Saber VB Boys Advance to Tournament Championship

May 2, 2013, 12:32 PM HST · Updated May 2, 2:27 PM
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Maui High's Sage Malaikini pounds a kill shot past the block of Kamehameha Maui's Kolby AhSau during Wednesday's semifinal match at Baldwin Gym. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui High’s Sage Malaikini pounds a kill shot past the block of Kamehameha Maui’s Kolby Ah Sau during Wednesday’s semifinal match at Baldwin Gym. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

By Rodney S. Yap

The Maui High School boys volleyball team picked a good time to peak.

The Sabers were clicking on all cylinders Wednesday, May 1,knocking off Kamehameha Schools Maui in the second of two Maui Interscholastic League Division I boys semifinal volleyball matches at Baldwin Gym.

Maui High (7-6) eliminated KS-Maui in straight sets 25-23, 25-17, 25-16 and punched its ticket to the New City Nissan Volleyball Championships on Oahu, May 8-11. The win launches the Sabers into the MIL Tournament championship on Friday, May 3, against regular-season champion Baldwin (11-1). The game is set for 6:15 p.m. at Baldwin Gym.

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The Bears won the first semifinal against King Kekaulike 25-17, 25-23, 25-15.

Maui High senior middle blocker Sage Malaikini led the Saber attack on both sides of the net, finishing with eight kills and six blocks. Jaryn Kuhaulua-Feiteira and Craig-Anthony Fuentes had nine kills apiece, while setter Ryan Dalut had 30 assists.

“They looked good last night,” Baldwin head coach Kalei Houpo said of the Sabers. “Our boys just have to be focused and realize what’s at stake on Friday.”

Houpo praised the play of Malaikini and acknowledged the positive energy the Sabers brought.

The Bears were led by Niko Corpin’s 13 kills. Bradley Bowlin and Ryan Garces added nine kills apiece, while Kyson Kaiama finished with 37 assists.

Kamehameha Maui's Kawelau Yen tries to push this shot past Maui High's block, which includes Sabers' Sage Malaikini (16). Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Kamehameha Maui’s Kawelau Yen tries to push this shot past Maui High’s block, which includes Sabers’ Sage Malaikini (16). Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Should Maui High beat Baldwin for the MIL Tournament title on Friday, the Sabers would force a winner-take-all game for the MIL Division I overall championship on Saturday at Maui High Gym.

If there is no Division II playoff game, the Sabers vs. Bears match would start at noon. If there is a Division II playoff game, the Sabers vs. Bears contest would start at 1:15 p.m.

Like MIL baseball, the overall MIL volleyball championship comes with a first-round bye at the  state championship.

MIL Boys Volleyball Tournament

At Baldwin Gym

DIVISION I

Wednesday’s Semifinals

Baldwin def. King Kekaulike 25-17, 25-23, 25-15

Maui High def. Kamehameha Maui 25-23, 25-17, 25-16

Friday’s Championship Match

Baldwin vs. Maui High, 6:15 p.m.

DIVISION II

Thursday, May 2, Semifinal Matches

Seabury Hall vs. Molokai, 5 p.m.

Hana vs. Lanai, 6:15 p.m.

Friday’s Championship Match

Seabury Hall-Molokai winner vs. Hana-Lanai winner, 5 p.m.

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