OIA Boys Volleyball
Kaiser outlasts Kalani in five set marathon


Mon, May 10, 2021 @ Kaiser [ 6:00 pm ]

FINAL  1   2   3   4   5      
KLNI (4-2) 21 25 25 22 8 2
KAIS (5-1) 25 23 20 25 15 3
Kill: N. Sniffen (KLNI) 18 kills
Ast: R. Kwock (KAIS) 44 ast

Call them the Cardiac Cougars.

For the third time this season, Kaiser (5-0) needed five sets to find victory, rallying from a 2-1 set deficit to topple Kalani (4-1) from the ranks of the unbeatens in OIA play, 25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 25-22 and 15-8.

"Our team is definitely on point when it comes to fifth sets since we've been there and kind of know how to get ourselves out of it," said Kaiser's Brandon Waters.

It was a hotly contested match from the outset.

Cole Camacho was a primary offensive weapon early on, notching five kills and two aces in the opening set for the Cougars, who let a seven point lead late evaporate to just one at 22-21 before closing out the set with three straight points culminating with a Rylan Kwock ace.

With the score tied at 23 in set two, Kalani shut the door with a Noah Sniffen kill followed by a stuff by Kainoa Lee and Dillon Cortez to tie the match up.

In set three, Kalani let Kaiser get to within four points at 23-19 on a Micah Ah See kill, but held on to win 25-20.

The fourth set saw Kalani leading 21-16 after a Sniffen ace, but Kaiser rallied to score seven consecutive points to take a 23-21 advantage, and held on for the 25-22 set win to force a fifth and culminating set.

Set five saw Kaiser establish an early 6-3 lead with two big blocks, one by Ah See and Waters and the other a solo by Ah See, and from there the Cougars would steadily outrace Kalani to 15 points, putting the game all but out of reach with yet another Ah See block at 13-7.

Three plays later, a Waters kill would put a capper on the five set win for the home team.

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"This game is one of the ones we look forward to in the season since we always have a clash with Kalani every year and this team was definitely good this year, definitely good at defense, which was good because we are a pretty good defensive team as well," said Waters. "So it was definitely a fun game to play."

Offensive balance played a role in the win it seems, as Kaiser got 8 kills or more from four players, led by Waters' 17. Camacho and Treston Yasuda put down 9 kills and Steven Cannon added 8 more. Nine Cougars registered at least two kills in the match.

"I try to spread things out, so they (Kalani) weren't ready for whatever and I try to even it out so they have to play us truthfully and not think we're always going to be going outside and try to balance it out," said Kwock, who finished the evening with 44 assists to go along with 3 blocks and 2 aces.

Kalani was led in the kill department by Noah Sniffen (game-high 18) and Ocean Vuong (12), with Dillon Cortez adding nine. Cortez also had a game-high four aces.

The Cougars' front line, particularly in set five where it totaled four blocks, also factored in. For the match, Kaiser outblocked Kalani 18-14, led by Ah See (2 solo, 4 assisted) and Cannon (1 solo, 3 assisted).

Kainoa Lee had 36 assists and also tied for the team lead in total blocks with five.

Kaiser will look to complete an undefeated season with a home match against Roosevelt Wednesday.

"it means a lot to me because I play basketball so I didn't really have a season, so coming in here playing volleyball and just having a season is all we could ask for," said Kwock. "Going undefeated would be really nice for us."

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