Boys Volleyball
Matautia, Menes down Lahainaluna to reach semifinals


 

Moanalua's Justen Fong and Seyj Engleman put up a block against Lahainaluna. Na Menehune will play KS-Hawaii in Thursday's semifinals. Peter Caldwell | SL

Austin Matautia put down 27 kills and served up seven aces and second-seeded Moanalua defeated Lahainaluna in four sets in a quarterfinal match of the New City Nissan/Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I Boys Volleyabll State Cahmpionships at Kalani's Earl C. Holmer Gymnasium Wednesday afternoon.

The scores were 25-16, 26-16, 23-25 and 25-12.

Na Menehune, the Oahu Interscholastic Association champion, improved to 15-0 and advanced to Thursday's semifinal round, where they will take on Big Island Interscholastic Federation champ and tournament No. 3 seed Kamehameha-Hawaii.

Moanalua coach Alan Cabanting said the availability of junior setter Zack Miyamoto (illness) came down to a game-time decision.

"The past three days we've been playing without Miyamoto," Cabanting said. "We had (starting libero) Zach Kagehiro setting in practice this week, but when Miyamoto could play, it moved Kagehiro back to libero, so the repetitions that we would have liked coming into states weren't there, but we adjusted real well and by the fourth set, when everybody starting taking care of their own responsibilities and trusting each other again, we did real well there."

Miyamoto recorded 46 assists and Kagehiro had a team-high 12 digs for Moanalua, which will be making its sixth consecutive state semifinal appearance.

There were 18 ties and 12 lead changes in the third set, which was just the third set Na Menehune dropped this season.

"The thing is, it's on us pretty much," Cabanting said. "We've just got to take care of what we need to take care of, but otherwise I was telling them, it's great it happened now, it's great we figured out what was going on and I love the way they came back in the fourth set and instead of blaming each other like they were doing at the end of that third set, they came together.

Matautia, a 6-foot-4 senior outside hitter and University of Hawaii signee, took 40 swings and committed just five errors. He hit an astronomical .550 for the match. Moanalua hit .279 as a team.

Justin Valdez led Lahainaluna with 10 kills and 13 digs.

The Lunas hit just .062 and committed nine service errors to four aces.

The Maui Interscholastic League runner-up Lunas fell to 11-7 and will play Kamehameha in a 7 p.m. fifth-place semifinal at Kalani Thursday.

Moanalua and Kamehameha-Hawaii (16-0) will play in the late semifinal Thursday at the Menes' home gym. Top seed and Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion Punahou will face Mililani (14-1) in the 5 p.m. semifinal.



Reach Kalani Takase at kalani@scoringlive.com.


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