For Kamehameha, the Division I Big Island Interscholastic Federation title and undefeated league record is nice, but the desired finish line for the Warriors is waiting on Oahu.
Kamehameha churned out a dominant performance in the BIIF Division I championship game, defeating Waiakea in straight sets, 25-15, 25-16, 27-25, at Kealakehe’s gymnasium Saturday night.
With the win, Kamehameha earns a home match at 3 p.m. next Saturday in the regional finals of the Hawaii State Athletic Association tournament.
“Waiakea is such a good team. Beating them is a huge victory for us,” Kamehameha head coach Guy Enriques said. “I believe they are state contenders, and I don’t think people around the state understand how good that team is.”
Last year, Kamehameha lost to No. 1 seed and eventual state champion Punahou at the state tournament.
“This win is huge for us and hopefully it will buy us a second seed,” Enriques said. “It puts us far away from the No. 1 seed.”
Kamehameha’s Stanford-bound senior Evan Enriques led the charge, registering a game-high 27 kills in the match. Emmet Enriques added 10 kills and Kekaulike Alameda had 17 digs.
Mamane Namahoe led Waiakea with 12 kills and 17 digs, and Kamahao Paio tacked on seven kills.
The game provided little drama until the final set, in which Kamehameha was forced to battle back for the first time all match. The final point featured a series of back and forth volleys — including a solid spike that deflected nearly to the roof of the Kealakehe gymnasium — but Kamehameha outlasted Waiakea, preventing a fourth set.
“Waiakea really dug in on that last set. If they had played like that the whole game, we would still be playing,” Enriques said. “Beating this team as swiftly as we did, we walk away with a ton of confidence. I would not like to be the team these guys play up (at the state tournament).”
While older brother Evan Enriques provided the usual boom from his outside hitter position, freshman twins Avery Enriques and Addison Enriques set the table well from their setter spots.
“Our two freshman setters did a hell of a job,” coach Enriques said. “They struggled a little in the third but were able to regain their composure at the very end. For freshman first-timers in this type of a match, they did an incredible job.”
Kamehameha has made a strong case for a top seed in the state tourney, and no one can question its strength of schedule.
“The whole emphasis of the tough preseason schedule this season was to prepare for this,” Enriques said. “We travelled three times to Oahu and once to the mainland. That is the only way to prepare for this kind of stage.”