Lahainaluna opened the MIL girls volleyball season at Kamehameha Schools Maui, home of the many-time defending MIL champions. The Lady Lunas JV squad actually pulled of an upset, 2 games to 1. The varsity battled but fell short in 3 sets: 14-25, 10-25, 18-25
The Lady Lunas volleyball teams consist of: seniors Dalbel Locquiao, Angel Cuaresma, Patricia Nebrida, Betty Koloi, Faavae Galoia and Mharicar Tan; juniors August Guest, Christian Mae Yagyagan, Lea Marie Mina, and Haylee Patch; and freshmen Taylor Heifort and Zayla Jyawook. The Head Coach is Trixie Ganer and her assistants are Benvon “Bula” Mahiai, Hano Ganer, Davilyn Ganer and Joseph Keanini .
Defensively, the Lady Lunas appear improved over past seasons. They are keeping themselves in rallies a lot longer and won a few of those rallies. Still, they always seem to find one stretch during a set where the other team goes on a run and they can’t respond. The serve receive-passing game still has a lot of room for improvement – they need to move their feet more and get to the spot quicker to get into position to make a good pass, rather than standing flat-footed and waiting for the serve to come to them. They do not have the depth of reliably consistent outside hitters that can take the pressure off of middle block/best player Faavae Galoia. Without that threat on the outside, the defenses can sag on Galoia to contest her at the net. Betty Koloi continues to impress as the full-time setter. She has a nose for the ball and getting to wherever that first pass has to take her. More often than not she is able to get there and has been firing off hittable sets. The outside hitters just need to get their approach and timing down so that they are attacking towards the net, rather than running under the set, stopping, then reaching backward to spike. All in all, I like this group. They support each other. I look to see them improve significantly as a team as the season progresses.
NOTE: Thanks to Wilton Leauanae for shooting the JV game. His daughter plays for Kamehameha Schools Maui’s JV team.