Kamehameha top seed in state volleyball
|||Tournament facts, schedule|
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
Kamehameha has historically brought quality teams to the state boys volleyball tournament. This year isn't any different, except for one thing.
Gregory Yamamoto The Honolulu Advertiser
Sophomore Adam Tuifagu is one of several heavy hitters in the Kamehameha Schools lineup. The Warriors can also count on Willy Melemai, David Hoke, Isaac Kneubuhl and Rickey Estrada for points.
Gregory Yamamoto The Honolulu Advertiser
"It's a well-balanced team. We've been kind of one-dimensional in the past. Now, when guys have an off-night, other guys pick up the load."
The Interscholastic League of Honolulu champions (15-0) are looking for their first state title since 1993. Punahou, which won the last seven and 24 of 32 overall, did not qualify for the first time since 1979.
The other seeded teams in the 12-team field are O'ahu Interscholastic Association champion Pearl City (13-0), Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion Kealakehe (14-0) and Maui Interscholastic League champion Maui (14-0).
The Warriors are tall in the middle with 6-foot-6 Willy Melemai and 6-3 David Hoke. They have agile hitters in Isaac Kneubuhl, Adam Tuifagu and Rickey Estrada. Sophomore setter Ainoa Miyashiro consistently sets the right hitters. Defensive specialist Eric Kalima keeps the most devastating serves and spikes in play.
"Everything has to be balanced: offense, defense and transition," Pearl City coach Reid Shigemasa said. "That's what makes Kamehameha special. They're really equal (in all three phases)."
The tournament has an interesting field.
Three coaches are former University of Hawai'i players: Ma'a, Kealakehe's Kahinu Lee and Kalaheo's Sivan Leoni.
Iolani is making its first appearance since 1992 under first-year coach Luis Ramirez. The Raiders (12-4) finished fourth during the ILH regular season, but finished strong in the second round, ousting the Buffanblu in a playoff for the second berth.
"They're playing with a lot of confidence," Ma'a said of the Raiders. "They have a lot of great athletes. They're coming into the tournament with a good momentum."
The Raiders got some help from basketball players Joseph Udell (6-3), Derrick Low (6-0) and Tyler McCready (6-5).
"We had some pretty talented guys on our squad," Ramirez said. "It was just a matter of the big guys getting more playing experience."
Maui literally comes in as a big threat. The Sabers boast the tallest player in the field in 6-8 middle blocker Dionisio Dante.
Unfortunately, the shortest team in the field is pooled with the Sabers. Kaua'i Interscholastic Federation champion Waimea (7-2), the only unseeded league champion, has only one player taller than 6 feet.
"People might look at our team and size, they might overlook us," Waimea coach Bobby Kamakele said. "That's what I'm hoping. We're looking for any edge we can get."
Pearl City isn't particularly tall either, with only two regulars standing 6 feet 1. The Chargers are bracketed on Kamehameha's side. They just want to meet the Warriors as late as possible.
"We have to come out No. 1 in our pool (B)," Shigemasa said. "If we're No. 2, we'll likely hit Kamehameha. We have to come out No. 1 for a chance to move on."
The Chargers usually bring a fundamentally sound team to the court.
"Pearl City has good ball-control players," Ma'a said. "Most of the time, they don't hurt themselves. You have to beat them."
The same could be said of his Warriors.
Nissan Boys State Volleyball Championship
Where: McKinley and Kamehameha tomorrow; Blaisdell Arena Friday and Saturday
Tickets: $7 adults, $5 students
Radio/TV: KGU (760 AM) will broadcast live the semifinals and final. KFVE (channel 5) will telecast the final live.
Pools: AKamehameha, Waiakea, Kalaheo. BPearl City, Seabury Hall, Hilo. CKealakehe, Iolani, Farrington. DMaui, Waimea, Moanalua.
Tomorrow at Kekuhaupi'o Gym, KamehamehaSeabury Hall vs. Hilo, 1 p.m.; Kalaheo vs. Waiakea, 2:15 p.m.; Pearl City vs. Seabury, 3:30 p.m.; Waiakea vs. Kamehameha, 5 p.m.; Hilo vs. Pearl City, 6:15 p.m.; Kamehameha vs. Kalaheo, 7:30 p.m.
Tomorrow at McKinleyWaimea vs. Maui, 1 p.m.; Kealakehe vs. Farrington, 2:15 p.m.; Moanalua vs. Waimea, 3:30 p.m.; Farrington vs. Iolani, 5 p.m.; Maui vs. Moanalua, 6:15 p.m.; Iolani vs. Kealakehe, 7:30 p.m.
Friday at Blaisdell ArenaPool A winner vs. Pool B runner-up, 3:30 p.m.; Pool C winner vs. Pool D runner-up, 4:45 p.m.; Pool B winner vs. Pool A runner-up, 6 p.m.; Pool D winner vs. Pool C runner-up, 7:15 p.m.
Saturday at Blaisdell ArenaSemifinals, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; third-place match, 5:30 p.m.; championship, 8 p.m.
Record: 15-0, ILH champions
Coach: Pono Maa
Watch them: OH Isaac Kneubuhl (6-1, Sr.), OH Rickey Estrada (6-0, Sr.), OH Adam Tuifagu (6-0, So.), MB David Hoke (6-4, Sr.), S Ainoa Miyashiro (5-9, So.), DS Eric Kalima (6-0, Sr.), MB Willy Melemai (6-6, Jr.).
