How far back in time would Kamehameha-Maui have to go to find an appearance in the finals or semifinals of the boys volleyball state championships?
While Kamehameha-Hawaii had its glory years during the prep careers of four Enriques brothers and their father, Guy Enriques, not much can be said of Kamehameha-Maui. This year could’ve been different, especially after a 14-0 run through the Maui Interscholastic League.
It wasn’t meant to be, though. ILH runner-up ‘Iolani, a chiseled, sharpened force that has endured the brunt of playing through the state’s toughest volleyball league, made sure of it. The Raiders swept the Warriors out of title contention with a 25-21, 25-17, 25-16 quarterfinal win on Thursday night at McKinley Student Council Gymnasium.
The match wasn’t entirely one-sided. The Warriors battled at the net, dug a lot of balls and got their share of clean swings. They just couldn’t stop ‘Iolani’s wicked serve. The Raiders had 12 aces in all, including seven by senior Cole Hogland. Ethan Wescoatt and Ryan Van Cantfort had two aces apiece, and Kawika Lee had one.
Twelve aces with just nine service errors is the kind of statistical combination that any coach can live with. It was, in a baseball analogy, like KS-Maui hadn’t seen fastballs, sliders, curves and change-ups like this all season, which is what coach Robert Brede basically said after the match.
“Our only competition in the regular season was Lahainaluna. Maui gave us our best competition, they took us to five sets (in the playoffs). But this is another level,” Brede said. “We never played competition like ‘Iolani. We never had the experience of adjusting to their speed. We never saw tough serves. No. 11 (Hogland) serving, we just weren’t prepared.”
That’s the Catch-22 of being a dominant team in the MIL or any other neighbor-island league. Sometimes, it’s lightning in a bottle. Other times, it’s sustained over years. Konawaena’s football dynasty in the 1980s produced a team that led and nearly upset eventual Prep Bowl champion Saint Louis. Konawaena has generated the premier girls basketball program with eight state titles in the past 15 seasons. Baldwin was spectacular with a state baseball title two seasons ago.
Those are rarities compared to the vast number of titles won by ILH and OIA programs in most sports, however. KS-Maui got eight kills from tall, explosive Iverson Dudoit, who blocked three ‘Iolani attempts in early moments of the third set. The Warriors never stopped hustling; they outblocked ‘Iolani 8-2. Dudoit was, possibly, the best athlete on the floor. He’s 6-foot-2 and just a sophomore. As a team, however, the Warriors hit .393 in the opening set, .118 in game two and .200 in game three.
So how have the Warriors from Pukalani campus fared over the years?
>> 2017: MIL champion. Lost in quarterfinal round, five sets to Waiakea.
>> 2016: did not qualify for states. (King Kekaulike was MIL champion. Lahainaluna runner-up.)
>> 2015: did not qualify for states. (King Kekaulike was MIL champion. Lahainaluna runner-up.)
>> 2014: did not qualify for states. (King Kekaulike was MIL champion. Baldwin runner-up.)
>> 2013: did not qualify for states. (Baldwin was MIL champion. Maui runner-up.)
>> 2012: did not qualify for states. (King Kekaulike was MIL champion. Baldwin runner-up.)
>> 2011: did not qualify for states. (Baldwin was MIL champion. King Kekaulike runner-up.)
>> 2010: did not qualify for states. (Baldwin was MIL champion. Lahainaluna runner-up.)
>> 2009: MIL champion. Lost in quarterfinal round, three sets to KS-Hawaii. (Baldwin was MIL runner-up.)
>> 2008: MIL champion. Lost in quarterfinal round, three sets to Roosevelt. (Lahainaluna was MIL runner-up.)
On Thursday, aside from ‘Iolani’s dozen aces, it was a case of KS-Maui’s smaller outside hitters unable to overcome taller blockers on either side. Dudoit was a true wall when he went outside to challenge ‘Iolani’s hitters, but the Raiders simply adjusted.
