Lahainaluna JV champs, Warriors 4th in JV girls volleyball

Lahainaluna+JV+champs%2C+Warriors+4th+in+JV+girls+volleyball

Photo by Nicole Kaauamo

Freshman Ashlei Cummings is up for a perfect block against Seabury Hall in the MIL JV girls volleyball tournament at Ka'ulaheanuiokamoky gym on Saturday, Oct. 15. The Lahaina Luna won the tournament. The Maui Warriors came in fourth in the semi-finals.

By Nicole Kaauamo, sports co-editor

The Lahainaluna junior varsity girls volleyball team put in a strong showing at the MIL playoff tournament Saturday, Oct. 15, at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium. They rose through the brackets and emerged the winners at the end of the day.

The fourth-place finish of the KS Maui junior varsity volleyball team were a successful ending to a season of lots of ups and downs.

“I feel like they have come a long way from the beginning of the season,” said Coach Lisa Spencer, the new junior varsity volleyball coach this year.

The players agree that this season has been far from easy.

Sophomore Anianiku Holt-Mossman had a lot on her shoulders this season being the only sophomore and libero. “It was difficult because these are all girls I’ve never played with before,” she said.

Coach Spencer said that this tournament was the highlight of the season and proves how much they have changed in two months. “We had a wide variety of talent. They were working together well and kind of peaked at this tournament,” she said.

The Warriors started the day by earning their way to the top of their pool with victories over Molokaʻi and Seabury Hall.

KSM struggled to come together at the beginning of the first set against Molokaʻi, but came back with help from four aces by freshman Tiare Laufou. At one point they held a 10-point lead and eventually won the set 21-7.

Competition increased on both sides and the second set was up and up until the Warriors gained a 17-11 lead.  KS began to show how scrappy their defense can be and both teams rallied for many points. The Warriors won 21-16.

Although serving was what brought them back in the first two sets, the Warriors struggled with their serving in the last set. They once again upped the level of play, though, and won the set 21-14.

KSM then played Seabury Hall, whom they lost to 2-0 last night in a scrimmage at Seabury Hall.

Both teams put up a fight from the first whistle and the game was tied at 8-8 and again at 12-12. Warriors defense kept up their level of competition, but still trailed 12-17 at one point.

By this point their bad-serving streak ended and a long service run by freshman Kylyn Fernandez tied the set 17-17. Neither team could hold the serve for long. KSM led 20-19, but then Seabury Hall tied it at 21-21. The Warriors won the set 23-21 with a kill by Laufou.

The second set got off to a rough start for the Warriors; they could not seem to gain a lead. There were many scrambles and good saves but they lost the set 12-21.

The third set began with more scrappy rallies and Holt-Mossman worked extra hard in the back row. They led 11-8 and later 19-14. A Seabury block fell short in front of the blockers, giving Laufou the game-winning kill and the Warriors the top spot in their pool.

The Warriors lost to the Lunas in the semi-finals and played Seabury Hall one more time in the race for third place. This time, the focused Spartans from Friday night’s game were back, and the Warriors lost to Seabury Hall to place fourth in the tournament overall.

The Lunas came out on top as tournament champions, finishing in first place over the Baldwin Bears.