Tennis: Nā Aliʻi top Warriors once again


Photo by Holly Honda

Junior Saje-Marie Pedroza-Kanemitsu hits with her backhand in Wednesday’s match against King Kekaulike High School. The Warriors lost, 2-3, girls, and 0-5, boys.

By Holly Honda, staff writer

The second half of the tennis season opened with a win for King Kekaulike High School against the Kamehameha Maui Warriors, 3-2, girls, and 5-0, boys, at Nā Aliʻi’s home court, Mar. 29.

In the first half of the season, the Warriors were up 3-1, girls, and 2-2, boys. The Warriors now stand at 3-2, girls, and 2-3, boys.

“I know I didn’t play good because I was frustrated, and I kept swinging at the ball and trying to hit the ball really hard, when I should have been just trying to get it in… and I was holding back,” Ailana Suehiro said.

Warriors’ freshman Kaitlyn Ralar defeated Charlotte Clarke, 6-1, 6-1.

Kayleen Lau also won her match 6-0, 6-2.

Anastasia Moreles-Middleton of King Kekaulike defeated Saje-Marie Pedroza-Kanemitsu 7-6 (5), 6-1.

First doubles, Emi Abe and Jaccie Hisashima of King Kekaulike defeated Kaelyn Kato and Ailani Suehiro 6-3, 6-2.

King Kekaulike also won their second doubles match with Alenette Ballesteros and Jaelyn Domingo versus Jayda Lum Lung and Leeana Kanemitsu, 6-1, 6-3.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement. I expected this this season, so…we just gotta go back and take what we did today and…see how we can move forward from that,” Warriors’ head coach Kathy Kanemitsu said.

For boys first singles, Zack Fernando of King Kekaulike defeated Cole Tancayo, 6-1, 6-0.

Nā Aliʻi Quinton Uradomo defeated Jaden Texeira, 6-3, 7-5.

Aidan Brent of King Kekaulike topped Lee Franco, 6-1, 6-0.

As for boys’ doubles, Shayne Thompson and Xavier Heckert of King Kekaulike defeated Zachary Luis and Maikai Kaufman, 6-2 for both sets.

For second doubles, Jordan Dunn and Gabe Dibiase defeated Warriors Taylor Ching and Makani Smith-Kemfort, 6-4, 6-3.

“I think everyone tried their best” “we’re going to work harder and try our best to win…” Jaden Texeira said.

The Kamehameha Maui girls tennis team are four-time defending Maui Interscholastic League champions, and the team feels the pressure to live up to that record this year.

“I think as far as ability-wise, there’s a lot of improvement, but you can’t win a match based on ability…you have to back it up with mental toughness, and I think that’s where most of our improvement needs to be…. We still have a lot of work to do,” Coach Kanemitsu said.

Watch the Warriors face off against the Farmers of Molokaʻi High School, Apr. 7, at the Warriors’ home courts, at 3:30 p.m.