They were loose, focused and dangerous.
Moanalua has been perfecto through 13 OIA matches, and that efficiency was on display during a 25-20, 25-17, 25-20 semifinal win over a Kapolei team on Tuesday that entered the match with only one loss coming in.
Interim coach Austin Zavala, a sixth-year assistant coach, and the coaching staff have kept things running smoothly for Na Menehune. With head coach Alan Cabanting gone for the week due to the passing of his mother in Guam, the foundation of the program is humming like an engine.
“We’ve kept things pretty much the same, rep seeing the ball. We’ve had some small minor adjustments,” Zavala said.
Moanalua’s serve was effective from the start. The ace count was good, not supreme, with five. But it was the location and mix of serves that kept Kapolei from getting into any kind of rhythm. Outside hitter Willie Tupua Richardson finished with 12 kills in 27 swings (with four hitting errors). When his team got a clean serve-receive, he was almost unstoppable.
Most of the time, Moanalua’s serve dictated the flow. Kapolei hit .254.
“We really rep serves and focus on serves,” Zavala said. “We know our strengths.”
There is room for improvement, he added, but that has more to do with injuries. Moanalua will face Mililani for the title on Thursday, and a win would make it seven OIA crowns in a row. Cabanting is expected to return before next week’s state championships.
“We’ve been messaging,” Zavala said. “Even though he’s gone, the kids have done well and taken care of business.”