Volleyball: Movin’ Forward
After securing the second berth in the Maui Interscholastic League (MIL) tournament last week, the Molokai High School (MHS) girls’ volleyball team returns to the state championshipWednesday to defend last year’s crown.
The path to states was tougher than years past, as the Farmers lost five of last season’s state champion squad to graduation or transfer. Another, senior Natalia Levi, had her season cut short by a serious foot injury earlier this month.
But coach Matt Helm said the Farmers’ other senior standout, Leenell Hernandez, excelled during last week’s tournament while gracefully leading her younger teammates.
“She was amazing all week. Her experience and her leadership kinda guided everybody through the games,” Helm said. “When we needed crucial points, she was our go-to girl.” “With a very young team, you have to have somebody who’s been there done that, and she knows what it takes to get to states,” he added. “I believe she’s pretty close to the best player in the MIL and is one of the best players in the state.”
After opening the MIL tournament Wednesday with a 3-0 win over Maui Prep, the third-seeded Farmers faced No. 2 Hana – who had beaten Molokai twice at the MHS Barn earlier this season. But led by Hernandez’s 22 kills and 14 digs, Molokai earned a 4-1 win Thursday to keep their hopes of reaching the state tournament alive.
The Farmers missed an opportunity to secure a state playoff berth Friday night against No. 1 Seabury Hall, losing a tough five-set match. Because of the setup of the MIL tournament, that loss forced a Friday rematch against Hana to decide who would accompany the first-seeded Spartans to states. But faced with elimination, the Farmers handed Hana another 4-1 defeat. Hernandez tallied 25 kills, nine digs and a block in the victory.
The Farmers square off against St. Francis (of Honolulu) at Oahu’s Kaimuki High School (HS) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the first round of the state tournament. The winner plays second-seeded Roosevelt (of Oahu) in the quarterfinals Thursday (Kaimuki HS, 7 p.m.). After semifinals Friday (Kalani HS, 7 p.m.), the winners will be crowned following a championship on Saturday (Blaisdell Center, 5 p.m.).
X-C: Trio Head to States
Running the three-mile Keopuolani Park course at the MIL championship last Saturday, Akona Adolpho, Petrisha Alvarez and Charisse Manley qualified for the state tournament to be held Oct. 26 to 29 on Oahu.
Individual results included: Boys – 6. Akona Adolpho, 17:57.3; 38. Paka Adolpho, 20:52.1; 45. Kealohanui Helm, 22:04.1; 46. Luke Kikukawa, 22:07.8; 51. Sonny Balbus, 23:01.1; 52. Tanner Mosher, 23:33.0 Girls – 12. Petrisha Alverez, 23:17.3; 17. Charisse Manley, 24:05.2; 36. Susan Smith, 27:08.1; 38. Xrystina Bicoy, 28:01.7; 48. Kristen Tancayo, 29:54.7.