A third loss in five matches last Friday in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation semifinals left Hawaii Prep in danger of missing out on its customary spot at the state volleyball tournament.
Ka Makani quickly righted the ship, and Tuesday they were the only BIIF team to break through at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association tournament in Honolulu. And they did it against an Interscholastic League of Honolulu team, no less.
Sophomore Gabbie Ewing swatted a match-high 20 kills as HPA defeated Hawaii Baptist 25-21, 24-26, 28-26, 25-20 in Division II at Farrington Gym.
Junior Tiana Reynolds and emerging freshman McKenna Ventura each added 10 kills as Ka Makani won for the second consecutive year to open play at states. However, last season they entered as the two-time BIIF champion powered by Player of the Year Leeta Grap. HPA (14-5) has rebuilt quickly this season behind a solid nucleus of Ewing, Reynolds and Ventura. Ka Makani were dethroned by Konawaena at BIIFs but recovered to beat St. Joseph in the third-place match to lock down a seventh consecutive state trip.
Junior setter Nua Potts posted 24 assists and two aces, and sophomore Tiana Bertlemann-Tabac served three aces for HPA, which advances to the quarterfinals and will play third-seeded Seabury Hall (13-1), the Maui Interscholastic League champion, at 5 p.m. today at Farrington.
Tiana Limoz had 17 kills for the Eagles (13-3). The ILH runner-up meets the BIIF runner-up Wildcats at 3:30 p.m. today at Farrington in consolation play.
La Pietra 3, Konawaena 2: The Lady Panthers used big nights from junior outside hitter Ariana Sattler (26 kills) and senior outside hitter Salote Lopes-Liutolo (22 kills) to hold off the Wildcats 25-23, 25-18, 19-25, 23-25, 15-12 at Farrington Gym.
Down 2-0, Konawaena (13-6) rode strong performances from senior rightside hitter Courtney Kaupu (21 kills, three blocks) and a pair of underclassmen to get back into the match. Freshman outside hitter Chanelle Molina ripped 14 kills with four aces, and sophomore middle blocker Kaela Avanilla tallied 13 kills, three blocks and three aces.
Senior setter Makani Wall posted 49 assists, and junior Rayne Izumi-Baltero added four blocks for the Wildcats.
Sophomore setter Carmen Sharkey orchestrated La Pietra’s offense with 50 assists. After evening its record at 9-9, the ILH’s No. 3 seed faces second-seeded Farrington (12-2), the OIA champ, at its home gym at 7 p.m. today in the quarterfinals.
After a bye, BIIF champion Ka’u (16-2), the fourth seed, draws Waimea in the quarterfinals at 5 p.m. at Kalani Gym. The Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion Menehune (12-0) remained unbeaten by topping Kailua 27-25, 16-25, 25-19, 25-21 in the first round.
Hilo took the opening two games only to watch Pearl City storm back in a Division I match at Kaimuki Gym.
Senior outside hitter Kaya Chong blasted 20 kills Tuesday to carry the Chargers to a 22-25, 24-26, 25-19, 25-23, 15-12 victory over the Vikings at Kaimuki Gym in Honolulu.
Junior outside hitter Amanda Loeffler smacked 17 kills, and junior outside hitter Evalani Toledo added 13 for Hilo (15-3), but the BIIF runner-up lost in the first round at states for the second consecutive year.
Hilo will face Kalani (11-6), the Oahu Interscholastic Association’s No. 4 seed, at 3:30 p.m. today at Kaimuki to try and remain alive in consolation play. The Vikings finished with 14 aces, getting four apiece from Loeffler and senior rightside hitter Leilani Smith, who added six kills. Hilo had the advantage in kills (53-51) and aces (14-8), but the Chargers, the OIA’s No. 6 team, had nine blocks while Hilo had only four.
Junior Johnai Kapua finished with nine kills and four blocks, and senior Courtney Masberg had seven kills for Pearl City (10-5), which faces OIA champ Kahuku (14-1), the second seed, at 7 p.m. today in the quarterfinals.
In a 5 p.m. quarterfinal at McKinley Gym, BIIF champion and fourth-seeded Kamehameha-Hawaii (17-0) opens against OIA No. 2 Mililani (14-2). The Trojans swept league rival Castle 25-20, 26-24, 25-18 in the first round.