Farmers off to fast start

Molokai High volleyball goes undefeated in first weekend of conference play

By Dan Murphy

If there were any doubts about Molokai’s volleyball team’s potential to repeat as Maui Interscholastic League (MIL) champions this season, the Farmers took care of that this weekend. Molokai jump started their regular season last weekend with three big wins on Maui.

“I was very pleased with what I saw,” head coach Matt Helm said. “The girls were ready to go.”

The Farmers started the season last Thursday by sweeping Maui Prep. They also beat Kaahumanu in three straight sets and took down the Seabury Hall Spartans in four (25-17, 25-18, 24-26, 25-10).

Junior hitter Kalei Adolpho led the way against the Spartans in a loud, packed gym Friday night. Her 16 kills were a game high and she also added five blocks. Fellow juniors Kailani Ritte-Camara and Kawena Puhi also got their year started on the right foot. Puhi, the team’s setter, finished with 43 assists and Ritte-Camara tacked on 10 kills.

“It was really a complete team effort, everyone pulled their weight,” Helm said. Molokai’s coach did say there were still plenty of kinks to work out if the team hopes to keep their unbeaten record in tact much longer. The girls racked up 45 errors against Seabury.

“Right now we are our own biggest competition,” Helm said. “We basically gave up an extra 45 points. On the other hand, I was happy to see them hang tough and still be able to pull out a win with those errors.”

Communication is the biggest obstacle in the early season according to Helm. He said the team still needs to improve their connections between the setter and all of their hitters.

Helm and the team will go back to the drawing board at practice this week to try to sure up some of their mistakes before their home opener against Lanai Friday night. Lanai also opened its season last weekend with a 2-0 record. On Thursday night the Pinelasses swept St. Anthony and followed up by handing Hana High their first loss of the season in four sets the next night.

The Farmers have taken the early lead in the MIL Div. II standings. Lanai and Baldwin are close behind at 2-0 each. Seabury Hall and Hana round out the top half of the league with 3-1 records.

Lanai and the Farmers will meet for a pair of games this weekend at 7 p.m. on Friday and noon on Saturday.

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