It was uproarious — and fun — mayhem from the fans Wednesday night at the McKinley gym.
It was a Mililani vs. Kahuku fight for the OIA girls volleyball championship, and those in attendance were going to whoop it up no matter what. They did just that, and they did it loudly for what turned out to be a shorter than expected match.
It would not have been a surprise to see it go five sets, but Mililani had other plans, ending it in three — 25-18, 25-17, 25-14.
Except for an opening burst that gave Kahuku a commanding 15-5 lead in the first set, the Red Raiders were flat.
Mililani, on the other hand, shook off the early woes and once the Trojans took the lead and finished off that opening set with a 20-3 run, they never looked back. What they gave was as complete an output of volleyball as can be expected.
Falanika Danielson slammed down 17 kills and Gabby Naniseni proved to be hard to beat in the middle, while setter Aysia Miller kept the offense in sync. Kahuku had no real answer.
For the Trojans and coach Val Crabbe, it was their third OIA championship in the last eight years. Kahuku, under first-year coach Michelle Tevaga, was going for its 13th OIA title.
Both teams are headed to the D-I state tournament next week, but it’s Mililani (13-0) bringing this particular hardware home.
“I feel like it is one of the best matches we’ve played,” Danielson said. “We really wanted this. We all had the same goal and we put that into our hearts and we worked well. We had butterflies in the beginning and we just had to get it out. After that, we just started building up. This means everything. We have a very great support system. We had our football team and our cheerleaders here and we’re all supporting each other and it means a lot.”
Naniseni was overjoyed.
“I know the girls really wanted it this year,” she said. “We worked really hard, especially the seniors and juniors on the team who have been together for three or four years. We really wanted this. Everyone really put in the work this year and it just really means so much to bring home an OIA title for our school and everyone. So yeah, it was just great.”
Naniseni was a bit worried in the early going.
“It was pretty shaky, but I know I can trust my team,” the senior middle said. “I knew we could fight back. We’ve done it before and I’m glad we did it again tonight.”