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Prep Football Preview Special
Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Brien Ing | SLMarch 20, 2021, 5:21pm
Sat, Mar 20, 2021 @ Kamehameha [ 12:45 pm ]
Kamehameha overcame a slow start to post a 25-21, 25-19 sweep of Le Jardin in both teams' season opener at Kekuhaupio Gymnasium Saturday.
Led by juniors Devin Kahahawai (10 kills, 2 blocks) and Maui Robins (8 kills, 2 blocks, ace) the Warriors improved to 1-0 on the season, while and the Bulldogs fell to 0-1.
But given the fact that girls volleyball was for all intents and purposes called off for this school year, its pretty safe to say that just being on the court was meaningful for players on either side of the net regardless, and especially for those in their final year of high school like Kamehameha setter Kahiau Kaalele.
"So when we first heard about it (the cancellation of the season in the fall) I was actually like really sad because its my senior year," said Kaalele. "So when we found we did have a season I was actually really excited. I know some of the girls were anxious but we are all just really excited to play."
Kamehameha head coach Chris Blake agreed.
"We went from nothing into a season in pretty much less than a week," said Blake. "And for us to be on that grind and getting ready to some stuff has been a real challenge but its one that we're happy to be on for sure."
Le Jardin gave the defending state champions all they could ask for in the first set, where the Bulldogs led 14-13 on a combo block by Reese Diersbock and Alishya Roman, and pulled to as close as 20-18 late on a Gennica Hawkins kill.
"Once we began to settle down I think we came in to a groove, but Le Jardin put us into a lot of tough spots like right off the bat," said Blake. "They came out hungry, we didn't start out the way we needed to, but it wasn't necessarily a lot of what we weren't doing."
Robins' eighth kill of the opening set put the first all but out of reach at 23-19, and while Le Jardin staved off Kamehameha on three straight set points, a service error gave the Warriors the set.
Unlike the opening set, the Warriors were much more in control in set two, jumping out to a quick 4-1 lead on a Payton Oliveira ace and enjoyed a six point cushion at 14-8 thanks to consecutive kills by Kahahawai.
Speaking of the six-foot-two junior, Kahahawai made up for a somewhat slow start in the first set (2 kills, 2 blocks) in the second, racking up 8 kills down the stretch, including four of the final five points to seal the win for the Warriors.
Kaalele finished the afternoon with a kills and two aces to go along with 21 assists. Six different Warriors' registered at least a kill in the match.
"I love it because i trust any one them to put a ball away or to dig a ball up," said Kaalele.
Hawkins paced the Bulldogs with 9 kills, with Reese Diersbock (4 kills, block) and Sydnee Walker (2 kills, 2 aces, block) and Alishya Roman (2 aces, kill, block) chipping in offensively as well. Nive Tuileta had 17 of Le Jardin's 18 assists.
"They have a lot of returning players," said Blake. "So for us to grind through the things that we did and to come out with a two set dub was a pretty big deal."
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