Steady Kamehameha sweeps ‘Iolani 25-15, 25-16

Senior setter Kahiau Ka‘alele saw her passers execute well against ‘Iolani's serve as the Warriors won in two sets on Thursday. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser (Apr. 8, 2021).

Maui Robins delivered four aces in game one and Isha Knight had three aces in the second set as Kamehameha swept ‘Iolani 25-15, 25-16 on Thursday night at Father Bray Athletic Complex.

Robins added eight kills and Devin Kahahawai tallied a match-high 11 kills with two blocks as Kamehameha improved to 3-1 in Interscholastic League of Honolulu play. ‘Iolani, which gave frontrunner Punahou a tough battle in a 26-24, 27-25 loss on Saturday, slipped to 2-2.

Adrianna Arquette (four kills) and Knight (three kills) provided balance to the Warriors’ attack, which was orchestrated by senior setter Kahiau Ka‘alele.

“We’ve been working really hard on serve-receive at practice. Definitely getting on everybody about it,” Ka‘alele said.

“Maui did really well in the back. Our libero, Sydney (Sniffen), did really well, you know,” Kamehameha Coach Chris Blake said. “All in all, first touch for our serve-receive was pretty good today as well. Our servers, last time we stepped on to the court, we weren’t doing as well. But our coaching staff, Coach Darryl (Tamashiro), what he’s got them doing on the serves with execution they did really well.”

The Warriors have been diligent on the practice court.

“We worked really hard, a lot of first touch. It came down a lot to leadership. We’re really proud of our leaders. Kahiau did a lot of great work for us, she’s one of our team captains. Maui did a really nice job,” Blake said. “Today was a really great team effort and execution. We were put into a lot of bad spots, and we’re happy to get in the gym and work on it.”

Senna Roberts-Navarro led ‘Iolani with eight kills. Mari Lawton, Ambri Hanohano and Brooke Naniseni chipped in three kills apiece. Setter Mokihana Tufono had 16 assists and two kills. As a team, the Raiders did not record an ace. Kamehameha finished with seven.

The home team was fired up from start to finish, using a tough serve to keep the visiting Warriors at bay. However, with Robins at serve, Kamehameha opened a 15-10 lead. Kahahawai had three kills during the mini-run, then added another as the Warriors opened the lead to 18-12.

Ka‘alele also had an ace as the Warriors closed out the set. Robins’ fourth ace sealed the game-one win.

The Warriors got a block from the 6-foot-2 junior, Kahahawai, and opened a 15-10 lead in set two. The Raiders rallied behind kills by Roberts-Navarro and Naniseni to pull within 16-15.

However, the Warriors got an ace from Knight and kills from Ka‘alele and Robins. Ka‘alele’s kill was a perfect reverse dump that found a gap on ‘Iolani’s left side at the net.

“I don’t know what she calls it, but whatever it is, we’ll take it,” Coach Blake said.

“I’ve kind of been doing it a lot. Dumping is one of my favorite things,” Ka‘alele said.

An off-speed ace by Knight and an ‘Iolani hitting error closed out the match.

“The play that we’re doing is a work in progress. It was good enough for today. Knowing how Coach Kainoa (Obrey) and their staff is going to get that team going, it was a good win for us to go into their gym and play pretty well,” Blake said.


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