SALT LAKE — Led by Willie Tupua Richardson's 14 kills, Kapolei swept Roosevelt, 28-26, 25-20, 25-19 in the Oahu Interscholastic Association quarterfinals at Moanalua's gymnasium on Thursday.
"It was a sweep, but it wasn't our pace or our game. I'm proud they did it in three," said Kapolei coach Moani Nahulu-Mahelona.
The Hurricanes (10-1) advance to play Moanalua (12-0) in the semifinals at Radford's Jim Alegre Gymnasium on Tuesday. The Rough Riders play Waianae at Farrington on Tuesday, Apr. 25.
Gavin Andaya (15 assists) and Elijah Moderen-Wofford (eight assists) combined for 23 of the Hurricanes' 25 assists.
"I was proud of my back row, they were doing good and finding balls to pass to the setters," said Tupua Richardson.
Tupua Richardson paced Kapolei throughout the game to notch eight kills after the first set and kept Roosevelt on their heels.
"I was proud of it. I think a little more opportunity could've gone his way, but all in all, we're going to work more on his back court," said Nahulu-Mahelona.
There were seven ties down the stretch until the Hurricanes scored off a Rough Rider error and Tupua Richardson and Kama Cunningham combined for a block to scrape by the first set.
"It was tough in the beginning because we trying to still pull together. In the end of the first set we were able to pull together as a team and get our groove on," said Tupua Richardson.
"The first set was getting out of their funk and jitters. After that they came around and they were ready to go," said Nahulu-Mahelona.
Kahaku King had seven of his team-high 15 kills in the first set, a block and an ace to lead the Rough Riders. Jared Elwin had 11 of the team's 20 assists for .
Roosevelt took an early lead to start the second set before the Hurricanes tied it at seven and pulled away just after midway through the set. The Rough Riders managed to bring the deficit within three, 20-17 after King's kill, but Roosevelt could get no closer as the Hurricanes took set number two.
"We were trying to find our rhythm at first. Once we found it, we attacked and attacked more," said Tupua Richardson.
Kapolei took control in the third set and went on an 8-2 run to lead, 20-12 as Roosevelt took a timeout. The Hurricanes led by as much as 10 points twice, but mental breakdowns let Roosevelt back in the game with a 5-0 run until Tupua Richardson's kill claimed the match.
"We were laying back instead of killing the ball. We picked it up and found the momentum we needed to finish the game," said Tupua Richardson.
"I do not enjoy giving free points. That's something we have to work on. Just those minor errors we have to work on," said Nahulu-Mahelona.
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