Varsity Girls Volleyball start season by ‘killin’ it’

Varsity+Girls+Volleyball+start+season+by+%27killin%27+it%27

Photo by Landon Ballesteros

Senior Anuhea Kaiaokamalie starts the MIL season right by shooting one past her Seabury Hall defenders. The Maui Warriors won this, their first regular season match, 3-1.

By Landon Ballesteros, news writer

The KSM varsity girls volleyball team raked in a 3-1 victory in their first game of the MIL season against Seabury Hall at home, August 28.

The team’s secret to pulling it off?

“Hard work always pays off. Always stay humble and have confidence,” senior Raven Poepoe said.

And, seasoned veterans who know how to serve up some kills doesn’t hurt either.

The first set opened up in a close battle between the Warriors and the Spartans. The score was up and up and remained relatively close at 19-17, when outside hitter Anuhea Kaiaokamalie slammed in a kill for the Warriors. The lead eventually began to broaden after another kill by Leimana Kane, bringing the score to 24-19. But, the Spartans refused to back down and eventually tied it back up, 24-24. The Warriors closed it out with consecutive kills by Kaiaokamalie and setter Bobbi-Lin Kalama, concluding the first set, 26-24.

The opening of the second set was a repeat of the close scores. Kamehameha’s Kane and Seabury’s Kiki Leuteneker kept the score even. It wasn’t long before a service ace by outside hitter Emma Yen pulled the Warriors up to double the Spartans’ points, 10-5. Shortly thereafter, another ace by Kalama brought the score up to 15-6, and the Warriors concluded the second set in short order, with a score of 25-11.

Yen and Kalama quickly accumulated three points in the third set, but Seabury began to show some Spartan fury. With two initial kills from junior Taryn Shaw and sophomore Makena Janssen, the Spartans opened up a steady lead over the Warriors. A kill by Warrior middle blocker Raven Poepoe eventually evened things up, 12-12, but the Spartans closed the third set with a 6-point lead.

On the heels of the defeat, the girls adjusted their approach to the next set. “Working together can lead to success,” junior Shalia Kamakaokalani said. “It’s just as much a physical game as a mental game.”

On the strength of several kills by Yen, the Warriors steadily put up points at the start of the fourth set. Spectators cheered more loudly each time the Warriors earned a point, and shortly after, they won their first match of the season over the Spartans, 26-24, 25-11, 19-25, and 25-7. .

Head Coach Bala Spencer was pleased with the girls’ performances. “It was the first match of the season, so we’re trying to work on some things. We got a lot of work [to do] as far as ball control, and we just got to take care of the ball on our side of the net,” he said.