Warriors fight for win against Sabers


Photo by Gabrielle Constantino

Junior Aliah Ayau spikes the ball past three Sabers during the fourth and final set at the Maui High Gymnasium Thursday, Sept. 1. The Warriors won the match-up, 3-1.

The girls varsity volleyball Warriors defeated the Maui High Sabers, 3-1, after four strenuous sets in the Maui High Gymnasium on Thursday, September 1.

The Sabers easily won the first round, 25-15.

Warriors Kimani Fernandez-Roy, junior, and freshman Logan Spencer said that in the first set, the Warriors were not mentally present and needed to work on sharing the ball.

“The [Warriors] faced mental blocks in the first set. They had ball control issues. That was the same problem we saw happening on Tuesday night’s game [against King Kekaulike],” Coach “Bala” Spencer said, “…the girls picked up from there.”

The Warriors took back the second set and led throughout the game. Maui High scored the first point, but the Warriors quickly overtook them and kept Maui High at 7 while they reached 18 points. Aliah Ayau scored the Warriors’ final point with a powerful spike toward an unguarded spot, finishing the second set, 25-13.

Kylee Yamashita serves the ball for the Warriors in the second set.
Photo by Gabrielle Constantino
Kylee Yamashita serves the ball for the Warriors in the second set.

The Sabers fought hard in the third set, and the score went back and forth with both teams staying within a couple of points of each other throughout.

Ayau and Leauanae worked together with sets and kills, and senior Kylee Yamashita and junior Kimani Fernandez-Roy contributed to keeping the Warriors on top, but the Sabers were tenacious.

At one point, they kept the Warriors at 7 while they rallied for 4 points, bringing the score to 9-7. The Sabers rallied again when they were down by three, 16-13, but the Warriors hung on to the lead until calling a time out at 21-16.

“We needed that extra push during the timeout and to have our girls intensify if we wanted to win [the third set],” Fernandez-Roy said. They did win, 25-19.

Tuzon’s block and Ayau’s serves scored the Warriors the first 3 points in the fourth set. The Sabers continued their pattern of rallies, making a good run on the Warriors and keeping them at 11 while they racked up 6 points and again at 16 when they added another 5 points and came within a point of the leaders, 16-15.

Coach Bala called a timeout, and the Warriors came out strong with spikes from Leauanae and Yamashita scoring the 17th and 18th points of the set.

Sabers Anela Kalavi and Saleima Takitaki spiked for their 16th and 17th points; however, the Warriors finalized the win in the fourth set, 25-19.

“Our biggest mistake in the first set was probably underestimating [Maui High]. They have great athletes who are in shape, and ultimately any school who plays us gets fired up… I am proud of [our] girls for moving forward tonight,” Coach Bala said.