Warriors hold off Pearl City to take another state volleyball title
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
HILO For the second night in a row, the Pearl City High School boys volleyball team showed that the O'ahu Interscholastic Association champion can compete at the highest level.
Selected by the media Player, Team Jonathan Charette, Pearl City Derrick Low, Iolani Sean Carney, Iolani Jarrett Day, Kamehameha William Melemai, Kamehameha Jordon Ainoa Miyashiro, Kamehameha Most Outstanding Player Isaac Kneubuhl, Kamehameha
Selected by the media
Jonathan Charette, Pearl City
Derrick Low, Iolani
Sean Carney, Iolani
Jarrett Day, Kamehameha
William Melemai, Kamehameha
Jordon Ainoa Miyashiro, Kamehameha
Most Outstanding Player
Isaac Kneubuhl, Kamehameha
Kamehameha held off the underdog Chargers, 15-10, 15-9, last night to retain its title before an energized crowd of about 2,000 at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.
Although it was a sweep by seemingly comfortable margins in the scorelines, the match lasted about 85 minutes and the Warriors had work for their points.
"That's a great team," Kamehameha coach Pono Maa said of Pearl City. "They don't give you anything. They tried to jump all over us, and it took a lot to withstand that."
Kamehameha senior outside hitter Jarrett Day, who was born and raised in Hilo, had seven kills in the match and served three straight aces in the second game to help the Warriors (18-1) rally from an 8-3 deficit and tie it at 9-9. From there, Kamehameha got three kills by Isaac Kneubuhl, a block by Kneubuhl and Ernest Vidinha and finally an error on Pearl City (15-2) to finish the match with a 9-0 run.
"This was extra special," said Day, who estimated he had up to 100 friends and family in the audience. "We just focused on ourselves; as long as we played our ball, we'd be fine. At that point (in the second game), we went back to our passing off the serve. It all starts from there."
The Warriors had jumped to an 8-3 lead in the first game and kept the Chargers at bay with a strong block. In one stretch, Kamehameha scored three straight points on blocks to take a 13-5 lead.
"To be honest, I was hoping we'd play a little better and give Kamehameha a better match, but at least we made them work hard," Pearl City coach Reid Shigemasa said. "We showed that the ILH needs to respect us."
Pearl City senior Jonathan Charette had another outstanding night, finishing with 10 kills and four blocks. Charette had 18 kills Friday night to lead the Chargers to a three-game upset over ILH runner-up Iolani.
But Pearl City made its surprising run through the tournament with strong all-around play.
"We played as a team, and even though we were sometimes overmatched, we always had heart and never gave up," said senior middle blocker Michael Adams, who just started playing volleyball last year. "We were not expected to beat Kamehameha or Iolani, and I never dreamed I'd be playing in the state championship game. We gave it our all."
Third place: Derrick Low had nine kills and two aces and Sean Carney seven kills to lift Iolani to a 15-9, 15-2 victory over Kealakehe.
Fifth place: Maui's Gene Rivera had 13 kills, Kynan Metoger 12 and Kalani-Ku Clark 10 in the Sabers' 14-16, 15-12, 15-9 win over Campbell. Gary Ramirez had 14 kills for the Sabers.
Seventh place: Mililani got 10 kills each from Ryan Gonzales and Justin Himori in a 15-9,13-15, 15-13 victory over Maui's Seabury Hall. Seabury's Corey Spence had a match-high 16 kills.