Girls volleyball takes first games vs Lāhaina, Maui

With 2 wins down and 10 to go, this yearʻs girls volleyball team is raring to go to defend their MIL title

Junior+Kaira+Davis+is+back%2C+firing+one+over+the+net+at+the+first+regular+season+girls+volleyball+match+Sept.+2.+The+Warriors+came+on+strong+and+shut+out+the+Lunas+3-0+at+Ka%27ulaheanuiokamoku.+It+was+the+first+Warrior+win+for+the+MIL+season.

Photo by Ashley Morishita

Junior Kaira Davis is back, firing one over the net at the first regular season girls volleyball match Sept. 2. The Warriors came on strong and shut out the Lunas 3-0 at Ka'ulaheanuiokamoku. It was the first Warrior win for the MIL season.

By Ashley Morishita, news writer

The girls volleyball Warriors kicked off their 2014-15 season with a 3-0 win over Lāhainaluna Tuesday night at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium. Hyped, the Warriors brought their best game to the court and showed off their weeks and months of hard work.

“The game went pretty good, everyone got to play, we controlled the ball on our side of the net, and a lot of good things happened,” head coach Bala Spencer said. “There were no big errors, so it was good,”

In the first set, sophomore Selai Damuni, who was a starting freshman last year, and junior Dainelle Brown, who has been a starter since her freshman year as well, worked well with the entire team to win 25-14.

Damuni made two aces at the top of the set advancing the Warriors to 4-1. She and Brown were both ace and kill leaders in the set, and the 5-8 sophomore, Kanilea Nomura, got up to the net making nice blocks and preventing Lāhaina from raising their score over the Warriors.

Shaina Rapanot-Uyechi, starting freshman, made two aces to bring in the last few points the Warriors needed to wrap up the first set advancing them to 20-10 and setting them up for the win.

Junior Kaira Davis and Brown came back with fire and power in the second set. Davisʻs kills and aces and Brownʻs kills took the team to an overwhelming ten-point lead (19-9) over the Lunaʻs during the second set.

Davis brought the team to the edge of victory with three aces in a row at the end, and the Warriors won the second set when Lāhaina hit the ball out, concluding the game at 25-10.

The Lunaʻs supporters cheered with excitement and pride, hoping to break the Warriorsʻ streak, but it was not enough as Kamehameha Maui continued to buckle down in the third set.  This was the closest set of the night.

Although the Warriors were ahead by 7 points at one point, 16-9, the Lunaʻs looked like they would rally when they cut the lead nearly in half to 20-16; however, the Warriors kept pushing through with effort and communication, and a final kill from Kaala Corpuz terminated the game at 25-18.

With the youngest team in recent years, “Coach Bala” said that it’s still early in the season, but he said it will be a challenging one knowing that other teams will be looking to capitalize on the youth of the athletes as they try to de-throne the 10-time Maui Interscholastic League champions.

The Warriors know that everyone is coming with their best game, so starting the season off with a good match instills a “good feeling in our pocket,” Coach Bala said.

Coach Bala said that the team would continue to do their best “despite their [the other teamsʻ] best attempts” to keep the Warriors from winning an 11th title, and truer words were never spoken when the Warriors faced off with the Maui High Sabers last night at Maui High.

Kamehameha Maui won 3-1, when they gave up the second set due to errors at the net and general lack of communication, and every one of the other three sets was a real battle that could have gone either way at any point.

Cheer them on at their next meet on Thursday, Sept. 11, at King Kekaulike High School. The varsity game begins at 6 p.m.