ILH Girls Volleyball
Warriors get by Raiders in three sets


  



Sat, Sep 8, 2018 @ Kamehameha [ 4:45 pm ]


FINAL  1   2   3   4   5      
IOL (13-5) 22 25 19 - - 1
KSK (14-2) 25 20 25 - - 2
Kill: E. Oglivie (IOL) 20 kills  Blk: B. Akana (KSK) 5 blk  Ast: L. Akeo (KSK) 36 ast

KAPALAMA HEIGHTS — The first meeting between the top two teams in the Hawaiian Electric Girls Volleyball Power Rankings did not disappoint.

Top-ranked Kamehameha outlasted No. 2 Iolani in three sets for a 25-22, 20-25, 25-19 win before a crowd of about 200 Saturday afternoon at Kekuhaupio Gymnasium in an ILH Division I match.

The Warriors (3-0), the defining state champs, recorded seven total blocks as they earned their third straight win in five days to take sole possession of first place in the league standings.

"It's a good measuring stick to see where we're at," said Kamehameha coach Chris Blake, who's team has faced the Raiders in the past three state title games.

"Iolani is a wonderful team, well-coached, they definitely came at us. They're very dynamic, very disciplined. Coach Kainoa (Obrey) and his staff got them playing really well. For us to come out on top was a great 'W' for us."

Senior setter Lexis Akeo, the reigning All-Hawaii Player of the Year, was her usual self with 36 assists distributed among five different hitters. Junior Keonilei "Kaylei" Akana, who gave a verbal commitment to play for the University of Southern California, was the leading hitter with a double-double of 11 kills and 19 assists. Malie McClure followed with 10 kills and senior middle Braelyn Akana, who has committed to the University of Hawaii, added eight kills with five blocks.

Other contributors for Kamehameha include Chloe Akiona-Bannan with six kills and 11 digs, Kalina Obrey with five kills and libero Tara De Sa with 13 digs.

"Everyone did their jobs," said Akeo. "We got the passes, our digs, our block alignments were amazing and our hitters put the ball away."

The Raiders (2-1) were led by junior outside hitter Elena Oglivie's match-high 20 kills in the loss. Izzy Sakoda added 10 kills, Sasha Petticord chipped in five and Kristen McDaniel had 31 assists with 11 digs and two kills. Cameryn Ann Nagaji was also key with a kill and three blocks, two solo.

Although it was his team's third match in five days, Blake said fatigue was not a factor. Instead he credited Iolani's execution and game plan.

"A lot of it was what Iolani did," he said. "They came at us hard in set one, (and in) set two especially. They put us in a lot of bad spots. I don't think it was too much of what we were doing. A lot of it was what Iolani was doing, just earning a lot of points."

Iolani had the early advantage in the opening game thanks to a number of Kamehameha errors, which helped the Raiders take a 11-7 lead to force a timeout by the Warriors. A kill by McClure and back-to-back hitting errors into the net pulled Kamehameha within one before the two teams traded points.

The Warriors began to overtake Iolani in the middle of the opening set by winning the effort plays. Akiona-Bannan was able to save a ball to Braelyn Akana, who set Akiona-Bannan up for a kill to make it a 14-13 game. A combo block by Akeo and Akana followed by a kill by the younger Akana gave Kamehameha its first lead of game one, 15-14, which forced an Iolani timeout.

Sakoda had a kill down the line to tie the set out of the timeout, but a scramble bump set by Akeo off a bad return on the serve jumpstarted a mini 4-0 run to put the Warriors ahead, 19-15. Iolani never got closer than three points the rest of the way and Kamehameha was able to take game one, 25-22.

Kamehameha setter Lexis Akeo does a bump set in an ILH Division I contest against Iolani Saturday afternoon at Kekuhaupio Gymnasium. Greg Yamamoto | SL    Purchase image

"In the practice gym we always go after every ball," said Akeo. "Girls give 100 percent effort so when it comes to game time, that just relays over to it."

The second set was a seesaw battle that had multiple ties until a pair of Kamehameha hitting errors gave Iolani a 16-12 lead. The Warriors pulled within one, 18-17, after an ace by USC-commit Akana, but the Raiders were able to score seven of the next 10 points to tie the match.

Both teams traded points to start game three, but a 7-0 run helped catapult the Warriors to a 11-4 lead in the final period of play.

"Our mindset was just let's play together, stay together and win this game," Akeo said about the Warriors' play in the third set.

The Raiders were able to cut it to within two with Oglivie heating up and made it a 18-16 game after a hitting error, but that was as close as Iolani would get the rest of the way.

The third set didn't end without some drama however. Oglivie appeared to make it a one point game after hitting the ball in the area in front of the Kamehameha bench, but both officials did not agree initially on whether or not the ball landed inside the field of play.

Ultimately the tower official, who is the first referee in charge, ruled the ball out and Kamehameha went up 19-16. From there the Warriors pulled away to take the match over Iolani.

Blake said the Kamehameha coaching staff was proud of his team's grit down the stretch.

"We're very proud of how resilient our girls were, and we were able to fight back, especially as we were moving into game three. They took off and they kept on fighting so it was a great win for us grinding it out, especially at the end."

Both teams will play their next contest next Tuesday in a double-header at Punahou's Hemmeter Fieldhouse. Iolani takes on Maryknoll (0-3) at 5:00 p.m. with the Warriors and the Buffanblu (1-2) to follow. Tuesday will also be the first ILH D1 matches of the season that will be a best out of 5 series.



Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].


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