OIA Girls Volleyball
Trojans serve up sweep of Hurricanes, assume top spot in OIA West standings


Thu, Sep 22, 2022 @ Kapolei [ 7:00 pm ]

FINAL  1   2   3   4   5      
MIL (7-1) 27 25 25 - - 3
KAP (6-2) 26 20 21 - - 0
Kill: H. Moefu (KAP) 10 kills

KAPOLEI — LC Nakagawa recorded a team-high 10 kills to help Mililani serve up a sweep of Kapolei in an Oahu Interscholastic Association Western Division girls volleyball match Thursday night. The set scores were 27-26, 25-20 and 25-21.

The Trojans (6-0) racked up a dozen service aces at the expense of the Hurricanes (5-1) to move into sole possession of first place atop the OIA Division I West standings. 

"I'm happy for them," Mililani coach Val Crabbe said of her squad, the lone remaining unbeaten in the West and one of just two in the OIA (Kahuku). 

"This was a challenge. We don't know what to expect and so I'm happy that the girls performed and if somebody's not having that great a night, it's nice to be able to pull somebody out to fill the spot and they did a great job tonight; I'm really, really, really happy," Crabbe expressed. 

Crabbe was pleased with the balanced production she got from her attackers. Aside from Nakagawa — the lone Trojan with double-digit kills — Erica Roberts contributed seven kills, Alexis Rodriguez tallied five kills along with a match-high 15 digs and Polaris De Mont chipped in with four kills.

"They pulled through and we put different people in so it was nice to be able to feel confident to be able to put other people in and pull other people off and on the bench for even just a little bit," Crabbe said. 

Nakagawa and libero Paige Paaluhi had seven digs apiece. Paaluhi also accounted for four of her team's 12 aces. 

"Different people showed up at that service line: Paige had a nice run, Alexis was great on the service line and, you know, it's always been other people, so it was just nice to see everybody just kind of support when somebody wasn't having as great a game, other people filled in and it was good," Crabbe noted. 

Conversely, Kapolei coach Naidah Gamurot pointed to her team's struggles in serve-receive as the biggest factor toward the final result. 

"I was kind of surprised that we weren't consistent in our passing because usually we are, so we just have to go back and fix some of our passing; For some reason it fell apart," Gamurot said. 

"That was our biggest thing: we had trouble passing so we couldn't get the ball to the setters, so that didn't help — because we got some hitters, we got some good hitters — we just couldn't get the ball to them, so we just gotta go back, work on the passing, figure out what happened on that," she added. 

Kapolei got back-to-back aces from Malinah Purcell-Telefoni early on in the match to take a 6-3 lead in the opening set, but Mililani reeled off eight consecutive points. Later in the set, the visitors held a 22-16 advantage after one of nine attack errors by the Hurricanes in set 1, but the hosts stormed back with an 8-2 run to tie it at 24. The teams exchanged the next four points before Kapolei had an attack error into the net and Mililani claimed the first set, 27-26. 

The Trojans separated early in set 2 with a 6-0 run that included three Nakagawa kills and a combo block by Asuncion and Polaris De Mont. The ‘Canes pulled to within 24-20 with a Purcell-Telefoni and Leila Paraoan double-block, but Roberts put away set point with her tip kill from the left side, off an assist from Asuncion. 

Mililani seized control in set 3 with an early 9-1 run. It included three aces: two by Nakagawa and the other by Paaluhi. As a team, the Trojans had six aces in the third set. 

Later in set 3, Kapolei cut it to a two-point deficit at 22-20, but put its serve into the net — one of its 12 service errors for the match — and Anna Takushi's ensuing serve found the floor to set-up match point for Mililani. Two points later Nakagawa put the finishing touches on the win — the Trojans' fourth consecutive sweep — with her final kill. 

In addition to her team's success in the serve game, Crabbe was also proud of the defensive effort she got from her group. 

"We knew that we wanted our serving to work and we wanted to just better the ball and I just wanted my hitters to play their backcourt (rotations) with as much intensity as the front court and the backcourt showed up tonight and they kind of struggled in the front, but it kind of all worked out," Crabbe said. 

Gamurot was also impressed by the defense she saw across the net from the Trojans. 

"Yeah, they did really well. They were picking up everything. They picked up a lot and they hustled a lot and actually we normally hustle, too, but we weren't hustling as much, so — and I'm not sure why — but they did an excellent job of hustling for the ball; it was actually fun to watch," she said. 

Purcell-Telefoni finished with 10 kills, three digs, two aces and was in on three total blocks — including two solo stuffs. Henua Moefu notched a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs and Shayla Lacamiento — one of three setters Kapolei utilized — posted 11 assists and five digs. 

Kapolei, which was coming off a sweep of previously-unbeaten Waianae Tuesday night, had dropped just two sets prior to Thursday. 

Mililani recorded its fourth straight sweep; it has lost only two sets in league play. 

Both teams continue their OIA West schedule Tuesday night. The Hurricanes will visit Radford (4-2) at James Alegre Gymnasium, while the Trojans will travel to Paul T. Kobayashi Gymnasium to take on Leilehua (6-1). 

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].

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