Kahuku wins seesaw battle over 'Canes in 5 sets
The Red Raiders celebrate after beating Kapolei in the OIA Division I semifinals. Greg Yamamoto | SL
SALT LAKE — The fourth straight OIA postseason meeting between No. 9 Kahuku and No. 8 Kapolei did not disappoint.
The Red Raiders (12-1) outlasted the Hurricanes (10-2) in a five-set rollercoaster semifinal, 25-21, 12-25, 25-21, 16-25, 15-11, Monday night at Moanalua's gym to advance to the league's Division I championship match.
Kahuku, the top-seeded team from the East, will meet No. 3 Mililani (12-0) Wednesday night at McKinley's Student Council Gymnasium when it will try for its 13th OIA title in school history.
In Monday's back-and-forth affair, first-year Kahuku coach Michelle "Tuli" Tevaga said the final stanza came down to one thing.
"At that point in the game it wasn't about skill, it was just heart," she said. "It went back to our overall program theme, which is ‘one heart, one team' and they definitely brought the heart in that last set."
Three different players finished with double-digit kills for the Red Raiders. Savannah Taosaoga had 16 kills, Makayla Fonoimoana-Vaomu added 12 kills with three aces and Mary Fonoimoana chipped in 11 kills with five blocks to lead the Kahuku attack.
Keau Kamakeeaina was also key with 29 assists as Kahuku went from a 6-2 offense to a 5-1 after the second set. She also had 12 digs, five blocks, three kills and an ace for a solid all-around effort.
Toodie Sopi pounded out a match-high 20 kills to lead Kapolei. Angel Nahinu added 17 more, Kawehi Marinas 11 and Kailana Andrade put down eight kills with seven blocks to round out the Hurricanes' top hitters.
Olivia Transifiguracion directed Kapolei's offense with a match-high 48 assists. She was one of three players to record three aces for the Hurricanes, who had 14 total points from the service line.