Moanalua, as junior Tayli Ikenaga says, loves to be the underdog.
Na Menehune love to be the smaller team. The younger team. The team that, at least on paper, shouldn’t be one of the best teams in one of the country’s biggest leagues.
But they keep doing this winning thing. With 16 kills from senior Tradie DeBina-Bautista and 13 from Ikenaga — who looks fully recovered from a mid-season foot injury — No. 6-ranked Moanalua swept No. 9 Kapolei 25-18, 25-22, 25-19 on Monday night before a raucous home crowd.
Coach Alan Cabanting credited his team’s serve game.
“As they got used to the areas we were asking them to serve, they got used to it. Because of that familiarity, I think the serves got more consistent,” he said.
Leading 1-0, the second set was in the hands of the Hurricanes, a tall, athletic, scrappy, but very young squad. Kapolei led 20-17 and Cabanting considered his options.
“The conversation with my assistant coach Chad (Yoshizawa) was do we let them go after their serve or we sub some new people,” Cabanting said. “We decided to trust them. We practiced hard the last few days.”
Setter Aaliyah Allagonez (24 assists, three aces) had struggled for a bit, but returned to the floor and sparked a rally.
“She was the one who came back in and was the reason why we went three points ahead with her serve,” Cabanting said. “That was the senior leadership. We trusted our seniors and they took care of it. The passing was solid. A little more middle attack we were using, so Tradie had a little more one-on-one, she was able to put balls away.”
Unbeaten Moanalua (12-0) will meet No. 4 Mililani (12-0), which outlasted Kahuku in four sets. The OIA final will be on Wednesday at Moanalua.
|1||Oct. 9||Kalaheo (E5) vs. Nanakuli (W4)||Nan 25-18, 25-18, 25-18||Farrington|
|2||Oct. 9||Leilehua (W6) vs. Farrington (E3)||Far 25-13, 26-24, 25-13||Farrington|
|3||Oct. 9||Kaiser (E4) vs. Aiea (W5)||Kais 25-23, 25-22, 25-22||Waianae|
|4||Oct. 9||Waianae (W3) vs. Roosevelt (E6)||Wain 25-15, 25-18, 25-23||Waianae|
|5||Oct. 10||Kapolei (W2) vs. Farrington||Kapo 25-13, 22-25, 27-25, 25-11||Moanalua|
|6||Oct. 10||Moanalua (E1) vs. Nanakuli||Moan 25-15, 25-16, 25-12||Moanalua|
|7||Oct. 10||Kahuku (E2) vs. Waianae||Kah 25-18, 25-15, 25-14||Mililani|
|8||Oct. 10||Mililani (W1) vs. Kaiser||Mil 25-9, 25-17, 25-14||Mililani|
|9*||Oct. 14||Farrington vs. Nanakuli||Far 26-28, 18-25, 25-12, 25-21, 18-16||Kalani|
|10*||Oct. 14||Waianae vs. Kaiser||Wain 3-0||Kalani|
|11||Oct. 14||Kapolei vs. Moanalua||Moan 25-18, 25-22, 25-19||Moanalua|
|12||Oct. 14||Kahuku vs. Mililani||Mil 25-22, 25-17, 16-25, 25-23||Moanalua|
|13*||Oct. 15||Farrington vs. Waianae||Wain 25-18, 25-13, 15-24, 20-25, 15-12||Farrington|
|14*||Oct. 15||Kapolei vs. Kahuku||Kapo, 3-2||Farrington|
|15||Oct. 16||Moanalua vs. Mililani||Mil 15-25, 28-26, 25-14, 21-25, 15-10||Moanalua|
|* — consolation|
|1||Oct. 9||Kalani (E2) vs. Waialua (W3)||Kaln 25-23, 25-12, 25-14||Pearl City|
|2||Oct. 9||Pearl City (W2) vs. Kailua (E3)||PC 27-25, 25-7, 25-13||Pearl City|
|3||Oct. 10||Campbell (W1) vs. Kalani||Kaln 23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22||McKinley|
|4||Oct. 10||McKinley (E1) vs. Pearl City||PC 25-18, 25-21, 14-25, 25-19||McKinley|
|5||Oct. 16||Kalani vs. Pearl City||PC 25-17, 25-21, 25-21||Moanalua|