No. 1 Kahuku passes another volleyball test

Kahuku volleyball players Carey Williams and Phoebe Grace prepared to take a serve in a win over Farrington on Sept. 7. The Red Raiders solidified their position as the Oahu Interscholastic Association front-runner with a 25-15, 25-15 home victory over two-time defending league champion Moanalua in a matchup of unbeatens Wednesday night. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Kahuku volleyball players Carey Williams and Phoebe Grace prepared to take a serve in a win over Farrington on Sept. 7. The Red Raiders solidified their position as the Oahu Interscholastic Association front-runner with a 25-15, 25-15 home victory over two-time defending league champion Moanalua in a matchup of unbeatens Wednesday night. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

If you didn’t know it before, you know it now. Kahuku girls volleyball coach Mounia Tachibana expects a lot from her players.

Sure, she was quite happy that the Red Raiders were in sync and stuck to the game plan in a 25-15, 25-15 sweep of Moanalua in a matchup of unbeatens Wednesday night. In a sense, it was a huge win for Kahuku (7-0), which for the past two seasons could never get past Na Menehune (6-1).

But, simply put, she thought her girls lacked energy and knows that not being ready to give it your all won’t take the team very far in the postseason.


“They did well executing as far as they could,” Tachibana said after the win. “But when they have energy, our game is a lot quicker — the passing is a lot quicker, they read the game a lot better, and even their hits are a lot more consistent.”

So, despite a No. 1 ranking in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10 that came after a preseason upset of defending Division I state champion Kamehameha, Kahuku is not at the top of its game yet.

Which begs the question — if the Red Raiders peak at the right time, will it be enough to successfully challenge for that coveted D-I state title? Coming from the Oahu Interscholastic Association already puts them at a disadvantage. You have to go back to 2002 to find the last OIA team to go all the way, and it was the Red Raiders who did it under then-head coach Mona Ah-Hoy.

The “want-to” factor seems to be there, despite Tachibana’s observations Wednesday night.

“We’re very excited for this season,” 6-foot-2 senior middle Phoebe Grace said. “We have a really good team and we really want it, so we’re going to focus on our mental game and our physical game and we’re just going to focus on volleyball. It’s going to be volleyball, volleyball, volleyball.”

Now that Moanalua has been dispatched, the road to the OIA title will be somewhat easier. If Kahuku can get that, it will be the Red Raiders’ first league championship since 2012, but also their ninth crown since 2001.

In the 45 years of OIA girls volleyball, Kahuku has won it all 10 times.

Tachibana, a former Kamehameha standout, believes its natural for coaches to constantly want more from their players.


“As a head coach, my expectations are a lot higher (than the girls’ themselves),” she said. “We don’t want them to just reach their expectations and goals and never go beyond it.

“I’m probably going to use that excuse all the time, ‘My girls are tired,’ but like I told them, I don’t care. We’re here to play volleyball. This season only lasts for three months, four at the most. That’s how they looked (Wednesday). They did look tired. Even if they did play really good, I would still say they could do better.”

Grace, who had eight kills, five blocks and an ace against Moanalua, has the potential to be a difference-maker in the playoffs and, if the Red Raiders get there, states. And it’s no secret that the middle is where Kahuku focuses first.

“We like to utilize more of our middles, especially at this level,” the coach added. “All of our outside hitters know that no matter what, be ready when it does come. Our setter, ShaRae (Niu), is really good at seeing the blocks, so most of the decisions are actually on her, not on us (as coaches).”

Senior Carey Williams, a powerful outside hitter who made the Star-Advertiser’s Fab 15 as a junior, had six kills against Na Menehune, but she was not always there on the left side pounding away like she can. Kahuku held big leads most of the night, so it was not imperative for the Red Raiders to get Williams into the offense.

“Carey’s just gotta be ready and she knows that,” Tachibana said.

When Williams is on and doing her thing, the middle opens up even more for Grace, and Grace — who is committed to play for Utah — knows just how special her teammate is.

“I definitely believe that Carey is one of the strongest hitters in the state and she really packs a punch with her hit, but she’s also a really smart player and she’s also a very good all-around player and has a great mental game,” Grace said. “She’s just a great player. When ShaRae does set her, she almost always puts it down.”


