The Moku O Keawe girls team advanced to the round of eight at the USA Volleyball High Performance championships by completing pool play Thursday with a perfect 4-0 record at the tournament at the Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Convention Center.
Moku O Keawe, a Big Island team, fought past second-seeded Aloha HP of Honolulu 25-21, 18-25, 25-15, 22-25, 15-13 in a two-hour thriller Thursday behind Kaiulani Ahuna’s 30 kills.
Amanda Loeffler compiled nine kills, Kadara Marshall had six, and Zoe Leonard contributed four service aces.
Moku O Hawaii swept USA Select Continental White 25-23, 25-23, 29-27 and IREVA HP of New York 25-10, 25-23, 25-15 on Tuesday to open play in the 20-team field, then it defeated defeated 10th-seeded Team Carolina HP 25-20, 25-22, 21-25, 25-23 on Wednesday.
“Our girls have set a goal to get better in each match that they play and despite some challengers along the way, they have been able to accomplish this,” head coach Chris Leonard said. “It has been a great team effort so far for this talented group of players from all over the Big Island.”
Moku O Keawe is the second-ranked team in the tournament (top seed in Pool 2) and will face OKRVA HP (6) of Oklahoma and USA Select Continental Red (8) today and USA Youth Continental White (4) on Saturday. The top team in Pool A and B will play each other for the gold medal Saturday.
The Moku O Keawe Regional HP Team has a roster of 11 girls representing four volleyball clubs. The players are Amanda Loeffler (Hi Intensity), Zoe Leonard (Pilipaa), Maraea O’Connor (Hi Intensity), Pua Wong (Pilipaa), Makani Wall (Hoopa), Alison Fuata, Toni Beck (Hoopa), Kaiulani Ahuna (Pilipaa), Kamalu Makekau-Whittaker (Pilipaa), Kyra Kaloi (Cuzins) and Kadara Marshall (Pilipaa).
Leonard is assisted by Kawaileleohi’ilawe.