The quest for a first Division I girls volleyball championship at Kapolei is also a chance to quench a thirst.
In the relatively short history of Kapolei, there has been one crown: OIA Division II in 2008. The coach then is the same coach now, Naidah Gamurot. On Monday night, she saw her Hurricanes overcome some offensive struggles to sweep Waianae 25-22, 25-19, 25-19. The ‘Canes hit just .193 against a scrappy, tall Seariders defense.
“A win always feels good,” Gamurot said. “I could tell we were a little more tentative. We have a pretty solid base, but we’re going to have to get our offense going. It just wasn’t happening. We need to have a little more connection. I didn’t feel that rhythm.”
Kapolei got eight kills from Anela Pakaki-Pias, plus six from middle Alexis Mareko and six more from Michelyn Pilila‘au. On the whole, though, Waianae made things tough for the ‘Canes. Opposite Amryi Paris mustered five kills plus one ace, and outside hitter Tihani Guzman struggled to just four kills with seven hitting errors. Guzman made up for it and more with two aces and outstanding back-row defense.
The ‘Canes limited Waianae to .157 hitting, extending long rallies while Waianae struggled at the back line with 11 service errors. Waianae finished with four aces.
Kapolei had nine aces and eight service errors, and outblocked the Seariders 4-2. Hurricanes setter Olivia Transfiguration was steady with 27 assists, three aces and one kill.
Waianae had 15 kills in the opening set with power on display, but self-destructed with two net violations and five service errors. The Seariders led until Kapolei went ahead 19-18 on an ace by Transfiguracion. From there, Waianae had two service errors and Kapolei accepted the gift.
“It’s already done,” Seariders coach Wilhelm Wagner said. “We fell a little short and we can’t let it carry over. We had a good start, but Kapolei’s more consistent.”
Waianae will face Mililani in the OIA third-place match. Both teams have already qualified for the state tournament. For the Seariders, promotion from D-II to D-I — they won the OIA D-II title last season under Wagner — has been mostly success. Clearly, the athleticism and power are there.
The Seariders reached the OIA D-I semifinals by defeating Roosevelt 25-21, 25-19, 25-18 and Castle 25-21, 25-17, 21-25, 25-23. The last time they met Kapolei, they lost 25-20, 25-16 in the regular-season best-of-three format.