Kamehameha will face Iolani for title
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
Years go by, players come and go, but the Interscholastic League of Honolulu will once again reign supreme when it comes to boys volleyball in Hawai'i.
Eugene Tanner The Honolulu Advertiser
Iolani's, from left, Kawika Shoji, Todd Blankenship and Sean Carney wait for the referee's call in yesterday's semifinal against Kealakehe.
Eugene Tanner The Honolulu Advertiser
The title match will start at 7 p.m. at Stan Sheriff Center.
Kamehameha (18-2) beat No. 2 seed Seabury Hall (11-2) of the Maui Interscholastic League, 25-20, 25-23, in the semifinals last night at McKinley High School's Student Council Gymnasium.
Top seeded Iolani (17-2) beat No. 4 seed Kealakehe (16-4) of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation in an earlier semifinal, 25-21, 25-12.
Kamehameha and Iolani split a pair of meetings during the ILH regular season, but the Raiders won the league title in a playoff.
"They've been favored all year, they've been favored to win the tournament, they're the top seed in the tournament and it's our job to knock them off," Kamehameha coach Pono Maa said of Iolani.
Championship At Stan Sheriff Center 7 p.m. Iolani vs. Kamehameha TV: None Radio: 1420-AM
At Stan Sheriff Center
Iolani vs. Kamehameha
Kamehameha has won four titles and Punahou 19 since then.
"The ILH seems to be finishing on top, but that could change," Maa said. "We just play them year by year and this year it's Iolani and us."
Ronson Olaso had 11 kills and Adam Tuifagu added 10 for Kamehameha against Seabury Hall.
The first game was tied from 1 through 13, but the Warriors went on a 6-2 run to get some breathing room. Tuifagu had two kills, Olaso had another and the Warriors got a block during the rally while the Spartans had a pair of hitting errors.
Kamehameha took a 5-1 lead in the second game and later went up 17-11, but Seabury Hall chipped away and got within 24-23. A service error by the Spartans' Corey Spence ended the match.
Spence had 15 kills, but none of his teammates went for more than three.
"Sometimes you can have great kids that necessarily aren't smart players," Spartans coach Caleb Palmer said. "He's a smart player and great athlete. He can do it all."
Iolani coach Luis Ramirez did some mental conditioning for his team during a 15-minute meeting in the locker room after last night's win over Kealakehe.
"The reason why we were in there a little longer is because we have to remind them of all the hard work we've done to get to where we are right now," Ramirez said. "And what we're getting tomorrow is the privilege to play for the state title."
Todd Blankenship had nine kills and three blocks, Kawika Shoji added six kills and two aces and Sean Carney had six kills and four blocks for the Raiders.
The first game was tied 11 times and there were six lead changes. Kyle Teves gave Kealakehe its largest lead at 18-14, but the Waveriders struggled after he went to the back row.
Iolani dominated the second game with Kyle Pape serving 10 in a row to put the Raiders up 13-2. The Raiders' largest lead of the game was 20-5.
"They played a phenomenal game in the first set," Kealakehe coach Rod Yomes said of his team. "It's too bad we couldn't get it together, but our passing broke down in the second set."
KALAHEO DEF. KA'U: Sam Wilhoite had 11 kills as Kalaheo of the OIA beat Ka'u, 25-23, 25-19. Elias Navarro had eight kills and Elijah Navarro added seven for Ka'u of the BIIF.
MAUI DEF. MILILANI: Ikon-Kai Wood had 11 kills as Maui of the MIL defeated Mililani, 23-25, 25-18, 25-17. Puna Neumann had 13 kills and Aaron Fujimoto 12 for Mililani of the OIA.
WAIAKEA DEF. NO. 3 KAHUKU: James Creekmur had seven kills and Napua Cabatu and Kacy Goldstein added six apiece as Waiakea of the BIIF beat Kahuku, 25-20, 25-22. Brandon Carr had seven kills and Daryn Keahi six for Kahuku.
Reach Kyle Sakamoto at email@example.com or 525-8041.