Pilipa'a Volleyball

Pilipa’a finish 3-0 on day one of AAU National Championship

The Pilipa'a 17's as they depart for Orlando, Florida for the 2014 AAU National Championship.  Traveling members include: (L to R) Ke'ala Watson, Kadara Marshall, Chaperone Peter Watson, Kaiulani Ahuna, Zoe Leonard, Coach Chris Leonard, Alison Fuata, Team Rep. Kathy Leonard, Kamalani Fujikawa, Taylor Alicuben.

The Pilipa’a 17’s as they depart for Orlando, Florida for the 2014 AAU National Championship. Traveling members include: (L to R) Ke’ala Watson, Kadara Marshall, Chaperone Peter Watson, Kaiulani Ahuna, Zoe Leonard, Coach Chris Leonard, Alison Fuata, Team Rep. Kathy Leonard, Kamalani Fujikawa, Taylor Alicuben.

Orlando, Florida –  The Pilipa’a 17’s finished the first day of pool play in the AAU National Championship Tournament with a perfect 3-0 match record and an unblemished 6-0 game record.

Pilipa’a began the afternoon with a good  win over Nook 17 Elite (25-19, 25-22).  Pilipa’a was in control for  the most of the first game and showed no signs of jet lag or nerves for their first match.  A number of passing and hitting errors to start game had Pilipa’a down 10-3 to the much bigger team from Pennsylvania.  The passing and hitting settled down and tough serves and aggressive hitting as the girls chipped away at lead.  They tied the match at 17 and went on to close it out with a strong finish.

Pilipa’a’s second match of the day proved to be the most challenging.  They faced s strong Asics Team Indiana Elite 17 Open team and had to fight hard for every point in game.  Despite being down for most of the first game, they were able to keep within striking distance to tie the game at 22. The two teams swapped points, but Pilipa’a prevailed with a 28-26 first game victory.  The come-from-behind win in game one seemed to take a toll on the Indiana team as Pilipa’a was able to control most of the second game with a 25-20 win.

Our third match of the day was a highly anticipated rematch against Coast 17-2 Kane from California.  Pilipa’a’s impressive 8-0 run to the gold medal round of the Las Vegas Classic in February came to an end in the quarterfinals with a disappointing loss to Coast.  That loss eliminated Pilipa’a from the gold bracket and led to a 5th place finish (out of 142).  The girls were excited when they saw the matchup on the tournament schedule and a morning video session to review the previous matchup proved helpful and motivating to the team.  Pilipa’a opened the game with back-to-back passing errors but quickly turned it around and won game one 25-19.  The discussion on the bench before the second game to was to work on getting better each time we step on the court and to minimize our errors.  Pilipa’a played their best game of day one and started off with a sideout and then 11 points in a row with Alison Fuata at the service line.  Pilipa’a was finally playing at the level that they are capable of.   Ka’iu Ahuna was virtually unstoppable on the outside, and when Coast tried to double block her, Zoe Leonard was able to connect with middles Kadara Marshall and Ke’ala Watson and opposite Taylor Alicuben.  Libero Kamalani Fujikawa played her best match of the day as well with excellent passes and numerous digs.  Pilipa’a finished the day with an impressive game 25-8 game two win.

Pilipa’a will open day 2 with a morning matchup with Inside Out 17 Black at 9am Eastern (3am HST).

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