No. 1 ‘Iolani def. Kapolei 3-0 to Advance to HHSAA Semifinals

No. 1 ‘Iolani def. Kapolei 3-0 to Advance to HHSAA Semifinals

No. 1 ‘Iolani def. Kapolei 3-0 to Advance to HHSAA Semifinals

By Nick Abramo

Setter Maya Imoto-Eakin had the ‘Iolani offense in fine form Wednesday night.

The senior had 30 assists and the Raiders made quick work of Kapolei, winning the HHSAA/New City Nissan Girls Volleyball State Championships’ Division I quarterfinal match, 25-10, 25-13, 25-13, at the Moanalua High gym.

With the victory, top-seeded ‘Iolani (12-1) advanced to Thursday night’s semifinals against OIA runner-up Mililani (13-2) in the featured 7 p.m. match at Moanalua.

The Raiders are the only remaining team in the tournament from the ILH, a league that has won every D-I state title since 2003.

Punahou, the ILH’s other representative, fell to third-seeded Kamehameha-Hawaii, 25-12, 25-22, 27-25, on Wednesday at the McKinley gym.

En route to ‘Iolani’s sweep, Senna Roberts-Navarro supplied plenty of power by hitting .382 with 15 kills. Brooke Naniseni, with nine kills, and Eryn Hiraki, with seven, were also big contributors offensively.

Tessa Onaga, with 19 digs, led the Raiders’ sturdy defensive effort.

For Kapolei, Malinah Purcell-Telefoni put down eight kills, Henua Moefu and Leila Paraoan added six each, and setter Shayla Lacamiento had 26 assists.

All is not done for the Hurricanes (12-4). They meet Baldwin, which came into the tournament as the fourth seed, in a consolation match Thursday at 5 p.m. at McKinley. The winner of that one moves on to the fifth-place match Friday.

In a matchup of unbeaten in Thursday’s other D-I semifinal at Moanalua, BIIF champion Kamehameha-Hawaii (17-0), fresh off that impressive win Wednesday over the Buff ’N Blue (9-7), takes on second-seeded OIA champion Kahuku (14-0. Start time is 5 p.m.

Those Red Raiders from the North Shore barely got past Moanalua on Wednesday at McKinley, 25-19, 21-25, 26-24, 31-33, 15-13.

After Thursday’s semifinals, the D-I tournament continues on Friday at the Stan Sheriff Center through the championship match at 7 p.m.

OIA Football: Kahuku vs. Moanalua

OIA OPEN DIV FOOTBALL: KAHUKU 60, MOANALUA 7For visiting Kahuku, it was a tune-up for things to come. For Moanalua, it was a litmus test against the state’s No. 1 team. The result was hardly a surprise, with the defending Open state champion Red...

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OIA Football: Leilehua vs. Mililani

OIA OPEN DIV FOOTBALL: MILILANI 49, LEILEHUA 14The Trojans opened the scoring early and never looked back, routing the Mules 49-14. It was a night of celebration for both schools as it was Homecoming for Leilehua and Senior Night for Mililani.   1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q  FINAL...

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Electric crowd sees Kahuku outlast Mililani to defend DI OIA Girls Volleyball Championship

Electric crowd sees Kahuku outlast Mililani to defend DI OIA Girls Volleyball Championship

OIA GIRLS VOLLEYBALL DI CHAMPIONSHIP: KAHUKU 3, MILILANI 2

With a thrilling comeback in front of raucous fans from both schools, Kahuku dropped Mililani in five sets Wednesday night to repeat as the OIA girls volleyball Division I champion.

It took a mighty effort to put the 21-25, 25-17, 21-25, 27-25, 15-12 victory in the books at the Radford High gym, though.

In that crucial fourth set, the Red Raiders (13-0) clawed back from a 24-21 deficit to stay alive. One more point by the Trojans on any of three straight serves would have meant the title would have gone to Mililani (11-2).

Now for Kahuku, it’s on to the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the D-I portion of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Girls Volleyball State Championships that start Monday.

“It’s unreal,” said the Red Raiders’ Mele Taumoepeau, who hit .438 with 15 kills, many of them at crucial junctures, and added 12 digs. “My team was able to push through, especially in that fourth set. But we knew what we wanted, our mission, and we came here and did just that.”

 There is another mission that Kahuku shares with Mililani, and that’s to win a state title, something an OIA team hasn’t done since the Red Raiders won it in 2002.

“We want to end up there (as champions) on that Saturday night,” Taumoepeau said.

The 20-year OIA drought is not lost on the Trojans, either.

“Of course, definitely,” said Mililani setter Anae Asuncion, who had 43 assists, when asked if an OIA team can win D-I states in the near future.

Although the Trojans failed to regain the OIA crown they won in 2018 and 2019 before the pandemic canceled the 2020 season, they will still move on as an unseeded team at states.

“We really pushed to the best of our abilities tonight,” Asuncion added. “Especially since it was against Kahuku. They really are a strong team, but we did absolutely amazing tonight. I wish we won, but it is what it is. We still have states.”

With a whopping 21 kills, the Red Raiders’ Cha’lei Reid led all players in that category. Three teammates reached double figures in assists — Dakota Keni with 19 and Madison Mamizuka and Dani Kapu with eight each.

Alexis Rodriguez (20) and Erica Roberts (14) were the Trojans’ kill leaders.

At various points in the five sets, there were 13 ties and nine lead changes.

Aside from leading the whole way in the second set, Kahuku led most of the way in the first and third sets only to watch it slip away both times. The same thing almost happened in the fourth set, when the Red Raiders frittered away a commanding 20-15 lead and somehow found a way to send the match to a fifth set.

