Hawaii teams split against California
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
The Corona del Mar boys volleyball team has a lot of height with four starters 6 feet 5 and taller, but yesterday against Hawai'i Baptist it displayed a lot of qualities usually found in smaller squads.
That includes solid ballhandling, scrambling ability and serving.
And, yes, the Sea Kings have guys who can terminate.
Weston Neilsen and Joey Booth each had 10 kills, and Spencer Haly added nine without an error as Corona del Mar beat Hawai'i Baptist, 25-16, 26-24, 25-22, in the Clash of the Titans tournament at Punahou.
"I thought they were much more physical," said Hawai'i Baptist senior Ryan Leung, who added the Sea Kings look like "big men."
Corona del Mar, ranked No. 29 in the ESPN RISE Fab 50 rankings, also got it done behind the service line with eight aces. The Eagles weren't able to run their offense smoothly.
"Their serving really got us out of system and we need all our hitters to be going," Leung said. "Once they get us out of system they can load up on the outside and it's very difficult for us to get our kills."
Hawai'i Baptist, ranked No. 19 by ESPN RISE, finished with two aces as Corona del Mar passers consistently gave setters Parker Brown and Nick Curci solid passes.
"They ball-handled very well for a Mainland team," HBA coach Teoni Obrey said. "Our goal is to serve them out of the middle, and make them predictable. Our serving wasn't as solid as it usually is."
The solid passing also allowed Corona del Mar to set the middle, where it had the clear advantage.
"We had a pretty favorable matchup. We're probably a little bit bigger in the middle," said Corona del Mar coach Steve Conti.
The Sea Kings had seven blocks, while the Eagles had two.
In the first set, Hawai'i Baptist was within 13-12 before Corona del Mar shifted into overdrive. Booth had two kills from the left side and Haly put down a pair in the middle during a 12-8 set-ending run.
The Eagles let the second set, which had 11 ties and four lead changes, get away late.
A kill and ace by Leung, and kill by Chad Barretta put Hawai'i Baptist at set point at 24-22. An Eagles' service error and hitting error evened the match, and the Sea Kings ended it with kills by Haly and Neilsen.
Leung had eight of his 13 kills in the second set.
Corona del Mar led the third set 23-22 and ended the match on a kill by Haly and an Eagles' hitting error.
PUNAHOU 3, NEWPORT HARBOR 0
The Buffanblu tag team of Henry Cassiday and Josh Taylor was too much for the Sailors.
Taylor had 17 kills and Cassiday 15 as Punahou beat Newport Harbor, 25-14, 25-19, 25-22.
"That was the cleanest performance we've had in a long time," said Punahou coach Rick Tune. "All the way around, we dug a lot more balls than we've dug in a long time, we transitioned a lot of balls and we blocked a lot balls."
In the first set, Punahou, ranked No. 1 by ESPN RISE, took an 8-1 lead and was never threatened.
Taylor had 10 kills and Crabb added seven in the set with the pair combining for only two hitting errors.
The second set was tied at 16 before the Buffanblu pulled away. Punahou's 9-3 set-ending run included three blocks.
The Buffanblu got off to a 7-1 start in the third set, but Newport Harbor, ranked No. 35 by ESPN RISE, got within 11-10. Punahou scored five of the next seven to go up 16-12, and maintained at least a two-point separation the rest of the way.
Cody Caldwell had 11 kills for Newport Harbor.
Jaelleen Johnson pitched a three-hitter, and Johna Pedro and Jayna Hanawahine each had two hits as visiting Kailua beat Castle, 6-2, in an O'ahu Interscholastic Association game.
KAILUA (5-2) 004 002 0—6 9 3
CASTLE (5-2) 000 101 0—2 3 3
Jaelleen Johnson and Sharla Kumai-Farrell. Leisha Liilii and Kaisha Dacosin. W — Johnson. L — Castle.
Leading hitters — Kailua: Johna Pedro 2-3, double; Jayna Hanawahine 2-4, triple. Castle: Liilii 2-3, 2 doubles.
Reported by Tasha Berinobis
The O'ahu Interscholastic Association game between 'Aiea and host Mililani was postponed by rain and rescheduled for today at Mililani at 4 p.m.