Preview of state final?
Despite missing team leader Kalei Adolpho, the Molokai girls volleyball team topped Kamehameha Maui in a three-set battle at the Maui Volleyball Invitational on Saturday at Kaulaheanuiokamoku Gym on the Kamehameha Maui campus.
The Farmers took the first set of the semifinal match against Kamehameha 25-20. The Maui team came back 21-25 in the second set before losing 25-16 in the decisive set.
The University of Hawaii recruited the 6-foot-3 Adolpho as a sophomore. Last year she led Molokai to a third place finish in the state tournament. Now a senior, Adolpho was named to the first-team Maui Interscholastic League All-Star in both volleyball and basketball the last two years. She has verbally committed to attend UH on a basketball scholarship. Adolpho was attending a funeral on Oahu this past weekend.
But Adolpho’s teammates had no trouble stepping up in this 16-team tournament. Junior outside hitter Kalei Vaivai led the way with 17 kills and 10 digs against Kamehameha. Molokai setter Kawena Puhi dished out 36 assists and had nine digs against Kamehameha, and Leenell Hernandez added eight kills.
In the finals, the Farmers ran out of steam against University High. In what some people are speculating could be a preview of the Division II state tournament finals, the Farmers lost to University in straight sets 25-22, 26-24.