Baldwin tops young Warriors, 3-2, in boys volleyball


Photo by Daisy Draper

Senior Walter Kaeo hits the back to the Bears at the Baldwin High School Gymnasium, Wednesday, March 19. The Bears won the match-up, 3-2.

By Daisy Draper, staff writer

The Baldwin boys volleyball team won against the Kamehameha Maui Warriors, winning three sets of five, yesterday at Baldwin’s Gymnasium.

After five sets, Baldwin came out victorious, but it was a tight game from the start.

The Warriors won the first set 26-24. It was a close set from start to finish, with the teams matching each other point for point.

In the second set the Warriors’ energy dropped, and Baldwin pulled ahead early. On the strength of the Bears’ Afoa Laga’s 12-straight points and the powerhouse hitting of sophomore Leafi Satele, they stayed in the lead to win 14-25.

“He is one of our all-around players on the net and the back. His jump serves is the one that help us stay away from having other schools run plays,” said Baldwin Coach Kalei Houpo.

Combined with the consistent play by the Bears and the low energy and multiple service errors of Kamehameha, the Maui Warriors also lost the third set, 12-25.

The fourth set started off slowly with Baldwin in the lead, 8-1, with a comfortable lead, the Bears coach started rotating most of his players in. The Warriors pulled to within two points of the lead, 20-22, before the Bears starters were subbed back in, but it was too late for Baldwin. On the momentum of the surge forward, the Warriors got the next five points and won 25-22.

“We tried to keep our attitudes positive and not get down on each other,” said senior libero Walter Kaeo.

The Warriors seemed re-energized and brought the heat in the fifth and final set, which once again went up and up, but players on both sides were rattled, and after a flurry of service errors and missed opportunities, the Bears pulled out the win, 17-15.

So far this season, the Warriors have two wins and three losses, including tonight’s game, and they’re being anchored by Kaeo, the only senior on the team.

The Warriors welcomed seven freshmen this year. Two sophomores and four juniors round out the team.

“We have a lot of freshmen on the team and we do have a young team. We’re only losing one senior this year, but effectiveness-wise we train the team together as a team. We try not to focus on the grade levels, and we try to push ourselves together as a team, having freshmen playing with seniors and stuff. As you’ve seen tonight we are doing well and we are trying to push them together,” said KSM Coach Jason Sadang.

“It was hard in the beginning, and as you can kind of see tonight, it was kind of hard, but we just have to make sure that we are not totally downing on them and remembering that they are new and that they are freshmen, and we are trying to coach them up at the same time at varsity,” said Ionatana Tua, co-captain of the team along with Anson Souza. Both are juniors.

The next game for the volleyball boys is against Seabury High School at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday March 25, 2014.