When Reid’s match-winning kill hit the floor, the rowdy Kahuku fans stormed the court in celebration.

“We were really able to push together,” Kahuku’s Taumoepeau said. “Every time we were in a slump, we were able to come back quickly.”

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OIA OPEN DIV FOOTBALL: KAHUKU 60, MOANALUA 7For visiting Kahuku, it was a tune-up for things to come. For Moanalua, it was a litmus test against the state’s No. 1 team. The result was hardly a surprise, with the defending Open state champion Red...

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OIA OPEN DIV FOOTBALL: MILILANI 49, LEILEHUA 14The Trojans opened the scoring early and never looked back, routing the Mules 49-14. It was a night of celebration for both schools as it was Homecoming for Leilehua and Senior Night for Mililani.   1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q  FINAL...

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OIA Girls Volleyball DII Championship: Waialua def. Kailua in Five

OIA Girls Volleyball DII Championship: Waialua def. Kailua in Five

OIA GIRLS VOLLEYBALL DII CHAMPIONSHIP: WAIALUA 3, KAILUA 2

Waialua made school history Wednesday night, winning the OIA Division II girls volleyball championship for the first time.

And that accomplishment was far from easy at the Radford High gym.

The Bulldogs were in a deep hole, trailing Kailua 2-1 in sets before a solid rally led them to the 25-16, 23-25, 11-25, 25-23, 15-12 victory

Alohi Garcia led the way for Waialua (6-6) with 15 kills,11 digs and an incredible seven aces. Kailia Phillips added 12 kills and nine digs, and teammate Brynn Basilio-Chun came through with 37 assists. In addition, Kanoe Santiago dug up 11 balls.

For the Surfriders (4-8), Ashlyn Tai had a match-high 20 kills while hitting .311, and three Kailua teammates wound up with double-digit digs — Hope Kepa (15), Sascha Sanchez (11) and Amber Tania Maikainai (10).

Throughout the match, there were 32 ties and 19 lead changes.

In that crucial fifth set, the Surfriders led 10-9, but the Bulldogs took control thanks to two clutch kills by Tehya Militante, one by Garcia and an ace by Phillips.

With the momentum of a three-game winning streak, Waialua heads to the D-II portion of the New City Nissan/HHSAA Girls Volleyball State Championships that start Monday.

Kailua, which had its two-game winning streak snapped, will also play at states. The Surfriders were trying for their first OIA championship since 1981, before competition was split into two divisions.

Women’s Volleyball: Holy Names vs. HPU

Women’s Volleyball: Holy Names vs. HPU

HOLY NAMES 3, HPU 1 (21-25, 26-24, 25-23, 26-24)

  1 2 3 4 F
Holy Names 21 26 25 26 (3)
Hawaii Pacific 25 24 23 24 (1)

Leading the Sharks in kills was graduate student outside Riley Gill with 14. At the net, senior middle blocker Demi Winters combined for 3.5 blocks. In the assist category, sophomore setter Pua Beazley led with 25 assists, graduate student setter Maile Powell followed with 21 of her own. (hpusharks.com)

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OIA Football: Kahuku vs. Moanalua

OIA Football: Kahuku vs. Moanalua

OIA OPEN DIV FOOTBALL: KAHUKU 60, MOANALUA 7

For visiting Kahuku, it was a tune-up for things to come. For Moanalua, it was a litmus test against the state’s No. 1 team.

The result was hardly a surprise, with the defending Open state champion Red Raiders upending Na Menehune 60-7 on Friday night.

A long line of lock-down defensive efforts by the Red Raiders, gave the North Shore boys great field position all night. With the short field, quarterback Waika Crawford took advantage with five TD passes, including three to Kache Kaio.

“That defense is special,” said Na Menehune coach Vince Nihipali, who, when asked, ranked that Red Raiders’ unit a notch higher than the 2015 state title team version.

Mana Carvalho (four tackles, interception), Stansyn Pula (in on two sacks), and Madden Soliai (four tackles) were at the forefront defensively for Kahuku. Carvalho also contributed offensively with an 11-yard receiving TD, and Soliai found the end zone from 43 yards out after taking a lateral from Carvalho after the latter’s pick.

Nihipali’s Na Menehune (2-5-1, 1-4) wrap up their season next Friday at Waianae (2-5, 1-4) in a battle for fifth place.

“That would put us just outside of the (four-team) playoffs,” Nihipali said. “We want to go from being a D-I team to just missing the playoffs our first year in the Open. If we had been able to hold on after taking a 17-0 lead against Kapolei (a 42-17 loss on Sept. 17), this game would be for a playoff spot.”

Defensively for Moanalua, Ruben Chavez had a solid night with four tackles, including a sack.

“When the lights come on, Ruben gets better,” Nihipali said. “He has the intelligence and drive to make it, so we hope he can hook up with somebody (a D-I FBS college).”

Joshua Acidera made six tackles for Moanalua, and Keenan Ulu caught three passes for 55 yards.

Now, when Kahuku (7-2, 5-0) plays at home against Mililani (5-2), 4-0) next Saturday, the OIA Open regular-season title will be on the line. After that, in November, the Red Raiders and Trojans will compete at states.

“Mililani, it’s always us and them,” Crawford said. “I know they’re doing whatever they can to prepare for us. They have a lot of athletes and we have a lot of athletes. Both teams are going to play fast and it’s going to be a big game. We’ve just got to stick to the game plan.”