Kalaheo wins 6th annual volleyball invitational

Kamehameha Maui places fifth


Photo by Alyssa Urayanza

Kanilea Nomura (10) and Talia Leauanae (6) simultaneously block a spike during their Saturday match against West Torrance High School. The 6th Annual Kamehameha Maui Volleyball Invitational started on Thursday August 20 and continued to Saturday August 23. The Kamehameha Maui team placed fifth overall.

Last week, the girls volleyball team placed fifth in the sixth annual Kamehameha Maui Volleyball Invitational at Ka’ulaheanuiokamoku gymnasium. The tournament spanned three days starting on Thursday August 20 and ending on Saturday August 22.

The girls volleyball team placed in the Ikaika division, while last year they placed eighth overall. The first-place winner was Kalaheo High School with nine wins and no losses, second place was Kapolei, third place was University, fourth place was Waiakea, fifth place was Kamehameha Maui, and sixth place was West Torrance High School.

“We’re not going for a place so-to-speak,” Coach Bala Spencer said. “We’re trying to get the girls to gel, to trust each other. Just to get a good start to the season, to get into our own rhythm. I think we did that.”

The twelve schools that participated in the tournament were divided into three pools:

Pool A – Waiakea High School, Hawai’i; Castle High School, Hawai’i;  and Kapa’a High School, Hawai’i.

Pool B – West Torrance High School, California; Marina High School, California; Kalaheo High School, Hawai’i; and University of Hawai’i Laboratory High School.

Pool C – Kapolei, Hawai’i; Pomona Catholic, California; Radford, Hawai’i; and Kamehameha Maui.

On Thursday, the girls volleyball team rose victorious from all three of their matches, starting the tournament off strong. The girls played their first match against Castle High and ended it in only two sets. The set scores for the match were 25-19 and 25-23.

Their next match was against West Torrance and ended with set scores of 23-25, 25-10, and 15-9. They played their last game on Thursday against Kealakehe with set scores of 25-19 and 25-6.

“We did really good. I think we [were] able to communicate with each other and work together to become one team, rather than individual players,” Senior Kaitlyn Castillo said.

Friday’s matches proved to be more difficult, and the girls won two of their three matches that day. Their first match was against Marina High School with set scores of 25-29 and 25-6. They once again played Kealakehe in their second match, this time ending with set scores of 25-22 and 25-18. The girls lost their third match against University with set scores of 25-23 and 25-14, their first loss.

The pool results from Friday’s matches determined the tournament placement for the final day. The top two teams from each pool advanced to the Ikaika Tournament, which was held on Saturday from noon to four o’clock, while the bottom two teams from each pool advanced to the Ho’oikaika Tournament on Saturday from nine o’clock to noon.

The girls volleyball team made it into the Ikaika tournament, but lost their first match to Kalaheo with the set scores of 18-25, 25-26, and 16-14.

“[It was] a very high-motion game, and we showed a lot of frustration after we lost that, but you know, it’s part of the game,” Coach Bala said. ” I’d rather have them show the frustration, that they’re trying to compete to win.”

They then earned the fifth place spot in their last match against West Torrance with set scores of 26-24, 21-25, and 15-11.

“We did way better [this year]. We were able to overcome our downs and boost up from it,” Castillo said. “This MIL season will be better from last year’s. I have a lot of trust in this team and have confidence that we can actually beat our opponents with a lot of effort and enthusiasm.”

To see the full results, go to mauinews.com.