Moanalua coach Alan Cabanting was impressed with Kahuku’s game.

“Whenever you have that many seniors on the court, like Kahuku, its difficult for us to understand what’s going on and understand the plays that need to be made,” he said. “They sped up the outside even more when they were able to establish the middle. With the inexperience we have, they got the better of us.”

COMMENTS

  1. TooMeke September 22, 2016 1:36 pm

    What? No comments??

    Amazing.

    Where’s EF waxing sub-eloquently about the subpar grades of these girls?

    Or any number of crazy idiots that post moronic posts on the football threads?

    or how Kahuku only ‘breeds’ athletes?

    I’m disappointed in your lackluster efforts. I guess you fule’i heads only care about football boys grades and achievements.

    Yeah. Bozos.


  2. 87 September 22, 2016 3:20 pm

    Too Meke why the angry? haters are everywhere, football is a big money sport and winning affects the losers more then the winners just look at the changes in the new state tourney for proof. All we can do is support our children and giveback, like coach Mounia is doing with this volleyball team. No complaints just work hard settle it on the playing field and get better. cheeeeeehoooooo! sorry bout the explain my life. give u the next poster!


  3. Insideoutsidein September 22, 2016 5:06 pm

    @87 nobody angry!!


  4. Jeezy33 September 22, 2016 5:39 pm

    TooMeke: Seek professional help, bro. You seem a little unhinged.


  5. Hauula93 September 22, 2016 7:15 pm

    Great job coach and Awesome job girls….Keep it up…


  6. Good Story September 22, 2016 8:28 pm

    @Too Meke
    Very valid points…they scared. Not politically correct to pick on girls….but I’m sure those stats that some have posted to prove how “dumb” we are apply to these girls too. But…crickets.


  7. Insideoutsidein September 22, 2016 8:38 pm

    Why are you picking on TooMeke!! Where are those who talk shit about education….. Fvck, proud of them Red Raider girls. Goes to show you that besides Kahuku football, other sports excel at that high school. And I bet they are 2.5+ GPA without scholarships no where near the other schools football team with a 2.0 GPA. Don’t school me on this, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME!!!!!


  8. al September 22, 2016 9:04 pm

    Insideoutsidein September 22, 2016 at 8:38 pm
    Why are you picking on TooMeke!! Where are those who talk shit about education….. Fvck, proud of them Red Raider girls. Goes to show you that besides Kahuku football, other sports excel at that high school. And I bet they are 2.5+ GPA without scholarships no where near the other schools football team with a 2.0 GPA. Don’t school me on this, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME!!!!!

    Who exactly are you fighting here? I dont’ get it. Well, I also don’t understand the second to last sentence you wrote but who is trying to “school” you here on anything? Why are you starting a fight that doesn’t exist on a blog post about girls volleyball?


  9. 87 September 22, 2016 9:18 pm

    goodstory/toomeke. unity, serving others and giving back is what kahuku is all about. winning is just a benefit cheeeeeeehoooo!
    when you got four generations of familys giving back to the community its easy to think that we worship sports but really is just serving others, expecting nothing in return nor pay to play. alll heart cheeeeehoooo!


  10. Paper Crane September 23, 2016 2:47 am

    Red Raiders athletics is about OHANA no matter what kind of competition like this here is all about SMASH FACE pau hana. Go get um ladys make us proud.


  11. TooMeke September 23, 2016 4:31 am

    @Jeezy

    “satire” – google it (I know you need to)


  12. Jeezy33 September 23, 2016 5:49 am

    @toomeke ““satire” – google it (I know you need to)”

    I’ll respond to your comment because you bizarrely directed it at me, even though I didn’t even post on this article.

    If you thought what you originally posted was satire, you probably need to actually read more satire. What you wrote came off as poorly written butthurt lashing out, i.e. a petty insult in an attempt to start a fight. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt toomeke, satire. Right. Just googled it. Yep.

    (please do a better job next time.)


  13. Jeezy33 September 23, 2016 5:51 am

    Actually, my mistake. I did post on this article. It’s early in the morning.


