000 61⁄2

Thursday’s Results

Kamehameha Maui def. Lahainaluna 23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-21

King Kekaulike def. Maui High 25-11, 25-12, 25-18

Maui Prep def. St. Anthony 25-13, 25-16, 20-25, 22-25, 15-12

Today’s Matches

Hana at Molokai, 7 p.m.

Seabury Hall at Lanai, 7 p.m.