Moanalua has edge on Govs — for now
Farrington may have been swept by Moanalua on Wednesday, but up close, it was tight as it gets.
In game 1, Farrington had a 22-16 lead before succumbing to the visiting team. Just eliminate an error or two, and the Govs win the opening set.
Then came the second set, which was up for grabs before Moanalua finished strong with a 25-23, 26-24 win. Sure, there was a real question about a scoring glitch midway through the second game, but it Farrington’s bench didn’t pose that question to officials. Besides, coach Reagan Agena had more concerns about his team’s execution and lack of consistency.
The Govs impressed a lot of coaches during the preseason, and when they develop a little more precision, the post-season might be theirs for the taking. They have size, power and athleticism — components that are always in short supply for most public-school programs.
Moanalua? The epitome of volleyball lifers. They don’t have great height. They just have skill and heart. Carsen Mata has come a long way since converting to setter just two seasons ago. They have hitting weapons in Gabby Matautia and Tasha Meyer, and sophomore Erin Perez is another hard-hitting option.
It’s Moanalua’s back row, though, that keeps rallies alive. Na Menehune coach Tommy Lake praised Kylee Oshiro and Katiana Ponce.
“They made some spectacular digs,” he said. “We started slow, but didn’t totally give it away. We hung in there.”
Agena hopes his team can regain momentum.
“We played tough, but we had lots of mental mistakes,” he said. “We’ve had a set of
challenges. It’s character building.”
Moanalua won their previous match a week ago 20-25, 25-20, 15-10.
Come playoff time, don’t be surprised if the Govs and Na Menehune battle again. Beating a foe three times in a row is rarely easy.
Punahou too tough for everyone right now
The state’s best Division II team — that’s what the coaches and media think so far — gave Punahou a pretty good scare on Tuesday.
Punahou left Hawaii Baptist with a sweep, but it was by no means a cakewalk. The Eagles pushed hard in the 26-24, 25-20 loss. They continue to do it without major height.
“When we’re up and running, our communication is good,” C’era Oliveira said. “If we started stronger, we could’ve had them. We were so close!”
After committing eight hitting errors in the first set, Punahou had just two in the second. The Buffanblu hit .323. HBA hit .231 (10 hitting errors). Punahou was, often times, just overpowering — as the No. 1 team in the state should be.
Juliana Behrens and setter Malia Patterson were tough to stop.
“We finally bonded. We clicked today,” Behrens said.
Patterson, a senior, split time at setter with junior Shannan McCready in preseason. Both were impressive and have a good grasp of Iam’s high-risk, high-reward attack.
“Malia is just a little bit better,” coach Jim Iams said.
“They have some big girls, some athletic girls,” HBA coach Myles Shioji said. “It’s hard to contain them. They’ve got four 6-footers outside and in the middle. It’s hard for any high school team. They do a lot of things well.”
Hawaii Baptist travels to Maryknoll to play in the Spartans’ new gym on Friday.
“We’re expecting Maryknoll to play their best game. They dig a lot of balls and they’re well-coached,” Shioji said.