Kalani reaches OIA title match
• Photo gallery: Prep tournament volleyball
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
The Kalani boys volleyball team held a commanding lead and was a point away from ending the first set against Wai'anae last night.
Falcons setter Chase Suzumoto wanted to get in on the hit parade.
His first dump attempt of the match was returned by the Seariders, the second went for a kill.
The point ended an easy first set for Kalani and the second was even easier.
Kalani ran up against little resistance in a 25-16, 25-11 victory in the O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference tournament at Farrington.
"Being able to finish off that first set, it was just a stepping stone," said Suzumoto, a senior.
Suzumoto did a masterful job setting, even putting up hittable back sets while on the move.
"Chase is our most valuable player," said Kalani coach Kawika Marasco. "He's all-around. He's the quarterback of our club. He sets the tone."
Kalani (13-3 overall, 3-1 in tournament) will play East champion Roosevelt (15-0, 3-0) tonight in the tournament final at McKinley following the White Conference final, which starts at 5 p.m.
Kalani, the East runner-up, will need to beat Roosevelt tonight and again tomorrow to claim the title of the double-elimination tournament. Wai'anae (10-8, 4-2) finished third.
Roosevelt defeated Kalani in all three meetings this season, including Tuesday night in the tournament.
"Today we wanted to come back and get ready for Roosevelt," said Kalani senior Angelo Berardy. "We want revenge. We showed tonight we can come back from a loss."
Berardy had eight kills to lead the Falcons, who held a 23-9 advantage over the Seariders in kills.
"Berardy is our go-to hitter. Whenever we get in trouble we set Berardy," Marasco said.
Kalani didn't run into much trouble against Wai'anae, the West's No. 4 team.
The Seariders had trouble passing and couldn't run their offense. They finished with 16 hitting errors.
Kalani led the first set 15-12 before pulling away. In the second, Jordan Yogi served six in a row to put the Falcons up 18-6.
"The energy ... that fun ... that was missing. I think we were nervous," said Wai'anae coach Wilhelm Wagner. "We were playing a good team."
Roosevelt, Kalani, Wai'anae, Leilehua and Pearl City will represent the OIA at the New City Nissan Boys Volleyball Division I State Championships, May 12 to 15.
The Waipahu boys volleyball team was one point away from losing to Kapolei, but the Marauders rallied for a 25-21, 23-25, 17-15 victory at Farrington by following some simple advice.
Kapolei was at aloha point at 14-13 in the third, when Waipahu took a timeout.
During the break, the Marauders were told, "Pull ourselves together, relax and play our best," according to junior Duketoa Tili.
They appeared to do all three during a 4-1 match-ending run.
Tatupu Tatupu's kill tied it at 14-14 and the match was tied again at 15-all. A Kapolei service error (the server's foot was on the line) and hitting error ended it.
"It was a struggle, but I'm glad we came out of it," said Waipahu coach Julna Pasicaran.
Tili had 14 kills and Tatupu added 13 for the Marauders.
Waipahu (12-2 overall, 2-1 in tournament) will play East champion Moanalua (14-0, 2-0) today at 5 p.m. at McKinley for the tournament title.
Waipahu, the West champion, will need to beat Moanalua today and again tomorrow to claim the title of the double-elimination tournament.
Waipahu and Kapolei (10-5, 2-2), the West runner-up, will represent the OIA at the New City Nissan Boys Volleyball Division II State Championships, May 12 to 15.