Record: 12-4, ILH runner-up
Coach: Luis Ramirez
Watch them: OH Todd Blankenship (6-0, So.), OH Jonathan Grobe (6-3, Sr.), OH Derrick Low (6-0, So.), S Sean Carney (6-1, So.), MB Joseph Udell (6-3, Sr.), MB Tyler McCready (6-5, Sr.), DS Ryan Char (5-8, Jr.), DS Eric Ideta (5-6, Sr.).
Pearl City Chargers
Record: 13-0, OIA champions
Coach: Reid Shigemasa
Watch them: DS Tyson Takiguchi (5-3, So.), OH Allison Dupont (5-10, Sr.), S Chrisopher Kaneko (5-8, Jr.), OH Tyler Hue (5-6, Sr.), OP Kalei Ka'ana'ana (5-11, Jr.), MB Kapena Wong (6-1, Jr.), DS Conrado Radona (5-5, Sr.), MB Michael Adams (6-1, Jr.).
Record: 10-3, OIA runner-up
Coach: Doug Hee
Watch them: S/OH Jacob Gaison (6-0, Sr.), S/OH Joey Sierra (5-10, Sr.), OH/MB Ben Schirmer (5-10, Sr.), OH Joshua Murray (6-1, Sr.), DS Shaun Miyamoto (5-6, Sr.), MB Teruo Nagasako (5-7, So.), MB Nick Slate (6-1, Sr.).
Record: 10-2, OIA third-place
Coach: Sivan Leoni
Watch them: MB Ikaika Francis (6-6, Sr.), OH Charles Elliott (6-0, Sr.), OH Justin Pedrina (5-10, Sr.), OP Nate Jenkins (6-2, Sr.), S Jacob Reis (5-11, Sr.), MB Shawn Ah Mow (6-5, Jr.), S Ian Alexander (5-10, Sr.), OH William Elliott (5-10, So.).
Record: 9-3, OIA fourth-place
Coach: Erica Tumaneng
Watch them: S Raymond Melei (5-9, Sr.), OH Henry Valiente (5-6, Sr.), OH Tala Sa'o (5-7, Sr.), MB Tui Pula (6-2, Jr.), MB Uriah Seui (6-2, Sr.), MB Jeremiah Liua (5-9, Jr.), MB Rodney Cabebe (5-10, Jr.).
Record: 14-0, MIL champions
Coach: Albert Paschoal
Watch them: MB Dionisio Dante (6-8, MB), OH Kalani-Ku Clark (5-9, So.), OH Sherwin Tomas (5-9, Sr.), S Kimo Helekahi (5-8, Jr.), OH Hoala Delima (6-0, Sr.), MB Rodman Elegino (5-9, Sr.).
Record: 12-3, MIL runner-up
Coach: Dan Molin
Watch them: OH Brian Bollinger (6-0, Sr.), OH Corey Spence (6-0, So.), S Kalani Thibodeaux (5-6, Jr.), MB Jamie Suriyakam (6-0, Sr.), MB Orion Cruz (6-1, Sr.), OH Brad Liu (6-0, Sr.).
Record: 14-0, BIIF champions
Coach: Kahinu Lee
Watch them: OH Bubba Kaho'one (6-4, Sr.), S Chaun Heu (5-10, Sr.), OH Matt Liulama (6-1, Jr.), MB Kyle Teves (6-2, So.), OP Eli Sather (6-6, Sr.), OH/MB Kana Bento (6-5, Sr.), BRS Jeff Bacawag (5-8, Sr.), OH Cody Henriques (5-9, So.), BRS Colin Coleman (5-8, Jr.).
Record: 16-2, BIIF runner-up
Coach: Emil Osorio
Watch them: DS Mark Manuel (5-6, Sr.), OH/S Taurean Pa'akaula (6-0, Sr.), S Marvin Manuel (5-8, Sr.), OH Kamalu Kabalis (5-10, Jr.), MB Chase Sakamoto (6-4, Sr.), MB David Hotniansky (6-3, Sr.), OH Ikaika Marzo (6-4, Sr.).
Record: 14-3, BIIF third-place
Coach: Chad Farias
Watch them: S/OH Randon Kaupu (6-0, Sr.), OH/BRS Shawn Tiongangco (5-10, Sr.), MB Brandon Silva (6-3, Jr.), OH Chandon Chesebro (6-0, Sr.), BRS Robby Viernes (5-7, Sr.), MB Christian Basilio (6-5, Sr.), BRS Rodney Augustine (5-6, Sr.), OH Kaleo Navarro (5-8, Sr.), S Reyn Shimooka (5-9, Sr.).
Record: 7-2, KIF champions
Coach: Bobby Kamakele
Watch them: OP Darwin Tutop (5-6, Sr.), S Jerek Barcelona (5-8, Sr.), OH Scott Rivera (5-7, Sr.), MB Desmond Rodrigues (5-11, Jr.), OH Norman Vea Jr. (5-8, Jr.), OH James Marques III (5-10, Sr.), MB Jerrick Fabro (5-10, Sr.).