“That guy is super long and blocks well,” Hogland said. “We tried to move the ball away from him.”
Shane Hiramoto did that and finished with 35 assists. The individual tallies: Hogland 13 kills, Lee 12 kills, Van Cantfort nine, Carter Kamana three. For the match, ‘Iolani hit .388.
Now the Raiders face Moanalua, the same team they eliminated in last year’s semifinal round.
“The boys are excited,” ‘Iolani coach Jordan Inafuku said. “We’re hoping to play better tomorrow.”
The Raiders won state crowns in ’03 under Luis Ramirez and ’08 under Mike Among.
|1||April 30||Mililani vs. Maui||Mil 25-17, 25-20, 19-25, 25-17||Maui|
|2||April 30||Waipahu vs. Kaiser||Waip 25-23, 26-24, 21-25, 18-25, 16-14||Kaiser|
|3||April 30||KS-Hawaii vs. Waianae||KSH 25-27, 25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 18-16||KS-Hawaii|
|4||April 30||'Iolani vs. Kapolei||Iol 25-17, 25-9, 25-21||'Iolani|
|5||May 3||(4) KS-Maui vs. 'Iolani||Iol 25-21, 25-17, 25-16||McKinley|
|6||May 3||(2) Moanalua vs. KS-Hawaii||Moan 25-15, 25-21, 25-9||McKinley|
|7||May 3||(4) Kealakehe vs. Waipahu||Keal 25-17, 20-25, 25-16, 25-14||Moanalua|
|8||May 3||(1) Punahou vs. Mililani||Pun 25-12, 25-21, 25-10||Moanalua|
|9*||May 4||KS-Maui vs. KS-Hawaii||KSM 25-23, 26-24||McKinley|
|10*||May 4||Waipahu vs. Mililani||Mil 23-25, 27-25, 15-10||McKinley|
|11||May 4||'Iolani vs. Moanalua||Moan 25-15, 33-35, 29-27, 26-24||Moanalua|
|12||May 4||Kealakehe vs. Punahou||Pun 25-13, 25-15, 22-25, 25-14||Moanalua|
|13*||May 5||KS-Maui vs. Mililani||Maui 23-25, 26-24, 15-11||Blaisdell Arena|
|14*||May 5||'Iolani vs. Kealakehe||Iol 25-18, 25-22||Blaisdell Arnea|
|15||May 5||Moanalua vs. Punahou||Pun 25-19, 25-16, 25-21||Blaisdell Arena|
|* — consolation|
|1||May 3||(4) Hawaii Prep vs. Pearl City||PC 25-23, 25-23, 25-19||St. Francis|
|2||May 3||(1) Kapaa vs. University||Kap 25-19, 25-20, 19-25, 19-25, 15-8||St. Francis|
|3||May 3||(2) St. Francis vs. Konawaena||StF 25-17, 25-17, 25-21||Kalani|
|4||May 3||(3) Molokai vs. Kalani||Mol 25-23, 17-25, 25-19, 27-29, 15-10||Kalani|
|5*||May 4||University vs. Hawaii Prep||HPA 28-26, 21-25, 15-8||Kalani|
|6*||May 4||Konawaena vs. Kalani||Kaln 23-25, 26-24, 15-7||Kalani|
|7||May 4||Kapaa vs. Pearl City||Kap 25-19, 26-24, 25-14||St. Francis|
|8||May 4||St. Francis vs. Molokai||StF 25-22, 15-25, 27-25, 21-25, 16-14||St. Francis|
|9*||May 5||Hawaii Prep vs. Kalani||HPA, 21-25, 25-20, 15-10||Blaisdell Arena|
|10*||May 5||Pearl City vs. Molokai||PC 25-22, 25-17||Blaisdell Arena|
|11||May 5||Kapaa vs. St. Francis||StF, 15-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-19, 15-12||Blaisdell Arena|
|* — consolation|