BIIF volleyball: Hilo outlasts rival Waiakea, clinches No. 2 seed

HILO — When the crosstown rivalry volleyball match got down to the wire, Hilo’s big-game experience proved beneficial.

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HILO — When the crosstown rivalry volleyball match got down to the wire, Hilo’s big-game experience proved beneficial.

The Vikings outlasted Waiakea 25-22, 12-25, 25-14, 19-25, 15-12 in a Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I showdown Monday night at the Warriors Gym.

The win was huge because Hilo (11-2) clinched the No. 2 seed to the four-team BIIF Division I playoffs.

If Waiakea (9-4) beats Honokaa (8-5) at home on Wednesday, the Warriors will earn the No. 3 seed for the BIIF semifinals and avoid No. 1 seed Kamehameha, the four-time defending league champs.

Kealakehe (9-4) has one game left against Keaau on Saturday at home. If the Waveriders and Waiakea finish with the same record, the Warriors hold the head-to-head tiebreaker and would get the higher seed.

Waiakea last went to Hawaii High School Athletic Association state tournament in 2010 and Kealakehe last made the trip to Oahu in 2006.

The Vikings have reached states the past three years as the BIIF runner-up, and were seventh last season. Kamehameha has a run of 10 consecutive trips, but has never won an opening match.

The latest Hilo-Waiakea crosstown rivalry match was a great one. Tied 12-12 in the fifth set, Taylor Alicuben sandwiched a pair of kills around Kyra Kaloi’s over-pass kill.

Alicuben, a setter/right-side hitter, finished with 10 kills while Keola Katayama led Hilo’s charge with 14 kills, and freshman Kawai Ua pounded 11 kills.

Nalani Thomas was a blanket for the Vikings and collected 21 digs. Carol Ross and Raevyn Kaupu, the other setter, each had 10 digs while Alicuben had nine digs.

Alison Fuata slammed 12 kills and Hi’ilei Ishii-Chaves added 11 kills for the Warriors. Jordyn Hayashi led the defensive effort with 18 digs and Tiani Teanio had 11 digs.

The first round of the eight-team BIIF Division II playoffs will be held Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the higher seed’s home site.

The BIIF Division I and II semifinals and championships will be held Thursday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 25, respectively, at Konawaena’s Ellison Onizuka Gym.

The biggest game of the season will be Friday at Onizuka Gym when unbeatens Kamehameha (13-0) and Kona (13-0) meet to close their regular seasons.

Last season, it was an early matchup in September at Kamehameha’s Koaia Gym and it went down as a classic.

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The Warriors outlasted the Wildcats 25-17, 21-25, 29-27, 25-27, 15-13 behind Kaiulani Ahuna’s 35 kills. Kona countered with Chanelle Molina’s 19 kills and McKenna Ventura’s 12 kills.

Konawaena is the defending Division II state champion.

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