The last thing the state wants to give Mililani is more time to rest.
The Trojans, who hadn’t played in nearly a week, showed boundless energy in a 25-22, 25-20, 25-16 win over Moanalua for the OIA Red championship on Wednesday at McKinley. Na Menehune, on the other hand, were playing their fifth match in eight days and will have to win four straight to take the state title.
“They are relentless, their energy is amazing,” Moanalua coach Tommy Lake said. “It’s not just their best players, but everyone brings so much energy. It’s amazing.”
Mililani gets the league’s top seed in next week’s state tournament on the Big Island along with the bye that comes with it. Presumably, one more day of rest means even more energy for the undefeated Trojans. Mililani is the second team to run through the OIA undefeated in the last 10 years since Kahuku in 2008.
OIA champions last 10 years
2013: Mililani (13-0) def. Moanalua
2012: Kahuku (14-1) def. Mililani
2011: Mililani (14-1) def. Kahuku
2010: Kahuku (13-2) def. Moanalua
2009: Kahuku (15-1) def. Moanalua
2008: Kahuku (16-0) def. Moanalua
2007: Moanalua (11-4) def. Kahuku
2006: Roosevelt (12-3) def. Moanalua
2005: Kahuku (14-1) def. Roosevelt
2004: Kahuku (13-1) def. Moanalua
Rest is a double-edged sword, though. The Trojans battled a little bit of rust to begin the title match, committing three service errors but staying committed to the jump-serve. Mililani opened with a 3-point serving run by setter Jordyn Keamo and another 3-point run by Sarah Liva including two aces to take a 10-5 lead.
“In practice we were serving spots, it was good,” Keamo said.
Na Menehune were on their heels whenever Keamo, Liva and Jay Kapowai launched their jump serves, but battled back on the others and tied the match at 17-all on a kill by Marina Adolpho. The teams traded points from there and they split the two points when the serve returned to Kapowai to make it 21-all. Mililani took a 23-21 lead on successive violations by nervous Moanalua and Na Menehune gave it up when Liva blasted a kill and Vaofi beat defensive specialist Lyndsey Ng for the telling point and the 25-22 win.
With the scare out of the way — Mililani bounced back from a 25-15 loss to Kahuku in the first set of its previous match to win the next three — the Trojans took off. Kapowai served Mililani to a 5-0 lead and although Moanalua bounced back to tie the game at 16 the Trojans were too much for the school that has made the final nine times since 2000 but won it only twice.
Ashlee Vaoifi served Mililani to a 19-16 lead and the Trojans let it grow from there before winning by five points on a kill off the block by Vaoifi. The senior had two aces in that set and the rest of her team matched her with two service errors. The Trojans would turn that margin to 4:1 in the third set.
The Trojans simply ground Na Menehune down in the third set, but it came after Kapowai, Keamo and Liva had their turns serving. With the coaching staff calling serves for the others, Mililani turned a 6-5 lead into a 16-9 advantage. After seeing the knuckleballs, Na Menehune couldn’t adjust to the heater and fell when Liva launched an ace to make it 22-14 and Vaoifi followed with another to make it 24-15. Moanalua succumbed when Johanna Kruize hit wide against opposition at the net from Mililani’s Sarah LeGalley.
“Moanalua is always tough for us,” Mililani coach Val Crabbe said. “Kamehameha, Moanalua, Punahou, the blue and white is always tough.”