Dragons down Trojans, advance to MIL semis
OLINDA — The Hana High School girls volleyball team took care of business on Wednesday night, but the Dragons know the assignment gets much tougher tonight.
The third-seeded Dragons rolled past St. Anthony 25-21, 25-10, 25-10 in the quarterfinals of the Maui Interscholastic League Division II tournament to earn a berth in the semifinals tonight against No. 2 seed Molokai. Hana improved to 9-4 with the win over the Trojans (1-12).
The Dragons’ string of seven straight state tournament berths will be on the line against the Farmers (10-2).
“It does get tougher,” said Hana junior outside hitter Pumehana Helekahi after smacking a match-high 19 kills to go along with three aces. “We’ll definitely be here and we’ll put up a good fight. It’ll be a good game to watch. We are very excited and we’ve been working very hard for this game tomorrow.”
The Dragons led 15-10 in the first set before the Trojans closed within 18-17 on a kill by Tammy Abrew. Helekahi had three kills in a 4-0 run to make it 22-17, but the Trojans closed within 22-21, prompting a timeout from Hana coach Pake Tolentino.
Helekahi then took control to end the set on a kill and two straight aces.
Hana bounced out to a 9-4 lead in the second set on a kill by Helekahi. Moments later another Helekahi kill followed immediately and by an ace from Atasha Paman-Manrique pushed the lead to 12-5. An ace by Kanehe Roback made it 15-6, and the Trojans would not get any closer the rest of the set.
In the final set, the Dragons led 8-2, 14-6, and 20-9 before closing it out. The Trojans’ 14-player roster has just one senior, Tammy Abrew, to go along with seven freshmen.
“They played amazing tonight,” Helekahi said of the Trojans. “They definitely improved a lot from the last time we played them and it was a fun game.”
Pristine Perry dished out 31 assists to go along with two kills and seven aces for the Dragons. Paman-Manrique had eight kills and four aces, Roback had two aces and Tyra-Li Perry added five kills and four aces.
The Farmers swept the two matches between the two teams on the Friendly Isle this season — the first contest was a sweep, but the second was a close five-setter.
“We’ll take care of business tomorrow night, too,” Tolentino said. “We are confident — they did a pretty good job on Molokai the second game and I believe they can continue.”
The Trojans, who did not keep stats for the match, are looking forward to the future. St. Anthony earned its lone win of the season on Monday against Maui Prep to snag the final spot in the MIL tournament.
“We played well in the first set, I was proud of them for that one,” first-year St. Anthony coach Precious Manu said. “Then the second and third one, I don’t like to blame anything on age, but I think it’s just experience. We didn’t have enough being in a situation like this. Playoffs is a whole different beast and Hana is tough. Once they warmed up they were tough to stop.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com.
At Seabury Hall
Quarterfinal: Haleakala Waldorf def. Lanai 19-25, 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 15-13
Quarterfinal: Hana def. St. Anthony 25-21, 25-10, 25-10
Semifinal: Seabury Hall vs. Haleakala Waldorf, 4:30 p.m.
Semifinal: Molokai vs. Hana, 6 p.m.
Tournament final, 6 p.m.
Overall championship or second-place playoff, if necessary, 1 p.m.