Day 2 of the Hawaii Boys Volleyball Invitational Tournament is near a close and there has been no shortage of excitement. (The championship round will be played on Saturday with a 4 p.m. Final.)
The madness of this March tourney may be just starting. No. 2 Moanalua stunned No. 1 Punahou tonight 19-25, 25-21, 15-12 in pool play. We caught up with Moanalua’s All-State outside hitter, Austin Matautia, for his thoughts on what may be the program’s first-ever win over the Buffanblu.
Hawaii Prep World: Austin, what just happened?
Austin Matautia: We played together. Even after losing the first set we stuck together and played to the best of our ability. Even without Seyj Engleman we were able to stay strong and play our game.
HPW: What happened to Seyj?
Matautia: Last night in our match against Maryknoll, Seyj broke his pinkie finger blocking.
HPW: How did you guys adjust? Did it throw Coach Alan (Cabanting) and the team into a different strategy?
Matautia: Well, first we were a little shaken up because we were used to having Seyj on the court. We work on a lot of different lineups in practice just in case something like this happens and it worked.
HPW: Punahou doesn’t lose to anybody from Hawaii, especially in preseason. This win probably means a lot. It might be first time Moanalua has beaten Punahou in boys volleyball.
Matautia: I’m not too sure.
HPW: But there’s more pool play tonight. (Moanalua plays McKinley at 8 p.m.) And there’s a good chance you’ll play Punahou again. Is it too soon to enjoy or celebrate? I hear Moanalua’s fans were going crazy.
Matautia: It’s never too soon to celebrate, but at the same time we realize we’ll most likely see them again. Knowing that we just have to play our game like we did tonight and anything can happen. The fans were great. All the different schools were cheering for us. We all wanted someone to beat them (Punahou) I’m stoked it was us.
HPW: Thanks for your time. Anything else to add before tomorrow’s big matches?
Matautia: I just want to thank everyone who came out to support us. It means a lot. Hope to see you all here at ‘Iolani tomorrow.