Kamehameha, 'Iolani sweep through foes Waiākea, Pearl City roll into quarterfinal round
By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer
It was a short work day for the Kamehameha boys volleyball team.
The fourth-ranked Warriors needed just 53 minutes to beat Lahainaluna, 25-6, 25-12 and 25-11, yesterday in the first round of the New City Nissan Division I Boys Volleyball State Championships at the Kaimukī High gym.
"That was our game plan: to execute what we needed to do, get through this match quickly and rest some of our first-string players — which we were able to do," Kamehameha coach Guy Kaniho said.
The Warriors (17-4), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu's third-place team, were led by Andrew Garcia's eight kills. The Lunas, the second-place team from the Maui Interscholastic League, fell to 7-5.
"We didn't want to overlook them, but we felt that if we played like how we knew we could, then the outcome should come out in our favor," said Garcia, a senior outside hitter.
Kamehameha will play O'ahu Interscholastic Association champion and No. 2 seed Roosevelt tonight at 7 at Kaimukī. Third-seeded Kamehameha-Hawai'i, the Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion, and ILH runner-up 'Iolani will play in a 5 p.m. quarterfinal.
Kamehameha's Rhett Kane opened yesterday's match with a kill and after a Lahainaluna hitting error, he served up an ace to make it 3-0. Fueled by a 10-0 run, the Warriors ran away with the first set, which ended on an antennae violation by Lahainaluna.
The Lunas kept it close early in the second set, but the Warriors used a 6-0 run to surge ahead 17-8. After making a couple of errors, the Warriors scored eight of the next 10 points to close out the set.
"We wanted to keep that momentum going at that point," Kaniho said. "For us, the sooner we got out of there, the better. We wanted to minimize our mistakes and not have any mental lapses."
Kamehameha continued its domination in Set 3. Garcia solo blocked a Lahainaluna attack to make it 3-0 before hitting a high ball off the hands and down. Middle blockers Cullen Mosher and Max Castanera teamed up to block the next point and Elijah Aiona's ace made it 6-0.
"We wanted to continue to do what we're always told to do," Garcia said. "We wanted to get an early cushion and play to the end."
Loupua Hafoka's solo block put Lahainaluna on the scoreboard at 8-1, and the Lunas fought to close to 13-7. Aiona put an end to the Lahainaluna surge with a cross-court kill and after a hitting error by the Lunas, Mosher served successive aces to give Kamehameha a 17-7 lead.
Matthew Heirakuji's kill gave the Warriors match point at 24-10 and two points later, the Lunas were called for a rotation violation.
'IOLANI DEF. LEILEHUA 25-16, 25-9, 25-19
Logan Nowack had 12 kills, and William Chambers and Gabriel Vega each added seven as the Raiders (19-2) swept the Mules (13-4).