The Mililani girls volleyball team has earned the respect of voters in the Star-Advertiser Top 10, who have moved the Trojans up to No. 4 in this week’s poll due out Tuesday morning.
That’s what winning 11 consecutive matches and 23 straight sets will do.
However, this is the week we will find out just how good this Mililani team really is. The Trojans are the only team from the West playing in Tuesday night’s OIA Red “semifinals” at McKinley, where they will finally be tested against the top teams from the East. Up first is Moanalua, which is always a contender under coach Tommy Lake.
In the double-elimination format, Tuesday’s losers in non-consolation games aren’t eliminated from title contention, so win or lose, it’s likely Mililani will play another of the East’s top teams in either Kahuku or Farrington.
Kahuku enters the week ranked No. 2, with voters pegging Mililani as the second-best team in the league. Moanalua, which lost its regular-season finale to Kalani, is No. 7, while the Governors check in at No. 9.
Mililani hasn’t really been tested all year playing in the West, which is much weaker than the East. Kapolei, which had the bye as the No. 2 seed in the West, was swept in three sets by Farrington, which finished third in the East.
The Trojans have been here before, becoming the only team from the West to win the OIA Red championship since 1997 when they won it all two years ago.
When asked how good this team is compared to her previous teams after last Thursday’s win over Castle, coach Val Crabbe declined to answer, saying, “I don’t like to get ahead of myself.”
She doesn’t have to worry about that now. Tuesday night we find out how good the Trojans are. Yes, 11 straight victories and 23 straight sets won is impressive, but beating Moanalua? THAT would be saying something.