  14. Education First September 23, 2016 11:00 am

    @Too Meke, I will reply since you miss me.

    The Kahuku girls team always have a huge advantage on the court. Many people think it’s due to athleticism. But I will look even deeper.

    Poor test scores can often be attributed to lack of preparation. This lack of preparation probably comes from doing less studying, less homework, and using more time to realx.

    So since these kids focus less on school, their minds are less mentally fatigued. They don’t have to deal with the grind of taking it seriously in school or staying up late to complete reports, homework, or just studying.

    So they are more focused on the game and better rested. Of course they should win.


  15. Education First September 23, 2016 11:02 am

    Good Story September 22, 2016 at 8:28 pm
    @Too Meke
    Very valid points…they scared. Not politically correct to pick on girls….but I’m sure those stats that some have posted to prove how “dumb” we are apply to these girls too. But…crickets.

    HAHA “crickets” I am guessing that GOODSTORY is also anywaays. Kind of interesting they both use the word “crickets” and when one disappears the other shows.

    So predictable. YAWN…….


  16. Education First September 23, 2016 11:08 am

    87 September 22, 2016 at 9:18 pm
    goodstory/toomeke. unity, serving others and giving back is what kahuku is all about. winning is just a benefit cheeeeeeehoooo!

    This is just plain blasphemous. 87 you are such a hypocrite! Unity? Serving others? Giving back? Really? Are you that naive, blind, or just plain stupid. I am guessing all of them.

    1) Parents and kids boycott and game. One mother goes on tv. Other parents seek the aid of the AD and Principal to get Coach Alan Akina fired.

    2) When Coach Reggie Torres first got hired, numerous parents confronted him after practice on the football field. They were upset that he was trying to implement a new system of higher academics for his football team.

    3) Very low test scores. Barely any fundraising done by this “so-called” tight community to improve facilities, get better and newer textbooks for the students, or higher more qualified teachers. No fundraising to get more technology to bring learning into the current century.

    If this is what you called being united and giving back, I feel really sorry for the community and kids. I am starting to understand why most kids struggle academically here. Your leaders and adults are not in touch with reality.

    I am actually sad for you guys now (NO SARCASM)…..


  17. dumbledore September 23, 2016 5:41 pm

    @Education First
    Stop hating on the girls just because they’re doing good. If you knew what their grades actually were, then you would know how much of a fool you are! If you think they’re successful because they “focus less on school”, then why don’t they dominate every year? Don’t get me wrong though, every year we always produce a great team! These girls are definitely STUDENT-athletes!

    Yes at Kahuku we are about unity/giving back and service. You just remember all the bad things that seem to happen. There is twice as much good then bad. You just see the negative. I don’t blame you though, because that is our human nature. Kahuku community may not be perfect but we are definitely there with full support!

    #stopit #livealoha #gobigred


  18. I love 88 September 23, 2016 9:19 pm

    dumbledore September 23, 2016 at 5:41 pm
    @Education First
    Stop hating on the girls just because they’re doing good. If you knew what their grades actually were, then you would know how much of a fool you are! If you think they’re successful because they “focus less on school”, then why don’t they dominate every year? Don’t get me wrong though, every year we always produce a great team! These girls are definitely STUDENT-athletes!

    Yes at Kahuku we are about unity/giving back and service. You just remember all the bad things that seem to happen. There is twice as much good then bad. You just see the negative. I don’t blame you though, because that is our human nature. Kahuku community may not be perfect but we are definitely there with full support!

    I know what there grade are and it’s not anything to brag about. 88 told me last night while we were cuddling…

    And there is bad. But I don’t another community where a parent went on tv to badmouth a coach. AUWE! 88 said to cut that nonsense out!


  19. dumbledore September 24, 2016 8:13 pm

    @ I love 88
    I’m referring to the girls volleyball! It is something to brag about. Don’t act like you know cuz you don’t!


  20. Kawehi Sika September 30, 2016 4:18 pm

    Haters Don’t Make a difference and will NEVER be heard. Never!!! If it makes you feel better, then keep trying!!! lol


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